Personal Finance: Getting Out of Debt (1)

I was neck deep in debt. I had made serious mistakes speculating while thinking I was investing. I borrowed to speculate and I paid for it dearly. Those were really dark days.
I would drive home but constantly look back to see if anyone followed me. At a point, I thought of running away. I could pack my bags and travel out of the country. But then, running away from a problem has never solved it.
I thought of how I could solve the pending problem. I could borrow more and invest in another high yielding investment and from there, repay my indebtedness and meet my obligations. So, I borrowed one more time and put the sum of $10,000 into forex trading.
A trader who came highly recommended would trade on my behalf. I had access to view the platform on my laptop but I couldn’t control the trade. My problems were about to disappear or so I thought!
On the first day of trade, I got a profit of about $50. I was happy. I didn’t know this thing was sweet like that. I would have invested since. In my head, I calculated how much I would make in one month. I was smelling financial freedom. I was about to enter my ‘breakthrough’.
I was already thinking of quitting my job. Who needs a job when you can make about $50 daily? God has finally remembered me.
On the second day, I got something like $20. That wasn’t bad. “At all, at all, an im bad pass”. Convert to Naira and I’m still balling. Nothing spoil. Let it just be constant. Little drops will make a mighty ocean. My God is a good God, yes He is!
The third day, a Wednesday, was a day I would never forget. I logged on to the platform to see how we were doing. I was alarmed. I saw how the fund was depleting at an alarming rate. My $10k had become $9k and then $8k.
I called the trader. He asked me to relax saying that the market was turbulent but he was a professional. I had no reason to be worried. He would gain it back. I wasn’t totally convinced but what else could I do?
My fate was in his hands. A short while later, I went back to the platform. My heart skipped a beat as I saw a balance of $6k. I called the trader again. Yet the same words that were meant to be soothing. “Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing. I’m a professional trader”, he said.
I wasn’t comforted at all.

Then it became $5k. I broke out in sweat and loosened my tie. I felt all my world crashing down all around me. Another look at the platform showed me a balance of $4k. I called the trader again but this time he didn’t pick. My calls rang out.
I wanted him to stop the trade but he didn’t pick my calls. I was desperate. I couldn’t sit down again and I paced all over my office. How could I be so foolish to have entrusted my fate into another person’s hands without a background check?
What did I even know about forex trading before I jumped into it? Why would I join the bandwagon just because everyone else was doing it?
I took another look at the platform. My jaws were opened as I saw the $4k become $3k and then $2k. Then $1k and finally $600. The trader logged out of the platform when my balance was $600. I had lost my ‘investment’ and I was neck deep in debt.
When it rains, it pours. That’s how I can describe the feeling. Great sadness overwhelmed me. I was trying to solve a problem but I was even in a deeper mess. Everything now looked bleak. I had been a fool and a fool and his money are soon parted.
When I got home that evening, I couldn’t eat. I tossed around on my bed as sleep refused to come. I just couldn’t wait for morning to come so I could get to the office of the trader. Someone had to pay for this loss.
When day broke, I took my bath and dressed up. I got to the Adeoyo office of the trader before 7am. The sight I met was unprecedented. Almost a hundred people were causing a commotion in front of his office. I went closer to know what was really happening.
Alas, they were people like me who had lost money the previous day. I saw elderly men crying like babies- their whole savings wiped out. The scene made me forget about my own troubles momentarily. I got into my car and drove off like a whipped dog.
I made up my mind to solve my problem by myself. I was in debt but I wasn’t about to give up. I had had enough of jumping from frying pan to fire. It was time to face my reality and craft a practical plan to get out of debt.
Let me assure you, the journey towards a debt-free lifestyle was not an easy one. It was tough but I achieved it within two years. I repaid ALL debts within that timeframe and started a lifestyle of savings and financial prudence.
I will share the practical steps I took in Part 2. Watch out.

Rom 13:1 TLB- Pay all your debts except the debt of love for others...

Bayo Adeyinka

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