Video: Donna pays off her credit cards
Donna pays off her credit cards
Donna Maslan, a teacher in her 30s, talks about the effects of
overwhelming debt and how she was able to break the debt cycle.
Donna Maslan: I ended up becoming a teacher
through finding out I actually enjoyed working with kids and
interacting with kids and their minds are the most amazing things,
they see things that we'll never see, and every day I'm learning
Surviving for ten years in a profession that is, I would say,
pretty undervalued in terms of what we get paid is difficult, but I
think sometimes we have to look at job satisfaction as well and
what I get out of, you know, life in general.
And money isn't everything, it's really hard to live like money
isn't everything but we try our best.
When I was at school the only money education I had was how to
fill out a cheque so, spending money (laughs). My relationship with
money has been a complicated one - addicted to spending in the
past. I was in a past relationship and it wasn't a healthy
relationship. We tended to spend when we felt depressed to make
ourselves feel better and we also tended to spend, using credit
cards, spend frivolously on things we didn't need. And that led
basically to a debt being, you know, amassed of about thirty
Yeah, $30,000 worth of debt is soul-crushing, it's just so
suffocating and it feels like it's sitting over you at all times.
So that's really, oh, it's awful, you know.
I used to have, I think it was three credit cards at one - at
the worst - point in time. Using one credit card to pay off bits of
the other all that sort of stuff and barely making minimum
About two years ago, the revelation came and it was just like,
whoa, this has, this has got to stop. The main thing I've done to
get myself under control is a budget and then sticking to that
budget, which is so difficult.
And to help make me stick to that budget I kind of have it up in
places and reminders everywhere. Setting a limit, so every week my
limit for what I can spend is $100. That's it, after I pay all my
bills and, you know, pay all the debt and all that sort of stuff,
$100 a week is all I have to spend and that has to go on petrol and
any public transport I take. If I want to go to the movies, if I
want to eat out, that's all I've got and once that's gone, I do
I'm about halfway through paying it off, constantly checking on
it I find helps and actually trying to be excited every thousand
you get down, like, now I'm at $16,000, yeah!
You know all of that sort of stuff - when I get to $16,000
The minute you get in control of your finances and the minute
you, you know, that burden is lifted off your shoulder, you start
becoming a calmer person and so, you know, I'm less anxious about
paying bills, I'm less anxious about whether I can afford
Live within your means, never spend anything you don't have and
always keep a fund for a rainy day. When you start to drag yourself
out of that debt and you can see improvement then you start to feel
But it's about living every day like you need to achieve those
goals and remembering every day about those goals.
Last updated: 09 Aug 2016