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“Dear Sir,” an email from Paul D began this morning. The formality put me on edge. “I had a dream last night that you got a massive promotion and that you were made incredibly rich incredibly quickly. Please be informed that if this should happen I will claim a ‘finders fee’ of ?5,000.”
Paul’s always been a funny chap, and this email has been safely stashed in the favourite emails folder. It’s a fond dream, one that sadly hasn’t transpired as yet.
But things are definitely looking up. Some diehard visitors may recall a feature on this site about a year ago, the Debtometer. It’s main task was to plot, detail and digest my student debts, and chart the success or failure of my efforts to repay them. This time last year I was seriously looking into the student bankruptcy option as a means of writing off the ?9000 student loan I had at the time. Bankrupt or be damned, I thought, in a moment of extreme lucidity. Between a rock and a hard place, I clichéd.
And that wasn’t the half of it. After I graduated, a new car was needed to ferry me between bed and office. Not much change from ?8000. And Barclays generously offered to convert my free overdraft to a interest-charging loan. Well, not so much offered as demanded – so, all in all, the oft-warned student nightmare became a hard-edged reality.
Three years down the line, my career is taking shape. I changed job in August, income is growing as planned, and my web design sideline is taking off aplenty recently, with jobs for Boris Johnson, Fat Face, Machone Cars, Bloggerheads and all sorts of other little commissions. It’s all money that comes into my bank account, and goes straight out to Mr Morgan and Mr Stanley.
This change in fortune, both literally and metaphorically, is such a contrast from before that I sometimes find myself gleefully announcing it to all and sundry. I think it’s a subconscious boasting, or maybe just an inadvertant outburst of relief that I really am progressing in life. It’s certainly a mistake to combine an eternal optimist with this sort of upturn. So if you catch me boringly drubbing on about the latest news in my life, sit me down, shove a drink in my hand and offer me a bowl of peanuts, explaining gently that you don’t care. Either that, or butt in and stop the waffling sharpish. Your call.