I'm a 30-year-old man who still borrows money from his parents.
That's a tough sentence to write and although I'm grateful my parents are in a position to help me out when I need it, it leaves me riddled with guilt.
My parents don't mind but I do. I feel like, at my age, I should have my life together by now and I only have myself to blame.
I watch my friends buy houses, plan weddings and go on trips I can't afford because of my own financial immaturity.
The human mind is a powerful thing. However, financially, I've been using it in all the wrong ways.
During the past 10 years, I have spent blindly. If I have money, I spend it. My income doesn't allow for this sort of lifestyle so the consequence is I have racked up credit card debt.
It started during a transition between jobs. "I'll just get a credit card for the essentials then pay it straight back with my first pay," I told myself.
That didn't happen and now, a 50-inch TV, mountain bike, and many other frivolous purchases later, I have thousands of dollars worth of debt.
At its peak, I had $7000 worth of credit card debt alone. Throw in the student loan and things were looking pretty dire.
For years, I have ignored that debt. It was stretched across two cards and I have done nothing but pay the interest, leaving very little money for things I actually need.
When my more financially capable friends have reached out, eager to talk about the issues I'm having and offer advice, I shut the conversation down.
That sort of debt follows you. It's that lvoice at the back of your mind, nudging you every now and again to remind you that you have reason to feel anxious.
In fact, in my most anxious and depressed times, these financial woes have been a massive contributing factor.
Still, I didn't want to face the truth. And that truth is that there is no easy way out of debt. I needed a plan and I needed to accept the long, slow grind ahead of me.
Luckily, I have a friend who works at a bank here in Rotorua. I asked him what we could do about this.
We consolidated my credit cards into one loan and set up a plan in which I will make payments every fortnight as soon as I get paid.
I've made a budget in which I allocate portions of my pay to rent, bills, food, petrol, entertainment etc. I'm even putting some in savings.
It's amazing how much better I feel. My debt is still overwhelming but I have a plan which will see me credit card debt free in three years.
My advice? Don't get a credit card. However, if it's too late, I strongly advise facing those hard truths.
I promise you will feel better.