I Was Broke and Divorced at 38. Here’s How I Survived

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“God doesn’t burden a soul more than it could bear.”

The Hubba got one of the greatest trials and tribulations of his life when he was 38.

He was drowning in debt and facing financial issues. That led him selling off his beloved treasure, his car, just to pay for them.

To add fuel to the fire, he was also going through a nasty and bitter divorce at the time.

Here’s his story, and how he bounced back:

I never thought my life would take a twisted turn at the age of 38. My 12-year marriage came to an end. I couldn’t secure any clients at work, because I had to attend to personal matters at home. That meant no commission, which meant no income.

The bills were piling up, and the letters, text reminders, and calls from the banks and debt collectors were constant.

There were also school fees and children’s daily expenses to worry about. Not being a husband anymore doesn’t mean I stop being a father to them. I’ll always be their father, even though I can’t physically be with them.

After the divorce, I moved back into my parents’ house to save cost. Imagine being back at their house and having to sleep on the sofa at such an age!

But I had no choice, and luckily my parents understood my situation. “I’d fix this,” I promised them.

The divorce didn’t come cheap, as I had to pay for the alimony. The salt on the wound was that I had to pay for all the loans which the ex-wife took under my name too, or risk being declared bankrupt. Plus, there were also the credit cards and everyday costs to think of as well.

Knowing that my current job wouldn’t bring much to the table, I started to work odd jobs to make ends meet. I became a trainee for a gym, taking on personal classes for clients, doing extra shifts at work.

I’d give every single cent I earned to the kids and pay off the small amount of bills in which I could afford to at the time.

My meals were no longer a priority. I’d survive on just buns and coffees daily.

Still, they were all not enough.

Then, there was my 10-year old car. I had been contemplating on selling it. It was my most prized possession.

I spent a fortune upgrading and maintaining it, but it was time to let it go. The banks had already frozen my account and the companies that I owed payments to had started to harass me daily. Of course there was also the ex-wife drama to attend to.

I snapped. I just had enough about everything. I looked up for used car seller ads online, and immediately contacted them asking for a quote on my car.

I was at my wits end, determined to do and sacrifice everything I owned.

After sleepless nights, I took my car to the shop for inspection. They offered me a decent price, which I immediately took as I was desperate. Plus, the deal was much better than the ones I found in other places and online sites.

It was hard to let go of the car, but it was harder to survive if I didn’t let it go.

It was one of the lowest points of my life. I parted ways with my car and bought a small, cheap motorcycle to get around.

At almost 40 years old, my life was turned upside down because of debt and personal problems.

I should’ve managed my finances carefully and made better decisions, which included choosing a compatible and like-minded life partner.

I had no one to blame but myself (OK, occasionally I blamed the ex as well, especially during my bitter days).

I’m now re-building my life again, seeking help and assistance from the Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK).  Through its Debt Management Programme (DMP), they helped me regain control over my financial situations.

After going through counselling sessions with the financial counsellor, I enrolled into the DMP to sort out my debt repayments. We arranged for a monthly repayment by working with the financial institutions I owe payments to.

AKPK has been a tremendous help in getting me back on my track – I just couldn’t bear the thought of being declared bankrupt.

I’m still sorting out my life. I got remarried, this time to my life and death soulmate. There is still a lot to deal with, especially with all the ex’s demands and and managing my time with my children and new family.

Plus, thank goodness that my current wife is taking care and managing our finances. She saw through me and understood how dire my situation was. I’m aware that I already owe a lot to many people, but I owe my life the most to her.

I’ve made great mistakes before, and I’m learning not to repeat them again. If anything, this has made me more determined to improve my life and my family for the better, and nothing motivates me more than to see I could come home to happy faces.

To anyone out there in the same boat as me, knowing where and when to seek help and assistance can do wonders to ease your burdens. One can’t sit still wondering and wallowing about their problems – everyone’s got a battle they must fight.

Get off your ass, and well, work your ass off!

For more articles on debt and spending wisely, read Indebted to Student Loans – Malaysians Share Their Story, and The Day I Decided to Get Married (Beautifully) Under RM9,000.

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Nazmie Nureen
This once-a-sceptic-of-marriage Saggitarian finally got hitched and recently became a mom. She still craves on adventures all around the world, and now she has a few kindred spirits to share them with. She runs. And dreams. A lot.
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