Mental attitude is key

Most of us probably have, or will fall into debt. Unfortunately, we live in a country in which it is difficult to earn a solid life without the help of your family or friends. I am mainly talking about financial support here. Sure - debts can be avoided, but I don't think it likely, considering my experience and the nature of Poles. What is important in incurring debts is the mentality of the person. Most people give in to resignation at the first sight of trouble. Sometimes people get into severe depression. This is precisely the potential result of lack of money! I myself have been in a situation where, with my earnings of 2000 PLN per month, I would be left with 1.50 PLN for each day in my pocket. A young girl, nearing a nervous breakdown, without means of subsistence. That's why I can now say with confidence - the mental attitude is the main thing!!! I will describe here my attempts of solving the problem in cases when your debt does not amount to tens or hundreds of thousands of zlotys.

My situation, with my 2000 PLN monthly salary (I lived alone, but my bills were pretty high, since I have a large flat and had 6 thousand PLN of debt on my back, which had to be repaid ASAP) was as follows: I calculated that, with the 2000 PLN, and bills amounting to 1665 PLN, I am left with 300 PLN for my basic necessities...Unimaginable, huh? Especially when you consider a woman has her specific needs in terms of decent appearance, however modest. So, I grabbed a piece of paper, did the math, started summing up different expenses, and finally reached conclusions! My job is 30 minutes of walk away... Well, sport is health, and it's not like busses and trams have always existed, so I thought I won't be buying the monthly ticket since the next month (that alone gives me 420 PLN a month). What next... do I need TV? After all, you can give it up for a few months. Fine, I'll give it up! (Considering that I need the web, but it costs only half of the subscription, I got additional savings of 60 PLN, already totaling 480 PLN). Unfortunately, the rest wasn't quite possible to reduce. Remember: BILLS ARE THERE TO BE PAID! P.S. I could have reduced my phone subscription, but the nature of my job does not really allow me to do it.

When you have done the necessary calculations, start dealing with your own mind (i.e. implementing a recovery plan: think positively, you can do it!). The bills will be paid every month.  That's a light in the tunnel already. I will be left with 480 PLN a month, so survival is possible! Now, there we have it! I'm talking about a single; obviously, when you have a family, the situation is quite different, but you also get different income. So, the bottom line is: living alone, I am FULLY ABLE TO SURVIVE ON A 10 ZLOTY FOOD A DAY!!! After all, our life is at stake here. Start with giving up all the unnecessary products that you do not have to consume, such as crisps, sweets, some marketing bollocks that only empty your wallets... Remember that you only have 10 PLN a day (I will later say what you can do with the rest of the money).Shop only in discount stores. These are great places! Buy their products, keeping in mind that they are manufactured by the same corporations as elsewhere, so they are not a food for the paupers. Perhaps the package is a little uglier, but it's not the package that you feed on, after all! And stop complaining about the discount store being a little further than the "shop nearby"! Move your four letters and do something about it! The debt will not pay itself!

HERE IS A MENU that is an example. Everyone must be able to arrange it to make the food you eat cheap, tasty and pleasant. It is a bit of tough work, because you need to wander from one store to another, investigating different prices. You have to know yourself well, and be sure that you won't come up with a brilliant idea of eating something different than you have already bought - NO!

Breakfast ~ 2 pln

  •  roll - 60 grosz
  •  2 slices of sandwich cheese from a cheap discount store - 55 grosz
  •  few slices of tomato - 30 grosz
  •  tea with lemon and sugar - 50 grosz

Dinner  ~4 pln

  •  pies from a discount, e.g. Russian type - package contains as much as 400 grams - even a fatty will be fed to the point of hardly moving. This was my case, at least.
  •  steam-cooked vegetables are fine too; potatoes, or a slice of mortadella and cucumber can be added (this should not total more than 4 PLN)

Dessert ~ 1,5 pln

  • sweet roll - 1,5 PLN
  • cottage cheese
  • banana, apple

Supper ~ 2,5 pln

  •  thick slice of ham - 1 PLN
  •  tomato - 50 grosz
  •  cucumber - 50 grosz
  •  2 slices of bread - 30 grosz

This menu is not bad. It's probably not particularly healthy too; it's not like it's going to be recommended by dietitians and doctors, but it is modest and only temporary, so you can survive. It is important that you consume fruit, vegetables and some cottage at least once a day. These are not expensive products.From your 2 thousand zloty salary you can pay the bills. You are warm, you are clean and you have something to eat - it is modest, indeed, but you are alive! Besides, it is common for Poles to live beyond their capabilities. A rich life isn't the top of human priorities, after all. You are left with 180 PLN, allowing you to increase the installment from 400 to 500 PLN, until you need to buy some shoes, jacket or clothes. After all, you can't walk around naked. That way, by increasing the repayment rate, you decrease the debt and your sufferings by as much as 3 months!!!It is important never to give up. Moments of resignation will likely come. You will feel poor, think about what your friends or colleagues have that you can't afford. They can go to the movies, and you can't - but think about why it happened. Wasn't it your own stupidity that lead to it? Perhaps this is the moment when you learn to live with modesty and dignity! If you believe in what I say, you will feel wiser and have higher self-esteem - like I am feeling after the experience. Now, that my 6 thousand zloty debt is gone, I feel it left me with a wealth of knowledge about myself and the world.I live differently now. There were times when I would throw away my own money, as well as the money of my parents. Now I am able to successfully and persistently save up for things like renovating my kitchen - which the renovation, after all, is also quite an expense, requiring you to give up certain pleasures. At the end I want to give you several advices that I have used until this moment. Some may see them as funny, but they really work, allowing me to go to a cinema with my husband, or buy the pretty kitchen table I saw recently.


  •  if you can't afford butter or margarine, then simply don't buy it - too much fat is never good, and a good butter is quite expensive
  •  make single-pot meals more often - that way you can have food for several days and freeze it (you save both gas and time)
  •  freeze your bread! Funny? No! Divide bread into portions and de-freeze it as required (several slices de-freeze in about an hour)
  •  wash in a basin and rinse in a basin, if you don't have a washing machine
  •  try to schedule your meals so that nothing is wasted - you can always make a great meal from leftovers
  •  do not withdraw an excessive amount of money from ATM; get precisely as much as you need at the given day, and save the rest on a savings account

When you repay all your debts eventually, make a commitment to put a certain amount of money aside - this can be 10% of our salary, for instance. This allows you to be sure that you are never completely broke, and don't have to go through hell again. Best wishes to all the ambitious debtors. Keep your heads up! I did it, and so can you.

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