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Mr Chaudry left his traditional office job in 2018 in favour of freelancing, launching an entrepreneurial career in house painting. He shared his journey to financial freedom in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk along with some vital tips to help others shed their debt.
The West London resident, like many, first went into debt during university and fell into a vicious cycle of payday loans.
“The cycle before that, for about seven years, was I had six or seven payday loans revolving every month to pay off the other payday loans,” hge explained.
“It was a very deep cycle I got myself in. I had to do something quite drastic and waiting for the company to give me a pay rise or a random bonus [was] not going to happen.
“All the expenses were crazy. So long story short, whatever my salary was after taxes, my general bills were at least half, and then with food, at the end of the day I had about £200 to pay off my credit cards which were all maxed out. Then I had no money left so I’d use my credit card and it was just a constant cycle.
“My normal salary wouldn’t cut it, [it was only] as soon as I started earning a little more on the side did I start to get ahead.”
Mr Chaudry initially started freelancing in the evenings and weekends on Airtasker UK while still working his corporate sales job to test whether the industry was a fit for him. It also enabled him to supplement his income in the lead-up to the arrival of his first child.
After three months, he came home early one day to inform his wife that he had quit, and planned to go full-time into painting.
“I quit in December of 2018 but from about August I had started doing part-time work in the evenings on top of my job just to try it out. People were already referring me.
“I wasn’t a professional painter, I wasn’t trained. It was either to do this or have something really amazing happen at work, which we’re always waiting for but never really comes around. So I had to take action.
“My reputation went up, my portfolio went bigger, reviews were better and I worked off that. First year, year and a half I got my jobs because my reviews were so good.
“I wasn’t comfortable anyway,” he added.
Mr Chaudry shared some of his top tips on how ordinary people can clear all of their debt just like he did: “It’s all about cashflow.”
Mr Chaudry commented that earning good money alone at one day job is not enough to completely clear one’s debt.
“You have to try to earn more money but at the same time reduce your expenses. Switch off subscriptions you don’t need, I quit gym.
“There’s so many things you can cut out it’s unbelievable: food, don’t have takeaways, or just cut out meat! Meat is so expensive, cutting it out lifts your bill so much. Also don’t treat yourself too much. You don’t need the cakes and soft drinks.”
He continued: “Switch your shopping. I used to go to Tesco and I switched to Aldi which have fantastic food and I save 40 percent on my shopping list every month.
“Don’t go to Costco, bulk buying is great but when you walk into Costco you’re walking out with stuff you really don’t need,” he claimed.
Once expenses are under control, Mr Chaudry suggested people look for secondary income streams to supplement their wealth.
“Your next major step is working something extra to earn extra money. There’s always ways to earn extra money but if you can’t then work within your means – whatever your means are.
“Then get off social media. It was the best thing I ever did, for the first few weeks it was hard but once you get off it, it frees up your mind to think about your life.”
Mr Chaudry also noted that learning and developing one’s knowledge about finances, through books or podcasts, is incredibly helpful: “I’ve realised how bad my mentality was all these years. Always thinking I want to be rich. But it’s more about managing wealth and increasing your wealth generationally.
“I think any person who is even considered successful doesn’t declare themselves as having any self-anxiety or fear,” he concluded.
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