Oh no, not me - not yet at least, although as you will find out if you read on, not me, ever (I shouldn't say never because I don't know what the future holds, however, right now and for the forseeable future it won't be happening).

This was the advice I was given by a couple of friends (fellow business owners) though when talking to them the other day about the predicament I find myself in right now. I was explaining about the dog and how I don't have any money (I am so far past my overdraft my bank are about to freeze my account) and I mentioned that the shop has been really quiet too (most people with small businesses I speak to appear to be in the same boat right now too, so I don't think it's necessarily anything I am doing wrong). All 3 of them said to me "Declare yourself bankrupt; you're young enough to start again with a clean sheet". Don't get me wrong, I'm not in the financial state I'm in because I was wild, reckless and stupid with money - I'm in it because I trusted the wrong people who conned, swindled and stole from me, so although it's not my fault (as such) it is totally my fault, that's why I was shocked when they all told me to do such a thing. I got myself into this mess, it should be down to me to try and get myself out of it (been trying 22 years now and still getting nowhere, but I honestly don't feel that bankruptcy is the "right" or even "fair" thing to do. 

Yes, it would get me out of the mess I'm in, it would mean the dog gets treated and is able to live out another 5/7 years in good health (as long as nothing else happens). It would mean I could finally sleep at night without worrying (I've not slept a full night in over 20 years worrying constantly about money, and now with the dog it's even worse - I'm currently averaging just 3 hours each night; no wonder I'm making silly mistakes at work and am not functioning on all cylinders).  Yes, it would mean at the end of the month I will have money left in my bank account (going bankrupt would not affect my job/shop apparently in any way) but for every person who goes bankrupt, someone else, somewhere has to pay out more of their own money to cover them. The companies and people I owe money to still need to be paid, they can't afford to write off the debt I owe them, so in order for them to get what they are owed, they will increase their charges to others and so the 'knock-on' effect continues.

It's laughable in a strange way though, because if I was the kind of person who was to chose the "easy way out" (sorry, but in my case that's what it would be; I know it is not the same for everyone else) I don't actually owe enough to declare bankruptcy anyway. My total personal debt is now just under £5000, I still owe £6000 on my car (but could sell it for that anyway which would cancel out that debt) and I will owe whatever the dog costs. To go bankrupt you have to owe over £20000 and have a car worth less than £1000. I can't even get that right! 😁

My Grandad joked last night that I was not to go and "bump-him-off" because should he die I would inherit enough to solve all of my money issues (and get myself a holiday out of it). Told him no matter how often he pisses me off (and believe me, there are some days I could beat him with a big stick) I'm not yet at the stage where I want to commit murder either (hence why I am doing all I can for my dog, because to put her down without her being ill would be murder). Also, if I was going to do such a thing to anyone, it would be to the piece of shit who started the whole ball rolling in the first place when he stole so much money from me. 

In short, I find myself once again, trying to see if I can find a different way to get myself out of this mess. It was hard enough before the dog; it's even harder now. As I said yesterday, if I thought I could sell myself for the money I'd probably give it some serious thought, but that is one idea which is totally off-the-table (unless of course he's handsome !!)