How I’m Managing my Debt AND my Depression

It’s about controlling the ‘controllables’

Sarah Kat
5 min readMay 30


Confident-looking woman outside in nature
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

I used to be a full time freelance writer and marketing manager — then the pandemic chomped up my already struggling business. I’d spent 5 years building up from scratch with new clients, only to feel it slip through my fingers.

But I wasn’t accepting of reality at first. I hung on, I chased late invoices and put my living expenses on credit cards, trying to save the life I’d worked so hard to build.

To make a long story short, I finally pivoted and am now happily employed in healthcare while working my side-hustles. I’m coping, and my mental health is managed reasonably well.

Unfortunately, I do have a lot of debt to pay off. In this cost of living crisis, my healthcare salary barely keeps the wolves from my door. So I’m working it like a young Michael J. Fox in an eighties movie about climbing the ladder to success — some of you might be old enough to remember this one!

There are 4 really key differences that I’ve integrated since going into a debt management plan, taking an employed job (plus side-hustling) and living on a tight budget. This is what’s working for me now.


We hear about streamlining and stripping back. But what about making one expense serve multiple purposes, in a less is more kind of way? For me, it’s my fitness, which is also my sanity!

I used to pay full travel fares by getting the tube into the city everyday to go to work. Then after work, I’d get the tube home, and then go work out in my gym, another expense.

By turning my commute into my workout, I’ve improved my fitness AND saved so much money.

I cycle, or occasionally run to work, 4 days per week. I allow myself one mid week tube day as a rest day, just so I don’t over do it and blow a hamstring.

I spend maybe £4 per month on replacing the odd inner tube when I get a puncture. But apart from that and the odd service, I’m saving a fortune by getting the tube only once per week, and not paying a gym membership.

I’ve got some weights at home that I use on my days off. I even found a perfectly good weights…



Sarah Kat

Self help, neuropsychology, small business and marketing. An Elective Orphan and abuse survivor.

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