It was revealed last week that young women are more likely to fall into personal insolvency than young men of the same age. The figures, which were quite alarming if you're a woman, showed that nearly eight out of 10,000 young women became insolvent last year, compared to just four men in 10,000.
So why is there such a big difference between the genders? From my own experience, I know that the week before payday is quite a struggle. I've paid my rent, bills, travel expenses and bought enough food so that I don't go hungry. I've enjoyed some nights out and bought a few rounds of drinks, but most men my age will have the same financial outgoings during the month as I do.
It seems like the one thing that's tipping women into insolvency over men, is that a lot of women are trying to lead a celebrity lifestyle on a non-celebrity income. With the rise of celebrities documenting their every move on social networking sites like Instagram and Twitter, fans can get instant access to what their favourite stars are up to. They can see what clothes they're wearing, what restaurants they're eating at, and how to get that famous celebrity look. While it might seem easy to try and replicate their lives, it seems that in doing so people are living completely outside of their means.
While I've never really tried to completely copy the life that someone like Taylor Swift has, I do like to buy clothes that I see certain singers and actresses wearing. I'm not talking about expensive shoes and designer dresses, but even picking up a few items at Topshop is enough to make me go into my overdraft at the end of the month. When Kate Middleton gave her first interview after announcing her engagement back in 2010, her dress sold out instantly. This wasn't the first time it had happened either. The Kate Middleton effect has also led to some store websites crashing when she's seen to be wearing a brand new outfit for the first time, as people eagerly rush to buy something before they've probably had time to even check their bank account. And with it unlikely to be a problem that slows down anytime soon, what options are out there for young women who are struggling?
For those living north of the border and struggling with debt, there are many companies who offer debt advice in Scotland. These debt management companies will take you through a small fact find to see if you qualify for a Trust Deed to help you write off the debt you can't afford. The scheme, which is becoming more and more popular in Scotland at the moment, will assign you an insolvency practitioner who will deal with the creditors on your behalf. It's also their job to help figure out how much you can afford to pay back each month, and they'll be there every step of the way until your debt is cleared.
From my own experience, I know that it can be difficult to get on top of your debt and stop spending money at the same time. Sometimes it can only take a new pair of shoes in a shop window to stop you paying back that £100 you said you would. At least with a Trust Deed you are assigned a practitioner to help you, enabling you to completely clear your debt within 48 months. So maybe next time you want to buy that new bag you saw Beyoncé with last week, you'll stop and consider the long term effect of that purchase. Do you really need that bag, or would you rather start on the road to becoming debt free before you find yourself with even less money in the bank?