Debt is a lot. Even if it’s a little bit of credit card debt, one can very easily sacrifice their peacefulness worrying about how to pay off what’s owed.
Debt happens to the best of us. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy or are stupid with money. Shame doesn’t benefit anyone in this case. Simply learn from it. Look at your debt. Analyze the behaviour that got you there. Understand it. Ensure that it stops and that once you’re out of debt, you don’t repeat patterns.
For the sake of your mental health, learn how to not let debt stress you out:
One of the best ways on how to not let debt stress you out is to accept it. Accept the debt for what it is. Look at it. Know that it’s there. Acknowledge it. Don’t run away from it. It’s not going anywhere and will have to be addressed sooner or later so address it now. The average household owes $144,000. Debt is normal. Fortunately, so is paying it off.
Know There’s a Problem
The next step is to acknowledge you’re stressed. Maybe you know it. Maybe you don’t. Stress causes a wide array of health problems. It doesn’t feel good. It hurts you. You might take it out on others. There’s a lot that goes wrong with debt stress. Don’t let it be your reality.
Track Your Finances
Every statement you receive, open it. Create a budget. Track your finances. Keep track of the small payday loans that you owe. You’ll feel better knowing what’s going on and you’ll be better informed to make decisions. When you don’t see what’s going on, you can feel shame, guilt, remorse, and out of control. Gain control with knowledge.
You Aren’t Alone
To reduce debt stress, remind yourself that you aren’t alone. The average millionaire faces 3 major financial catastrophes in their lifetime. Think about that for a moment. We all run into expenses that seem to come out of nowhere and we all have behaviours that can be self-destructive around our finances. All we can do is improve. Focus on the improvements.
Join a Support Group
Debt stress can be the result of isolation and shame. De-isolate yourself. Join a support group. Social media sites like Facebook have some. Public forums like Reddit have debt and financial planning groups. If ‘going public’ with your debt repayment plan is too much, start writing in a journal. This is a private way to get your feelings out on paper and release some of that stress.
Do the Work
This goes without saying but the best way to eliminate debt stress is to pay off the debt. Plan. Do the work. Even if what you’re paying off is pennies, you’re going to put yourself in a better position at the end of the month than you will be at the beginning.
It Takes Time to Remove Debt
You don’t get out of debt in a day. It’s not a day’s work. For some, it takes them literally years to fully eliminate debt. It takes time. It takes a lot of sustained effort. Tolerate that you’re going to be in debt for some time.
Don’t Hide Your Debt
You don’t have to be posting about it every day on social media but don’t hide your debt. Consider speaking with a financial advisor or a financial services planner. You may find one at your bank, a local credit union, or even a non-profit. This can be sort of like going to therapy for finances, and is where you can discuss how you manage your money and what to improve.
Talk to Your Bank
Make a phone call to your bank. Inquire about a debt consolidation loan. This is a single loan covering your debts, likely to leave you with a better interest rate and allowing you to rebuild credit much quicker. You may be denied. There may be nothing to offer. That said, make the phone call. Let you bank know that you’re serious about paying down these debts and ask for options.
Talk to Your Creditors
To the parties you owe money, talk to them. See if they’re willing to adjust the interest rate or provide a settlement of some kind. You’d be surprised at how willing some creditors may be to work with you to ensure they receive payment in full.
Debt stress can be similar to other stress. Practice mindfulness to ground yourself. A few minutes every day of mindfulness is enough to root yourself, get rid of negative thoughts, and center thoughts in the positive as opposed to the negative.
Celebrate Debt Progress
As you get closer and closer towards paying off that debt, take pride in progress. Debt has to be de-stigmatized. If you’re going to hold yourself accountable for getting into debt and having it, apply the same logic to paying it off. Support yourself with the positives.
Take a Day Off
This may sound counterintuitive but the process of stress causes burnout. It’s too much to take every day. You need to take a day off. Once a week. A full day. Put the stress away. Let it go. Do something fun, get out of the house, and indulge in what makes you happy.