If you think that's an overstatement, ask yourself the following questions:
If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of the above questions then your life is being negatively affected and managing debt is a priority.
It’s not very difficult to run up considerable debt without a second thought nowadays. Consumerism and over spending in the instant gratification culture we live in entices us to buy now, pay later… and boy do we pay!
Personal and household debt has become so common nowadays that we sometimes don’t realize what a trap it is. When we use credit cards or personal loans to pay for things, it distances us from the act of spending actual money. There’s a feeling of it being OK because we’ll deal with it ‘later’ when we think we’ll have more money.
Being a free spirit means that the temptation is huge. Using your credit card to jet off on a spontaneous trip to walk with Orang Utans, or fly overseas to attend your friend's 50th (40th or 80th... whatever) on a whim (something I did - such fun!!)
But the truth is, if you can’t buy it without credit, you can’t really afford it.
It costs you so much to be in debt, some of which you may not immediately realize. The monetary cost is easy to understand – you pay more for your purchase by paying interest on the original price, and the ‘easier’ the repayment terms, the more you pay.
But what about the physical and psychological costs? Studies have shown that high levels of debt can cause depression, stress and low self esteem just for starters. This often leads to physical health issues as well. So it’s REALLY important that you deal with this, no matter how difficult it may seem.
But don’t despair! Even if you’ve been struggling with debt for a while, it is possible to get your debt under control and get your life back.
The first step to managing debt is acknowledging your part in this situation…
There’s a popular belief nowadays that the credit card and loan companies (read ‘banks’) have taken us for a ride, they’re greedy and are preying on our desire to have more stuff.
The reality is, this mindset does not serve you in any way and is not going to help the situation.
Think about it – before you were given the credit card or loan you agreed that you would pay back the money you borrowed. You also knew that you would be charged interest each month on the outstanding amount.
There is nothing to be gained from blaming others – even if they did use clever marketing to ‘get’ you to apply for the card… Playing the blame game doesn’t empower you and only turns you into a victim.
The upside is that paying off debt is psychologically SO much easier when you actually take responsibility for it. Realizing and accepting your part in the situation will not only help you get through this, but also stop you running up more debt without seriously thinking about what you’re doing.
So, now we’ve cleared that up – here’s what you do next….
Breaking free from the burden of worry and stress brought on by debt will create the peace of mind you've been missing for so long. And the good news is - you don’t have to wait until the debt is clear in order to feel the relief, just setting up a manageable debt repayment plan will set your mind at rest and allow you to focus on other things.
Managing debt will absolutely set you free to get on with your life with the peace of mind that your debt is soon to be a thing of the past, so don’t put it off any longer.