The easiest, most obvious way to reduce Stress related to Debt is to pay off everything that you owe. As we continue to improve our finances, the mood around here has definitely improved. But what if you’re just starting your debt-payoff mission, and feeling the burden of all those outstanding balances?
Being in debt is one of the most stressful situations for anyone. While there are many things in life that can stress anyone out, financial situations and debt, in particular, can really take its toll on a person. Debt stress can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia, an increase in blood pressure and even substance abuse. These are common symptoms when you feel hopeless because there is very little or even nothing you can do about your financial situation. However, there are ways you can eliminate your debt stress that you should consider.
Face the Reality of the Situation
It’s important to first face the reality of the situation, no matter how upsetting it may be to you. The most common types of debt involve Credit cards. If yours is no different, stop avoiding opening your credit card bills and tackle them head-on. Take a good, long look at your statements and note how much interest you owe in addition to your purchases themselves. A good way to start when you want to get rid of your debt stress is to closely examine all of your bills and accept your situation. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can move forward and get help that can ensure you pay back your debt.
Recognize That Credit Creates a False Sense of Freedom
One of the biggest misconceptions many people have about credit is that it gives them a sense of freedom. After all, if you have a credit card, you don’t need to have cash on hand and can buy whatever you need. In reality, credit only gives you a false sense of freedom because you have to pay back whatever you spend. Additionally, you have to be wise when using credit and stay 30 percent or below your total credit utilization ratio. Becoming aware of the illusion of freedom credit gives you can help you to be wary going forward and can also help you to eliminate debt stress.
Stop Emotional Shopping
Emotional shopping occurs when a person is in a specific mood, whether depressed, angry or even hungry. Research conducted by Ebates has determined that 60 percent of women and 40 percent of men shopped to improve their mood. However, this is an issue that can really cause your debt to quickly add up. It’s a behavior that should be curbed immediately if you want to eliminate debt stress. Instead of going shopping when you feel a certain mood, take the time to talk to a family member or friend.
Choose a Debt-Elimination Method That Causes You Less Anxiety
Once you are ready to actually tackle your debt and pay is back, you should choose which debt-elimination method causes you less anxiety. Generally, there are two strategies for repayment:
- Snowball Method: With the snowball method, you make minimum payments toward your debts and pay the remainder toward the smallest balance.
- Debt Stacking (Avalanche Method): With debt stacking, also known as the avalanche method, you make minimum payments toward all debts and then pay the remainder toward the debt with the highest interest rate.
In general, debt stacking is usually the better option because it saves you more money in payments toward interest. However, it’s important to remember that it can take a long time to pay off debt.
It may be difficult to stay optimistic during your payoff journey, but remember that the financial freedom you earn is worth all of the effort. A huge weight will be lifted off your shoulders once you make that final payment. And don’t forget to give yourself credit for making small steps in the right direction along the way – you’re doing great!
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