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Is Your Debt Stressing You Out?

A recent survey from the Canadian Payroll Association found that 48 percent of Canadians are living paycheque-to-paycheque and 36 percent feel overwhelmed by their debt. These feelings can cause anxiety, stress and even depression and other illnesses. People who have a large amount of debt often feel stress. Struggling to find a way to pay bills, remembering to make all of your payments on time and trying to come up with a strategy to save money wherever you can will certainly put a strain on your life. Money is one of the leading sources of stress for people.

Things become even more stressful when you are dealing with creditors and responding to calls from collection agencies. These situations can increase your stress and cause you to lose sleep at night.

Debt can overwhelm and control your life. When you have a high level of debt, it often seems like you are unable to think about anything other than your debt. Your financial worries will often come to mind at random points throughout the day. You’re unable to do anything other than stress about your debt. Unfortunately, this affects your sleep.

You might find yourself staying up late at night crunching numbers, trying to figure out how to make ends meet. You may wake up in the middle of the night, worried about how you’re going to keep supporting yourself and your family without spiralling deeper into debt. This lack of sleep is bad for your health. People who do not get enough sleep regularly suffer from a variety of issues ranging from weight gain and depression to forgetfulness and even an increased risk of death.

So what can you do if debt is causing you to lose sleep?

One of the first things you can do is take steps to understand your debt and recognize that it is a problem. For most people, debt doesn’t come on suddenly. Instead, it builds up over time. You might not even realize that your line of thinking has gone from “Remember to pay the credit card bill on Friday” to “How am I going to pay the credit card bill by Friday?”

This is why it’s important to sit down regularly and review your financial situation in order to fully understand where your stress is coming from. Taking a good look at your situation will help you recognize where you stand financially and allow you to figure out if debt is a problem.

One of the next steps is to talk about your situation to someone you trust. In many couples, for example, one person stresses out about debt but doesn’t want to tell their partner the truth about the situation and their worries. Being open with your partner can help you share the burden of your debt and reduce your stress.

The next step is to take action to reduce or eliminate your debt. You might feel as though there are no options available to you, but for the vast majority of people this isn’t true. There are things that you can do to get out of debt and people who can help you become debt free.

Dealing with your Debt

If you have high levels of debt that are causing you stress, speaking with a financial professional is a good idea. One person who specializes in providing assistance to those who are having debt troubles is a licensed insolvency trustee. While the name makes it sound like a trustee is someone you only go to when you want to file bankruptcy, this is not the case. While trustees are licensed to administer bankruptcy processes, this is not their only role.

Most trustees offer a free initial consultation where they will review your financial situation and provide you with information on the options available to you that could help you reduce or eliminate your debt. Trustees receive several years of training and are bound by a strict code of ethics. This means that they have the duty and the knowledge needed to provide you with information on all possible options, including those that they do not provide themselves. Meeting with a trustee will ensure that you have the information you need to make an informed choice to deal with your debt and improve your financial future.

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