How to Deal with Debt Stress and Anxiety
Debt can be stressful. It can keep you up at night, leave you afraid of answering the phone or opening the door, make it tough to eat, cause you to stop socializing with friends, make it difficult to focus at work, and much more. Debt can be overwhelming and the more debt you have, the more stressed out and hopeless you may feel. Being worried about your finances and your future can have a very negative affect on your life. Here are some tips for how to cope if you feel overwhelmed by debt.
Stop Adding on More Debt
If you’re overwhelmed by debt, you’ll need to make sure that you’re not making your problem worse every month. This means that you’ll need to stop using your credit cards and start living on cash. Otherwise, every month you could potentially be adding on new debt and making your overall debt problem worse.
To live on cash, you’ll have to have a firm budget and you’ll need to stick with it. This can be difficult to do at first, but it’s necessary. Track your spending, keep an eye on your bank balance, and make sure you don’t run out of money before you get paid again.
Understand your Situation
If you have a lot of debt, it can be difficult to sit down and look at the real numbers. A lot of people avoid looking at their bills and statements because it stresses them out. That’s understandable. However, if you don’t know how much you owe, when you have to pay it, and who you have to pay it to, you’ll never be able to come up with a solution.
Take some time when are feeling positive and motivated and make a list of your debts, including information on the creditors you owe money to, the amount of each debt, the interest rates you are expected to pay, the monthly payment amounts, your bill due dates, and all other important information. This will give you a strong picture of your debt. You can then use this information to come up with a plan.
Come Up with a Plan
One reason that debt can feel so overwhelming is that it seems like a problem with no solution. If you have a large amount of debt, it’s easy to feel like the situation is hopeless and that there’s no end. While this can make you feel like there’s no point in trying, the only way to truly make yourself feel better is to come up with a plan to resolve your debt issues. As long as you continue to have debt, you’ll continue to feel stressed.
Sit down and look at all of your statements, determine how much you need to pay each month and when each bill is due. You’ll then need to come up with a plan for paying off as much as you can.
Look at your budget and see if you can fit the required payments into your monthly plan. If not, you’ll need to make cuts. If you’ve reduced your spending as much as possible, and you’re still not able to pay off your bills as they become due, you’ll either need to earn more money or find a way to owe less.
Taking on a side job, asking your work for overtime hours, or selling off some items you no longer need can help you earn a bit more money, and this could make managing your debt easier.
Speaking to your creditors might help you reduce your monthly payments, depending on how much you owe, your credit history, and your relationship with your creditors. If you call your creditors and let them know that you’re struggling to make payments, they may reduce the amount of interest you’re expected to pay or give you more time to pay down your debts (which will lower the monthly payments). This is because most creditors would rather get something than have you default on the loan. However, know that creditors are under no obligation to negotiate with you.
Get Support and Help
Debt can be tough to deal with on your own. Having supportive friends and family can help keep your spirits up, keep you feeling motivated, and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by debt.
If you are struggling with debt and you’ve been unable to come up with a plan to pay off what you owe, you may wish to consider speaking with a financial professional. For instance, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee can review your situation and provide you with details on the solutions available to you. This can help you resolve your debt and reduce your stress and anxiety.