If you are dealing with stress and anxiety caused by consumer debt, then you know how heavy the burden can be. It can make your heart race, and your hands shake. Maybe you just want to close your eyes and not think about it. But when you open your eyes again, the debt is still there, but bigger every day, like some ravenous alien beast.
Get some expert advice to tackle the problem. There are plenty of inspiring books out there, to help you develop a plan, and give you encouragement that you can do this. Financial writers like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman come to mind, if you don’t know where to start.
Beyond following the nuts and bolts money advice, you also need to take some simple steps to help you hold it together while you get your financial house in order.
Forgive Yourself. It’s tempting to beat yourself up when you look at your credit card bills. Yes, you are the person who got yourself into debt. But you are also the sane, responsible, grown-up person who is going to get you out.
We all make choices we wish we had not made. If you can learn from them, then they have their own value. Debt is an expensive mistake, but an easy one to make. Don’t create more stress by blaming yourself.
Center yourself and be calm. Dealing with the stress of unpaid bills can rattle the most courageous of us. Using meditation to stay calm will help you keep your confidence up. Debt payments are definitely a one step at a time kind of challenge. So approach the challenge like a journey to financial health. Just stay focused and on the right road, and you will eventually reach your goal.
Applaud yourself for every small step you take. Every time you make a payment that is above the minimum, you are shaving a little off the interest charges you pay. And it is the interest that keeps balances high. Before long, you will see those charges start to shrink. In the meantime, give yourself a rousing cheer. Be proud that you are making such a positive change.
Reconsider new purchases in light of what they really cost you. Great, there’s a big sale. 20% off. You don’t really need it, but hey, it’s on sale. You’re saving money, right? Wrong. Even if your credit card interest isn’t higher than the discount, you still have to pay off old purchases first. So interest on this new thing will just go on, and on, and on.
Imagine how wonderful it will feel to be free of debt. Picture it, feel it, immerse yourself in the idea of more financial freedom. Life will immediately feel more abundant, because you get to keep more of what you earn. Also imagine your family less stressed. Imagine having fun together, and sharing a more carefree life.
Be prepared to celebrate your victory. Know in advance that you will win over the debt beast, and congratulate yourself.