7 Practical Ways to Balance the Emotional Effects of Debt
The impact of a financial debt goes far beyond your wallet. Your debt can carry an emotional burden that can weigh just as heavily on your psyche.
What if the debt will take a long time to pay off? Will you ever be debt-free again? How will this debt impact your financial future? Do you earn enough money to make your payments?
It’s no wonder that debt can have a tremendous emotional impact on you.
That’s why you need to know how to balance those emotional effects so that you can deal with your debt objectively and rationally.
Consider some practical tips.
1. Acknowledge the Problem You’re Facing
First, it’s helpful to simply acknowledge to yourself that this your reality for the foreseeable future. You have this debt and you’ll have to deal with it.
Ignoring your debt by sweeping it under the rug and pretending it doesn’t exist won’t work. That’s because reality will come back to haunt you in the form of liens, garnishments, foreclosure, etc.
It may be hard to do so, however acknowledging that you have this debt is important for balancing its emotional effects.
2. Create a Plan for Handling Your Debt
Next, develop a plan for dealing with your debt. For example, when you have a debt, such as a student loan, it comes with a repayment schedule detailing how much you are required to pay each month. Make a budget and consider how you are going to repay the debt.
If you are stuck, ask for help from a financial advisor. Having a well-thought-out plan can really relieve the anxiety and stress associated with debt.
3. Recognize the Emotions You’re Feeling
As with many issues in life that are difficult, it’s common for people to push down any negative feelings that arise.
Many make the mistake of putting on a facade to others—and themselves—that everything is okay. Yet, that would only be a self-deception. Eventually, those emotions will come out anyways. And they wind up not only affecting your life but also your relationship with others.
That’s why it’s important to recognize the emotions that you are experiencing.
4. Avoid Blaming Yourself
There are many reasons why someone acquires debt. Sometimes it’s out of necessity, such as to attend school, buy a car, or a home. Other times it’s from racking up credit card debt or similar expenses.
It can be easy to blame and get down on yourself for making decisions that hurt you financially. However, this won’t solve the problem in the long-term. Rather, it is important to acknowledge the role you played.
And most of all, learn from those decisions so you can make better choices in the future.
5. Celebrate Milestones and Victories
Sometimes it takes years to pay off a debt. When you reach a milestone, celebrate the accomplishment.
For example, doing something nice for yourself when you have paid off half the debt. Or celebrating when you finally reach the day you make your last payment.
Of course, don’t do this by spending more money. Think of something you will appreciate that is low-cost—or even better, free!
6. Stay on Top of Your Debt
Make sure you are managing the progress of your debt. Naturally, you don’t have to check the amount you owe daily. That certainly doesn’t help with managing the emotional effects, such as anxiety.
Yet, checking in monthly is a good idea. This is because it will help you feel more in control of your debt and staying on top of the process.
7. Pay It Off Early
The sure-fire way for managing the emotions connected to debt is to be rid of it.
So, if you can, make early payments on your debt if the lender allows and you are financially able to do so. That requires you to study your budget and decide where you can spend less to pay what you owe down more quickly.
Unsurprisingly, debt is typically going to cause stress. However, if you can manage your emotions surrounding your debt, you’ll find you can better handle the situation—financially and emotionally.
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