With many of life stressors, like a divorce or a death in the family, you can mentally recover given time. However, debt is dangerous in that the stress it produces can be ongoing. “Debt is just bad in general for our health: the amount we worry about it, but also the feeling we have that we can do nothing about it,” says Kelly McGonigal, a Stanford University health psychologist quoted by Reader’s Digest. So, how can you manage debt less stressfully?
Do a budget to get a better idea of your outgoings
When you are trying to manage that debt, it can be helpful to see how well you are faring financially just by glancing by a budget. This budget should detail both what you are spending and what is coming in. Naturally, you don’t want the former to outweigh the latter; so, if it is, you need to think of ways that you could trim your monetary obligations. You could find this much easier than instead just looking for new ways of making money.
Assess whether you are in a “debt crisis”
MoneySavingExpert.com cites two different categories of problematic debt situations: one is a “debt crisis”, the other is simply having “worrying or large debts”. However, your approach to tackling the debt can depend on which of these situations you are in. One strong indication of being in a debt crisis is if you are having difficulty paying all of your basic outgoings, e.g. rent, mortgage, and energy bills. Another strong indication is if your non-mortgage debts exceed a year’s income after tax.
Don’t worry that you won’t be able to recover from debt
If you have decided that you are indeed in a debt crisis, there remain sources of comfort. For example, you mustn’t think that your plight is hopeless; you could be surprised by how far people have gotten into debt before still recovering. Furthermore, the simple fact that you are reading this article is a good sign in itself. It shows that you are willing to act to solve the problem; you aren’t simply closing your eyes to reality, as many debt-ridden people unwisely do.
Keep active with addressing the debt and maintaining other pursuits
If you have money worries, the NHS website advises that you stick to a typical daily routine – though, of course, you should drop bad habits that might have saw you amassing debt in the first place. As well as endeavouring to pay the bills and keeping your CV updated in preparation for getting a job that could help you pay off the debt, you should continue seeing friends. If you have enough time, you could engage in physical exercise, too, as this can boost your mood.
You might find that a local company can expertly help you reduce that debt. For example, if you live in or near Guildford, the Surrey-based firm Partridge Muir & Warren offers financial planning services – including one-off consultations and ongoing review services – which you could utilise.