Overcoming debt-related stress can be in itself stressful. If you’ve experienced loss of appetite, mood changes, insomnia, unexplained weight loss, etc., you need to be careful.
Millions of people around the world struggle to cope with debt stress. However, there are various techniques you can adapt to fight this stress and overcome it.
How to identify debt-related stress
Stress stemming from money worry should not be taken lightly. Most people are not even aware of the fact that they are stressed until they have a mental breakdown or become physically ill. There are, thankfully, many symptoms that can help you identify whether you’re undergoing debt stress. We’ve listed them down below.
Emotions are the biggest signs of stress. Keep an eye out for the following emotions:
- Anger: You may have just lost your job or something bad may have unexpectedly happened, leading to loss of finances. While anger is normal, it could lead to other complications such as bitterness which can spiral very quickly.
- Depression: Depression can hit you really hard when you are worried about money. If you find yourself withdrawing from people and always feeling lonely, those could be signs of depression.
- Denial: Some people have a way of coping with negativity. They pretend that it doesn’t exist. You may tend to do the same with debt, hoping that it will somehow magically go away.
- Guilt: Guilt can run you into the ground if you’re not careful. You may constantly feel ashamed of the fact that your debt is accumulating. The biggest signs of this could be you withdrawing from money related conversations and not asking for help from experts.
Spending too much
At times, you may repeat the same behavior that got you into debt in the first place. This could stem from denial. Accept that you really are spending too much. Get into the mindset first that you have debt-related stress. Here are some essential tips on how to get rid of debt to live a stress-free life.
Unhealthy physical changes
You may find yourself suddenly losing weight in an unhealthy manner. You may also tend to overeat, withdraw from your social circles, etc.
If you have any of the above symptoms and are worried about your debt, don’t be too hard on yourself. The following suggestions may help you overcome stress and eliminate your debt:
Realign your vision
This has to do with your focus. Stress stems from an unwanted focus on negative aspects. Try taking your mind off your present situation and what led you here. And try to focus instead on how you can go about repaying your debt at the earliest. A healthy mind will help you realign your thoughts and channel your energy in the right direction.
Share your experiences
Never be alone in your journey. Try identifying a person or people with whom you can relate. When it comes to money, it is important that you share your problems with someone who can listen and offer you the right advice.
This could be a family member or a good friend. Or you could even approach a professional such as a financial coach. Talking about your debt issues can help reduce stress tremendously. Apart from this, professional help can also teach you how set budgets, pay off debts, and improve your credit.
Set a budget
A very important thing to do is to budget your income. One of the most popular methods is the 50/30/20 framework. 50% of your after-tax income should be set aside for your needs. This includes basic survival requirements such as food, clothing, rent, utilities, and basic transport.
Allocate 30% for your wants but keep this to a minimum. The balance of 20% should be set aside for savings and debt repayment. To pay off debt, reduce your wants to a minimum and use as much as possible to repay.
Decide which debts to pay off first
This involves listing down all your debts and paying them off on a priority basis. For this, your deciding factor must be the interest rate. Pay off the ones with the highest interest rate first. This can save you a lot of money.
Increase your total income
Look for additional sources of income. If you are currently unemployed, focus on finding a good job. Having more than one paycheck even if it is not a big amount can go a long way in helping you get back on your feet.
Reduce your expenses
Look for ways to cut down your expenses and save money. If you think you’re paying too much rent, look for cheaper options. Get a cheaper gym membership or internet service. Reduce food bills such as dining out often. Your priority must be to get rid of debt.
Money-related worry can lead to stress which can be harmful to you both mentally and physically. If debt-related stress has you in its grasp, the above suggestions may help you in overcoming it and manage your life better.