The burden of financial debt can result in stressful and overwhelming emotions. When you’re living in that ecosphere it can be difficult to see the impact it is having on your life or conceive the right thoughts and plans on how to manage through some tough financial times. It often affect more than your finances, it can affect your relationships and your health.
But there is hope, no need to despair! There are a few things you can do to cope with this season. I like to say season, because it cannot last forever IF you take action, and seasons do change. Imagine that if you are driving through a rain storm, you may pull over temporary depending how bad the storm is or you may drive through the storm until it’s behind you, (I’ve done that a few times). You never stop in the middle of the storm and just sit there.
Take stock of your particular financial situation and what is causing you to stress… WRITE IT DOWN. After you’ve made a list of everything, make a second list prioritizing; rent/mortgage should be at the top of your list, food and utilities
Consider where you can reduce expenses, cable, dry cleaning, interest rate on a credit card, eating out. The planning process may cause you to feel anxious, but that is only short-term. Putting it down on paper will reduce your stress level and you will feel so much better after you’ve done it.
If you are not making a decision to create a plan it will only prolong your stress. This can lead to unhealthy choices like smoking, drinking and emotional eating. Instead, increase positive activities like meditating, walking or running to help you to feel better. Never be afraid to reach out for professional help, consider reaching out to a mental health counselor, financial counselor or a friend that you know you can trust.
- Reach out to your credit card companies, mortgage company and/or bank for payment plans, reduce payments or request deferments.
- Have dinner at home with your family more often, make it fun, it will surely bring you closer together.
- Consider what skills you already have that you can use to create income. Take a course through your employer or your local community learning center that can lead to a better job.
- Think outside the box and try new ways of managing your life that is not costly. Sometimes you may have to make a small investment that will enable you to earn additional income long term.
- Then commit to a specific plan and review it regularly. Make a conscious decision to change your spending habits and take responsibility for your financial future. Always remember that tough times can create opportunities for you to learn and grow.
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