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Debt is stressful and pervasively chronic.
It never seems to go away despite your best efforts to clear it by making regular monthly payments.
It is a major stressor that just doesn’t go away but you can still live healthy under debt. Today's contributed post will help us learn how to reduce debt stress once and for all.
All it takes is to know how to manage your debt by ensuring that it doesn’t run out of control, depending on how much you actually owe.
A small debt can easily be managed by keeping up with your payments while a large debt will need a more concerted effort combined with outside help from debt consolidators and credit counseling agencies.
Here are 8 tips to help you live a healthy stress-free life while struggling under the emotional effects of debt.
Start by making a list of everything you owe, your creditors, how much you are expected to pay per month, and the due date for each debt.
Your goal here is to understand how much you owe and how much you can afford to pay each month. You’ll then be able to see the bigger picture of your debt situation and avoid excessive stress. When you create a practical debt payment plan, you can pay it back with peace of mind.
One of the things that make debt a major stressor is late payments.
When you don’t make your monthly payments on time or miss a payment, you are charged a penalty, which makes the debt even harder to clear. Miss two consecutive payments and your interest charges coupled with other charges will increase and give you sleepless nights.
If you have problems keeping up with due dates, set an alert system on your smartphone to remind you a few days before the due date. Send payments as early as possible to avoid late payments.
Create a bill payment calendar that tells you which bills to pay using which paychecks. Remember to include the next due date for each debt in the calendar as well as the date for each paycheck that you get.
You can use the same calendar for each month if you get paid on a monthly basis but if your paychecks come on different days each month then you’ll need to create a different bill payment calendar for each month.
Avoid debt stress by at least making the minimum payment each month if you can’t manage to pay more.
Minimum payments may not be quite helpful in clearing your debts but they keep your debt from blowing up and maintain your account in good standing.
You’ll find it harder to catch up if you miss payments or even risk sending your account into default.
Make sure to pay all your debts but give priority to debts with high-interest rates.
For example, credit card debts have higher interest rates than most debts so pay them first because they may cost you more if paid late.
Create a debt list and prioritize the order you should pay them based on the interest rate charged.
You may not have access to savings while under debt but if an emergency issue crops up, you can always turn to urgent funding sources such as online payday loans or your small emergency reserve fund.
There’s a psychological term known as “violation response” which basically means the tendency to shop more for yourself so you can feel better about your debt situation. It’s a “what the hell” attitude that makes you spend more to feel better when you are overwhelmed by debt.
Don’t let your remorse feed your stress and lead you to more debt. Be disciplined in your expenses and avoid shopping with money you don’t have.
When your debt situation feels like it has run out of hand and you’re probably finding it hard to keep up with your monthly payments while taking care of other bills, this is a good time to seek for help.
Look for a reputable credit counseling agency, a debt consolidation firm, or a debt settlement agency to help you out. The debt experts can even negotiate with your creditors for easier payment terms.
Remember, debt doesn’t have to make your life a living hell if you take full control of your finances.
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