As the Christmas period comes to an end and the New Year begins many people suddenly find themselves faced with the Credit card bill from hell! It seemed so easy to “spend, spend, spend” when out buying all the wonderful presents for your loved ones. Nowadays we are bombarded on every side by advertising for yet another Credit Card and it can be so easy to sign the pre-filled application forms that come through our letter boxes!
It seems at times as if the whole world is getting ever deeper into debt and the statistics make frightening reading don’t they. However, In all the technical discussion you hear about credit card debt, the best ways to manage it; how to pay it off and all the rest there seems to be one thing which goes largely ignored. Namely, how to cope with the stress that Credit Card Debt can cause!
Credit card debt can be extremely stressful, and it can have an extremely negative effect on your life, if you allow it to. We have all read in the press how people can become addicted to shopping. Alongside that Credit Card usage and the consequent debt can become as bad as an addiction, always hanging over you, bringing you down, making it hard to life your life the way you want to. In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can recognise debt stress, and what you can do about it. Did you notice the key phrase I used about how it can have a negative effect “if you allow it to” and that is something that we need to recognise straight away. If it has a negative effect it is because we allow it to.
There are many symptoms which are caused by stress. These can include: headaches, not being able to sleep, feeling depressed and irritable, being forgetful and being unable to concentrate on what you are doing. If are uncertain whether your symptoms are related to stress or to something else, then you should go and see a doctor.
Almost without exception everyone who has mounting debts becomes stressed about them. Debt said to be responsible for millions of days of lost work every year and is one of the leading causes of suicide. Often when we read about someone who has felt driven to commit suicide, their name is followed by “who owed [a very large amount] in debts”.
In today’s world there is no escaping the fact that the average adult in the western world owes many thousands in debts. When you think that the average person owes thousands then it follows that there are many people who must owe much more. It’s an old saying and one that my Grandmother was very fond of! There’s always someone worse off than you. It is certainly true and in effect means that you are not alone in how you are feeling if you find yourself with what you perceive as a mountain of debt.
So how should you deal with the stress caused by debts?
Stress caused by debts is often considered to be embarrassing, or shameful to some extent almost more so than the debts themselves. People with lots of debts don’t want to talk about it, even with their family, for fear of upsetting people or being perceived to be a failure.
However, the truth is that it is very important that you do talk about your problems Keeping it all inside you will make you feel much, much more stressed. It is especially important that you talk to your partner. As much as you may want to protect them from your problems they are the number one person who can support you. Experience has shown that partners are more devastated by having the truth withheld from them than by being told the extent of the problem.
The best thing to do then is to find two people: one of them who can advise you, and one who can be a counsellor. That means a professional who knows what they’re doing in financial matters, as well as a psychologist or psychiatrist, or some other kind of counsellor. Don’t let stigmas put you off because this is about your health and your sanity.
The next thing to do is to think about how you got that debt to begin with. See if you can find old credit card statements. What did you spend the money on? What do you not need? You need to sit down, work out a budget, cut unnecessary expenses and try to free up as much money as you can to pay back debts. Even if it’ll be a long time before you get everything paid off, knowing that your debt is gradually going downwards can be an excellent cure for debt stress.