Stress has been linked to many ailments such as heart disease and diabetes. One of the biggest causes of stress is having money problems and this is largely due to people having acquired so much debt.
Using credit to finance your needs is nothing but a band aid solution. Left unchecked, debt can open up bigger wounds that can bleed you of your hard earned wealth. Eventually, the stress of paying a mountain of bills will drain you of your health.
If you want to live a longer and happier life, be stress-free by getting out of debt.
Here are 3 simple tips on how to have a debt-free life:
- Acknowledge That You Have A Financial Problem
The first step to finding a solution is to acknowledge that you have a problem. If you don’t, then you will merely continue on the same course.
Ignoring your financial problem will potentially jeopardize your future. If you are married with family, being mired in debt will affect their futures as well.
Money problems affect relationships. Forget your wedding vows – with debt you will part! Your physical and financial health will only get worse the longer you stay in debt.
Yes, it is very stressful but you have to face the problem head-on. Create a list of all your creditors. Itemize what you owe and find out the total amount of debt that you are in.
At the start, the number will be shocking and intimidating. However, knowing what you are up against will give you clarity on your next steps.
- Devise A Debt Management Strategy
Knowing how much you owe will be the light at the end of the tunnel. You will feel better emotionally and mentally because there is peace and clarity.
You can now move to the next step which is to design a plan of attack to get rid of your debt problem!
Here are 2 easy steps on how to go about it:
- Prioritize Your Debts – List them in order of importance and figure out which ones should be cleared first.
- Create a Monthly Budget – Always keep track of your expenses. Make sure you can pay off the important items first and still have some savings at the end of every month. From there, you will know how much to pay off each creditor.
If you are not sure of your approach, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Do you have a friend who is also an accountant? He/she can help you get find ways to keep your finances in check.
- Introduce Lifestyle Changes
Having a credit card gives you a false sense of financial security. With that generous credit limit and payment period, you think you can have anything you want. Before you know it, you’re trapped in debt quicksand.
Some people justify excessive shopping as a stress-reliever. The thing is, there are other ways to relieve stress. Not only will these ways keep you from getting into debt problems, but they will keep you healthy, fit, and happy.
- Exercise – Doctors have long said that exercise is the best way to relieve stress. Physical activity will release mood enhancing hormones called endorphins that make you feel good and happy.
And you don’t have to enrol in a gym. Play ball or run in the park. Walk along a mountain trail. Skip rope in your own home or run up a flight of stairs.
- Eat at Home/Brown Bag Your Lunch – Fast-food is a convenient way to get your meals in. However, they are not healthy. The same can be said for some fine dining restaurants.
Eating out will not only expand your waistlines, it will blow up your monthly budget. It is healthier – and cheaper – to prepare your meals at home.
Getting out of debt is not as hard as it seems. All you have to do is take that first step. Remember, you work for a living – not for your creditors!
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