Today's post has been written by Brian from Debt Therapy Scotland.
Living life in debt can be worrying and stressful, especially if you’re already living pay check to pay check each month. Debt can have a very limiting impact on your life and it can play havoc with your finances. It can affect you in so many ways from stopping you from simply buying a coffee on the way to work to making you lose sleep at night.
But just because you have debt, it doesn’t mean that you should accept that you’ll have a miserable life to look forward to whilst you try to get things sorted out. You could instead embrace life during that time. This post explains how you can do that, starting with the most important thing you need to do above all else.
Don’t hide from your debt
When unpaid bills start piling up, it’s completely normal to feel like running away and trying to hide what’s happening to you. Debt can be really scary, there’s no doubt about it. But like with most fears, the fear of debt lies in not knowing exactly what you’re dealing with, rather than the debt itself.
You must confront your debt and find out exactly what you owe and to whom, so that you can begin the process of getting back in control of your finances again. With control, comes peace, it’s as simple as that. It is possible to feel at ease about your debt, even if your debt is high, as long as you understand your financial commitments.
Try to be positive
It might sound cliché but this is true – if you see things negatively, you can expect negative things to happen. On the other hand if you try to be positive, you’ll see opportunities that will propel you along to help you succeed in paying off your debt.
Believe it or not, there are some positives that come from being in debt. You will gradually change your view of money and find that you can make it work for you instead of against you. Part of being positive about your debt is to surround yourself with people who can relate to what you’re going through and will support you.
What you definitely don’t need however, is to be around people who are constantly showing off their latest gadgets so that you end up feeling tempted to spend money (or worse, buy things on credit). So look for a support network, there are plenty of others trying to eliminate debt that are doing their best to enjoy life in other ways.
Don’t put life on hold
Speaking of enjoying life in other ways, you don’t need to become a hermit and stop speaking to people just because you have debt. If you have a lot of debt, you may need to accept that it will take you a long time to pay it off. But instead of feeling down or fed up about what life has in store for you, be proactive and start getting out and enjoying life.
Don’t cut yourself off and lose touch with your friends and family. It might be easier in the long run to explain to them what’s going on and how you need to tackle your debt. You can still meet up with people and have fun, despite your debt!
Enjoy nights in, rather than nights out. Being social is about personal interaction, not spending money. Days out at the beach, visiting art galleries or museums, going for a picnic or having a movie night with friends are all relatively cheap things to do.
You don’t need to spend money to enjoy life
Once you’re on the road to tackling your debt, you will start to feel happier emotionally. Just knowing that you’re making progress can really alleviate stress and worry. Don’t let your debt put your life on hold. Learning to live with your debt and make the most of your life without spending money on things that you probably don’t need is something that can and should be done.
Many people choose to live frugally even if they don’t have debt. There is a certain amount of satisfaction that comes from making the most of what you’ve already got and hunting around for the very best deals. Try it and see!