Paying off your personal debts with the intensity of a wild boar; cutting down expenses, making sacrifices, racing to ramp up income and avoiding things you enjoy doing with friends and family just to save a buck can really take a toll on one’s psychology.
Face it, it’s really easy to get into debt, and seemingly impossible to get out of it. Cutting down your personal operating budget to meagre levels while working longer hours while trying to save for your retirement or a rainy day isn’t impossible; it’s simply ill advised.
Living on such a strict budget while putting your head down for longer periods of time can work for some, don’t get me wrong –but when you get into a place where you’re working long hours and living a lower quality of life; bad spending habits might actually surface as a coping mechanism.
Living skint for two long can open the door to shopping binges, or become a source of stress large enough to trigger other negative feelings or behaviours. It can also put unnecessary stress on a family and strain relationships.
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
In order to keep your chin up and ensure that you don’t bowl yourself over in an attempt to break free from the chains of debt –manage your debt in a balanced, measured way. Having a clear plan instead of sporadically chipping away at your debt like a game of Brick Breaker can provide deep psychological benefits like reducing stress or anxiety, while allowing you to also put aside part of your income for emergencies, savings, retirement, or a vacation. Being in debt does not mean you have to be sequestered to the rock bottom of the 99%.
How to Strategically Crush Your Debt in 2 Easy Steps
A ‘time-lapse strategy’ is your best front line of defence for mitigating debt without plummeting your quality of life into the dredges. Let’s take a look at a smart, long-term solution to dismantling personal debt.
1. Re-evaluate your current budget
Sometimes it’s too difficult to see the forest for the trees. When one is in “survival mode” frantically paying off debts and cutting corners, we often do not see that we are only making matters worse.
Choosing to be skint may cover debts a little quicker, but it may also mean having less buying power –which leads to paying premiums, as smaller quantities come at relatively higher costs per unit. Other times people will put off making a payment, only to be penalized further with interest or late fees. It doesn’t help anyone if you’re cutting corners with your finances.
Speak to a debt consolidation professional and work out a debt agreement that you’re able to live with. Spreading out your debt into manageable pieces will give you time to breathe, while working away at your debt.
2. Plan a vacation
I know this might sound irresponsible on first blush, but I mean it; take a vacation. Don’t take it right away mind you –but give yourself (and your family) something to look forward to: a prize, so to speak, or a milestone.
When everyone is working hard to reduce spending, having a light at the end of the tunnel seems like a real great way to keep spirits up.