How To Reduce Your Debt (And The Stress That Goes With It)

There are good reasons and bad reasons why Americans have gone into debt to a degree that staggers the imagination. Let’s take a quick survey of the good reasons first. Education and health care — two of the most important parts of our lives — have reached the point where loans and/or extended payment plans are necessary for almost every household. In addition to the excessive cost of school expenses and out-of-pocket medical expenses, an extremely challenging economy and weak job market make it all the more difficult to avoid sinking deeper and deeper into debt.

If this were not enough, we sometimes become our worst enemy when it comes to spending — bringing us to the not-so-good reasons why Americans find themselves up to their necks in debt. Behaviors such as binge shopping, gambling, trying to “keep up with the Joneses,” and shuffling multiple credit cards can plunge people into massive debt before they know it. Plus, because bad habits are hard to change, once people realize they have a debt problem, changing the behaviors that caused the problem is much, much easier said than done.

If you are struggling to get out of debt — or still trying to figure out how you got there — the accompanying resource is an extremely valuable item to review. You may be shocked to see the size of the debt problem we have in the U.S. That said, you’ll find help in understanding why overspending occurs, and what you can do to stop racking up debt and get back to a less stressful, happier life. 

There’s no question that debt can be overwhelming — not just financially, but also emotionally and psychologically. It’s just not easy to relax and enjoy life when in the back of your mind you’re constantly worried about the next phone call from a creditor or how you’re going to pay $1,000 of next month’s bills with only $250 in the checking account. Unfortunately for some people, all this stress is the trigger that makes them want to shop. 

Though the resource will not magically solve your debt problems and bring your checkbook and life back into balance, it is an excellent starting place. The good news is, simply deciding now is the time to get out of debt is probably the biggest step you’ll have to take. Learning how to manage finances, creating a budget, devising a payment plan with a large creditor, are skills anyone can learn. Further, there are debt counselors and debt recovery firms that can assist you and accelerate your learning curve. 

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Brian Farrell is a coach, helping clients achieve their personal and professional goals. He's also the creator of the "QA2 Method". For more about Brian, visit bfarrell.com