Is February your heartfelt reminder of love? Or, is it perhaps a mere indication of the absence thereof? Whatever your situation, if you take an investigative look at your ‘financial love life’ and you come to the conclusion that you are stuck with major debt obligations, you are indeed in a ‘relationship with debt’. And, this type of relationship can cause love-hate emotions to arise during your ‘financial love journey’.
Yes, being in debt is like being in love. Debt can in many cases give you that warm fuzzy feeling at first when you spend, spend, spend. But, it may eventually leave you with emotions of massive regret and perhaps even hate.
You need to be aware of certain things that can lead to love-hate feelings towards debt. Here are some practical ideas – how you can avoid these emotions, and to rather be done with your ‘relationship with debt’ for good:
1. IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION
You can surely experience ‘love’ when being a little impulsive with your cash, for example, when having an unplanned shopping spree. Oh, but it feels so good, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the repercussions of that feeling can soon change for the worst. Take note: imprudent behaviour has nasty consequences – debt catches up with you.
PLAN OF ACTION #1
Frequently remind yourself of your bigger ‘financial picture’. When you have your financial goals in mind, you’ll become fully aware of your current fiscal situation before impulsively buying stuff just for the sake of buying.
2. CRISIS CONTROL
Think about your credit card usage for a minute. Have you ever taken care of a ‘crisis’ and used your credit card? For example – your car broke down? Is this not a so-called ‘crisis’ that could have been prevented if you serviced your car regularly beforehand? Remember: You might at first feel quite chuffed with your ‘crisis’ management skills, but it is unfortunately short-lived when you need to pay back those expensive instalment amounts.
PLAN OF ACTION #2
3. LIVING EXPENSES AND CREDIT
You are surely going a dangerous route if you are buying groceries or fuel on credit. It is not worth it in the end, even if it feels ‘okay’ and acceptable at first.
PLAN OF ACTION #3
Yes, the current economy is tough for you and other consumers. But, stick to your own mini-economy and improve your daily/weekly/monthly financial planning. In short – include and make room for basic living costs in your monthly budget to avoid going in the red.
4. LOVING BEYOND YOUR MEANS
Going to financial extremes for family and friends or making extra debt for the sake of others is not a sustainable process. Your new debt-filled situation can cause conflict and frustration within yourself and towards those you really care about. If you cannot juggle your own bills and payments, why make emotional choices to add to your financial burden?
PLAN OF ACTION #4
It is important to lead by example and showing your friends or family members that each and every one is responsible for their own mini-economy. Use practical illustrations and show them how they can start a savings fund, set up a basic budget or generate some extra income for themselves with their own skills and available resources.
5. A CLUELESS STATE OF BEING
If you are not aware of what is going on in your ‘financial relationship’ (a feeling like being in love), you can certainly not know what the bigger impact of your debt is. As soon as your emotions turn to uneasy and gut-wrenching anxiety, what then?
PLAN OF ACTION #5
In worst-case scenarios, when debt has eventually shown its true colours, you can take a look at debt counselling as a solution out of debt. This is a process that can protect your assets, is regulated by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and is in line with your consumer rights.
Be sure to fix your love-hate financial mess and try to implement these above tips to end your ‘relationship with debt’ for good.
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