Feeling stressed by the amount of debts you have? Three
years ago Michelle was struggling on a nurse's salary. She
had run up huge debts with a number of court
judgments against her name. She longed to travel - a dream
that she kept telling herself was impossible. It was clear
to Michelle that she couldn't continue to run up debt, yet
on payday she would rush out and buy new clothes to cheer
Becoming more and more stressed about her debts meant that
she frequently slept badly and was not fresh for work, which
resulted in time off sick. She was unable to work any
overtime because she was always too tired. She kept asking
herself, Why is it so difficult for me to save instead of
spending all my money? The same answer came back every
time: Because you spend more money than you are earning!
When Michelle was finally ready to listen to the answers
from her own conversations, she acknowledged that she needed
to stay away
from shops so that she physically couldn't spend her money.
She knew that, by continuing to shop, she would sabotage her
dream of financial security and travelling abroad.
Michelle had warning signs almost every day in the shape of
bills and credit card statements. She began to dread the
post arriving. Finally, she gave in to the situation and
called me. As you know, she said, I bought a new car a
few months ago, which I hardly use now. The bank has just
bounced my payment this month and I can't see how I'll be
able to make the payment within the next seven days.
She had not realised how much debt she had incurred. Short
of winning the lottery, she accepted that she couldn't
change her level of debt immediately. Michelle didn't
deliberately put STOP signs in her life to prevent her dream
happening. She simply hadn't stopped to think about the
consequences that her spending would have on her dream to
Even though you may know what really matters to you, you may
put all sorts of barriers in place, which firmly STOP you
from achieving what you really want to do. Have you longed
to make changes, to find that you have been stopped just as
you got started, or even beforehand?
In facing her financial situation honestly, Michelle could
see how long it would take her to be debt-free. For the
first time in her life, she took time to look at her
outgoings as well as her income.
Michelle accepted that she had let things slide too far, and
she was determined to avoid bankruptcy. She changed her
spending habits and decided what was important in her life
(no debt and all the stress associated with it; being able
to travel). Three years on, she is working in Australia,
with an apartment by the beach, having paid off all her
debts. Now, most of her days are stress free.
If you find you are in debt, don't bury your head in the
debt does not go away. It is important to deal with the
problem before it escalates
out of control.
Speak to a friend, family member or a professional advisor
and then act
on sorting out the debt. Prioritise repayments on
essential services such as mortgages and utility bills.
If you are paying off a range of credit cards pay off those
with the highest rate of
About The Author:
Carolyn Matheson is Author of "Yes to Less Stress"
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