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9 Things You Should Never Do When Facing Debt Problems

Pay Debt written on a Post-It note

Everyone has financial difficulties and obstacles at some time in their lives, and the stress and concern may be overwhelming. However, knowing that there is nearly always an escape route might make you feel less melancholy. You may be able to find your way out on your own, or you may want the assistance of another person to help you discover a solution.

Here, we’ll look at some of the most frequent financial blunders that often lead to severe financial difficulties, as well as the best strategies to avoid them. Even if you’re already struggling financially, avoiding these blunders might be the key for you to getting yourself out of debt.

Common financial mistakes that lead you to debt

1. You don’t have an emergency fund

When you don’t have any money spare, you’re compelled to use pricey methods of financing your life. This includes accumulating high-interest credit card debt from credit card companies, obtaining a cash advance, or getting instant cash online such as personal loans and payday loans. Many of these financing choices will also be restricted based on your credit score. Your credit score influences how much credit you are granted and the interest rate you are charged. If you have a low score, you may not be able to acquire the best prices.

An emergency fund enables you to survive until you find your next job. Nobody wants to think about becoming ill or being involved in a major accident, but recovering from illness and injury necessitates medical expenses. You are forced to spend money that would normally cover your living expenses if you do not have an emergency.

2. Excessive spending

Large fortunes are frequently lost one dollar at a time. It may not seem like much when you order that double-mocha cappuccino, eat out, or watch a pay-per-view movie, but every little thing adds up.

3. You only live on money borrowed

Credit card purchases of necessities have become somewhat common. However, even if a rising number of people are ready to pay higher interest rates on a variety of products and services that are gone long before the bill is paid in full, it is not prudent financial advice. Credit card interest rates significantly increase the cost of the items charged. In some cases, using credit means you’ll spend more than you earn.

4. You don’t have a budget

One typical financial blunder is failing to create a financial plan or budget.

Your financial plan is your road map to achieving your financial objectives. It is all about setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals and developing an investment and savings strategy to get there. A meeting with a financial planner is frequently suggested for a good start. Your budget is how you distribute your monthly payments. A solid budget ensures that you are meeting your necessities and living within your means, and allocating cash to your goals, debt relief, and future investments.

5. Overusing your credit cards

Accumulating credit card debt is one of the most typical financial traps. A credit card might help you develop your credit history, but a large credit limit can encourage you to live above your means. Many consumers are unaware that the minimum payment usually simply covers the interest. While many people have debt from college loans or vehicle loans, piling credit card debt on top of other debt generates great financial stress.

If you have large credit card bills, consider taking out a personal loan or a credit card with a low balance transfer interest rate. Then, for normal expenses, look for a card with a decent rewards program and a moderate interest rate.

6. You don’t monitor your credit report

Even if you’re careful with your credit, it’s critical to monitor your credit reports regularly to confirm that you’re genuinely accountable for everything on them. Identity theft is a rising sort of crime, and it’s also conceivable that a creditor or credit agency made a mistake that harmed your credit.

Every year, you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. You may challenge any inaccurate items, and the credit bureau will investigate each one.

9 Things to do while coping with debt

Below are some of the things that you can do while coping with debt.

1. Accept and face your problem

If your debt is causing you to worry, the first step toward finding a solution is to face your financial issues straight on. It’s certainly easier to bury your head in the sand and pretend everything is fine, but ignoring your mounting financial troubles will only lead to more unpleasant circumstances.

Be truthful with yourself about how much you owe and to whom. This honesty applies not just to yourself, but also to your relationship, family, and those closest to you. If you are dishonest with your partner and family about your spending habits and present financial condition, it may strain your relationship, adding to your stress.

2. Make a plan to pay off debt

You’ll be in a better position to establish a debt-reduction strategy if you know how much you owe and to whom. Making a strategy to get out of debt can relieve you of the mental and emotional weight while also providing you with the hope and drive you to need to become financially free. With a plan in place, you’ll experience enormous comfort knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that you’re taking the essential measures to get there.

3. Make changes to spending habits

There is always room in your budget to eliminate unnecessary spending habits. This may be only going to your favorite restaurant once a month or limiting your internet purchasing. The more you eliminate wants and spend just on necessities, the better your money will be

4. Manage your auto loans and home loans

Debts can be unsecured or secured. Secured debt is guaranteed by an asset, such as your car. As a result, if you don’t make payments, your car or house may be repossessed or foreclosed. Unsecured debts that are not frequently attached to any specific asset.

If you can’t make payments on your vehicle or house, don’t sit back and do nothing; instead, consider selling the car or calling your lender as soon as possible. It is not always assured, but creditors may be willing to work with you until your financial condition improves. Alternatively, if this isn’t an option, attempt to

5. Take care of yourself

When faced with worry or anxiety, our instinct is to put our own needs on hold while we concentrate all of our time and energy on solving our issues. Although working for a solution is important in reducing debt stress, we must also not overlook our health.

When you’re in a terrible financial situation, find time to relax, enjoy yourself, and do anything you can to distract yourself from the troubles dragging you down. If you’re on a tight budget, it may be impossible to start a new activity or go on a weekend getaway, but there are plenty of options you may enjoy.

6. Get help from credit counseling services

Calling an accredited, non-profit credit counseling organization is the best thing you can do for yourself and your finances if you have money troubles and have been dealing with financial stress for some time. A credit counselor will examine your finances, assist you in creating a budget, and give you a list of solutions to help you get your finances back on track, all at no cost to you.

7. Take pride in the progress

Making debt-reduction efforts with loved ones can also assist in de-stigmatize your position. Not only will this make you feel more supported and accountable, but it may also motivate others to share their debt payback adventures with you. Reducing our sense of isolation or personal humiliation might help us battle debt stress and stay on track.

8. Debt Consolidation

Combines several debts, usually high-interest obligations like credit card bills, into a single payment. If you can acquire a reduced interest rate, debt consolidation may be a viable option for you. This will assist you in reducing your overall debt and reorganizing it so that you can pay it off faster. Debt consolidation is a viable option if you have a reasonable amount of debt and just want to arrange various bills with varied interest rates, payments, and due dates.

9. Count your blessings

While facing financial difficulties, it is critical to recognize your blessings to remain grounded and cheerful. There are other resources in life than money, such as joy and significance. It also aids in balancing debt payments with other responsibilities, such as self-care. 

How to avoid getting into debt in the future

Here are some ways you can avoid debt in the future.

  • Don’t buy a credit card you can’t afford. Living under the idea that you can purchase things you actually cannot afford is one of the most harmful aspects of using a credit card. One fair rule of thumb is that if you can’t pay for anything with cash, you can’t afford it with a credit card.
  • Pay off your credit card balance. Paying your credit card amount as you go is the easiest method to keep your spending under control. So, if you use your credit card to collect points, make your payment the next day before life gets in the way.
  • Have an emergency fund. Emergency funds are important for “just-in-case” scenarios. When attempting to construct an emergency savings plan, it is best to have at least six months of your pay saved up. This will be something to pay your expenditures if you lose your job, are injured and unable to work, or require money for an unexpected but important necessity.
  • Make a budget. You can better track where your money is going and where you can afford to spend it if you budget your monthly spending. Every month, decide how much you want to save and how much you want to spend on needs. So, if you ever need to make a significant decrease in your spending, you will know exactly what to reduce.
  • Do not use your credit card for cash advances. If you have to use your credit card to get cash, it’s a sign that you’re mismanaging your money. Not only is the APR larger than on conventional transactions, but you will almost certainly be charged a fee as well.
  • Keep track of your expenses. Keep track of your expenses on a spreadsheet that you can update monthly. If you have many accounts and cards, you can guarantee that you make complete payments on all of them on time.
  • Collect coupons to save cash. When it comes to your budget, groceries are a “must-have” item. By using coupons to reduce the amount of money you have to spend on those necessities, you will be able to save money. Saving the additional cash will help you develop a greater buffer against debt.
  • Limit the cards you have. Multiple credit cards imply many payments as well as multiple instances of tacked-on interest. This is a set-up for the future necessity for debt consolidation if you are unable to manage your credit cards appropriately. The more charges you have on each card, the easier it is to lose track of your spending and payments.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that nobody is immune to financial difficulties. A bit of terrible luck or a poor debt management plan might happen to anyone. The key is to act and, when required, seek assistance. You’ll be able to handle your financial issues with the correct help and maybe improve your financial status in the future.

Author’s Bio: Marjorie Hajim is the SEO Manager for Friendly Finance. Friendly Finance is a leading loan matching service in Australia specializing in consumer finance. She loves growing businesses with a focus on their online presence and is passionate about organic growth and all things digital. Click here to sign up with Friendly Finance.

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