Does your pile of debt fill you with dread?
Perhaps checking your credit card balance elevates your heart rate, or worrying about your finances gives you an anxious feeling.
The emotional and physical effects of debt are real. Financial stress can cause depression, anxiety, and other serious issues. Especially now, as Canadians feel the effects of Covid-19 closures and cancellations.
A 2019 Statistics Canada survey indicates that nearly 75 per cent of Canadians have some type of outstanding debt. Another report says Canadian households owed an average of $1.71 for every dollar of disposable income in 2020.
It is clear that debt is affecting the wellbeing of Canadians. It’s also clear that many Canadians (nearly three quarters) have some type of debt. So what's next?
Unfortunately, the solution is not getting rid of debt entirely—it can take years to pay off loans and lines of credit.
Instead, it’s important to learn to cope with debt anxiety. There are resources and tools available for managing your mindset and your finances.
In this article, we’ll outline a few ways to deal with the stress of debt. By the end, you should have the information you need to combat its effects and develop a plan to tackle your debt.
Let’s get started.
Living with debt
You can think of your debt as a roommate you just don’t get along with. He’s messy, he’s rude, and he stays up really late making nachos while you’re trying to sleep.
But guess what? The two of you have to find a way to live together.
Just as you would with an annoying roommate, there are steps you can take to deal with unpleasant feelings around debt.
Confront the situation
Sometimes debt anxiety stems from an overactive imagination. It can be scary to face the reality of your amounted debts when you know that number is big, but avoiding your financial statements entirely can make the situation feel even heavier than it actually is.
It’s important to confront your debts in order to begin to work your way out of them. This means looking at account balances, outstanding fees and credit card statements. It might seem shocking at first, but you’ll quickly realize your financial reality is not as dire as you might have convinced yourself it was. And if it is, at least you know exactly what you’re up against.
Develop a plan
Once you know what you are dealing with re: debt, you can develop a plan and set goals to begin tackling it. Goal setting is a proven practice to dramatically decrease stress and bring clarity in every area of life, and your finances are no different.
Write out your financial plan step by step. Seeing the plan laid out and focusing on tangible, micro-steps should help calm your nerves and switch your mindset to seeing your financial woes as a fixable problem.
Ask for help
This is two fold. Don’t be afraid to seek emotional support in the form of a friend, family member, or a professional such as a therapist. They can offer an outside perspective of your situation, which is usually much clearer than your own.
It’s also important to seek professional advice when you’re feeling anxious or unsure about your financial situation. Working with the right financial advisor can offer practical expertise and guidance in managing your debt. There are plenty of tools and resources they will suggest to make the process easier.
Vexxit will match you with financial advisors whose profiles align with your specific needs, making sure you find the perfect professional fit and receive the help you need. The best part? It’s free.