All The Things You Learn When You’re in Debt
Unfortunately, we are not all smart with money. We make bad decisions, we are stubborn and naive when finances are in question. So, we end up in debt and have to learn some of the greatest lessons the hard way.
Most of us are in debt for the biggest part of our lives. The amount doesn’t have to be big at first, but as we all know, it quickly gets bigger and bigger, until it’s very difficult if not impossible to handle. And then you learn these lessons. Luckily for you, you don’t have to get in over your head – we will pass them on.
Here are the most important lessons about living with little money and being deep in the red.
Getting in debt is really easy
When you are young, it seems like a smart and grown up thing to apply for a credit card. You set a small limit, you spend it, you pay it back – simple, right? Well, no. After a few months, the bank will up your limit, and you will spend more, and you won’t be able to pay it all back. And the next month will be the same. In time, you will spend more, and want more, and apply for more credit cards, and a loan, and you will owe more than you can make… and it all seemed so easy in the beginning.
If you hide, it won’t go away
When you’re in debt, the phone starts ringing and the letters start coming. If you don’t answer, they will start calling your landline. If you move, they will find you. In the end, they can take you to court, and that will cost you a lot more. The longer you avoid facing your debt, the more you will have to pay in the end.
It’s no one else’s fault
The easiest way for you to feel better is to tell yourself that it’s the bank’s fault for lending you the money. But it’s not their fault. If you are in a debt, you are there because you didn’t handle money well, and you tried to live the life you want and not the one you earned.
Don’t keep quiet
We know it’s embarrassing to get yourself in such a problem, but you need to own it up and look for help. No one will look down upon you, but they might help. Be honest with yourself, your family and close friends. You may also reach out to debt charities – they can give you a valuable advice on how to handle things, and they are free.
Sacrifices have to be made
You can’t continue living the same luxurious life, and you can’t spend money on every little desire. Cut everything that is not necessary. No more dining out, no more outgoings… Basically, you can spend money only on rent, tax, bills, and food. When you start doing that, you will be able to start paying the money back to the bank and get out of the red.
You should start an emergency fund
Ok, you canceled all of your credit cards, and you are living solely on your income. But, what if something brakes down? What if you lose your job? How would you live? Put aside a certain amount of money each month so you can handle emergencies without falling back into debt.
Find a positive side to this big negative
Being in debt can ruin you. It can dent your relationships with your family, kids, spouse… It will stop you from eating properly, you will be depressed. Still, you can turn it around. People you spent time with only in restaurants, or in theaters will get to know the real you, without distractions. You can give your time to your kids instead of replacing yourself with toys. You can connect with your partner more meaningfully. Without the excess money being spent on entertainment and needless things, you can see an entire new world opening up before you.
Eventually, you will pay off your debt, and then, everything you earn will be yours and yours alone, and you will be able to start a new, debt-free chapter of your life, where any money you earn will be yours.
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