We should avoid feeling stressed in our day to day lives as much as possible. It has been found that stress can have profoundly negative impacts on our body, mood, and behavior! Common effects of stress on the body include:
● Muscle Tension
● Chest Pain
● Stomach Upset
● Sleep Problems
Negative effects of stress on our overall mood include:
● Lack of Motivation
Common side effects of stress on our general behavior include:
● Undereating or overeating
● Social withdrawal
In order to avoid all of these negative consequences from infiltrating our lives, we should aim to actively reduce our stress levels as effectively as possible. Now, there are various routes that stress can take to infiltrate our lives. One common source of stress for many of us is personal debt. The majority of us have some form of personal debt, but if you are finding yourself struggling to keep up with payments, receiving regular fines, witnessing a reduced credit score, and facing legal action, chances are that your stress levels are going to be through the roof. Even if you are not in this position it is important to note that our finances need to be reviewed on a regular basis throughout our lives. Our needs change as we get older and enter different stages so our finances need to keep pace. The inspiration for this post came precisely as I am in the midst of doing a deep dive into my personal finances. Here are just a couple of different ways that you can reduce your stress by minimizing your debt!
Make a Plan
Many of us amble our way through clearing debt. We stick to minimum repayments required on credit cards, and simply hope that one day we will clear them. But if you want to reduce your debt quickly, you need to make a more thorough and dedicated plan. Use a credit card payoff calculator. This will total up how much you owe out and will be able to let you know how long it will take to clear all of your debt depending on the size of payments that you make on a monthly basis. This will give you a more certain idea of when you will be debt free, giving you a goal and something to look forward to.
Reduce Personal Spending
When you live life by a budget, you take your monthly salary after tax, deduct essential payments and are left with a disposable income. As long as you only ever spend within the boundaries of your disposable income, you will remain debt free. If you are in debt, you will have exceeded your disposable income at some point or another. This could be due to purchases (necessary or unnecessary), or you may have experienced unexpected expenses and had to borrow to cover them. Regardless of your reason for ending up in debt in the first place, it is now extremely important to make a plan to remain within the limits of your disposable income. This will prevent you from sinking further into debt. If possible, dedicate your disposable income to clearing your debt, rather than making other unnecessary purchases. This, again, will move the date that you will be debt free forward!
These are just a couple of steps that you can take to reduce your debt and consequently contribute towards reducing your overall stress levels! So, give them a go sooner rather than later! And trust me, I am not a proponent of living your life constantly making sacrifices and not buying the things that make you happy and give you joy. But buying them, and enjoying them, is so much easier and so much more fulfilling if you are not worried about how you will pay for them. So simply re-prioritize for a while, and before you know it, you will be financially independent.