No one wants to have debt looming over their head. It’s not only mentally draining, but can negatively affect your health. So, when it comes to finding ways to get your finances back on track, you need a strategy you can stick to without living below your means. While living under financial stress can inhibit can affect your mindset, there are things you can do to think more positively.
While paying off some types of debt can take more time, others can be remedied faster. If you’re not really making any headway with your student loans, you could look into refinancing. When you refinance student loans, you can lower your monthly payment and usually pay less interest over the course of the loan. The money you save can then be used to pay off other bills. In turn, this can dramatically improve your mindset, and help you make better financial decisions.
Focus on the outcome
It’s also easy to fall into a negative mindset when all you see is problems. However, when you shift your thinking towards the outcome, something happens. You no longer focus on how stressful your current situation is. Instead, you see a light at the end of the tunnel; living finically free without worry. One of the best ways to shift your focus is my mind mapping. Create a mind map of your future without struggling. Where will you go, what will you do and how will you feel? Seeing yourself living the way you want can change how you tackle not only your debt, but other life problems as well.
Obstacles vs burdens
While your current situation might feel like a burden, you need to think of it as only an obstacle. Yes, needing to pay off bills can be draining, however, once you create a list of goals that include paying of debt, you’ll be able to track your progress. Make sure you write down every positive step you take, no matter how small. If your bills cost you $400 a month and you were able to pay an extra $100, take pride in that. It might not seem like much, but that $100 can save you hundreds in interest over time.
Review all of your options
You also need to review all of your possible options. If your credit card payments are too high, what options does the company offer to help you out? Some may offer deferred interest whereas others can offer you a lower interest rate. You may also be able to put your account on hold and stop the interest from accruing.
Unless you lost your job or something else beyond your control caused the situation, you need to hold yourself accountable. As unpleasant as it may be, accept that you made mistakes with your finances and move on. Use these feelings as a way to create a viable plan to correct the problem, not hold you back. Look at the reasons why you made the decisions you did and how you plan on not doing the same thing again. If it’s impulsive spending habits, create a budget that only allows for a set amount to be spent. You can also only use cash when out, limiting the amount you have on hand.
Talk to an expert
If you have tried everything and just can’t get things going in the direction, you might want to speak with an expert. There are plenty of counselors who can help you address you spending habits and help you identify why you spend the way you do. They can also help you shift your mindset and think more positively when it comes to money. In addition, don’t think if you need to go this route that there’s anything wrong with it. A lot of people need a little extra help when it comes to money.
Finally, you need to do things that make you feel good. Even if it’s something small, like buying your favorite coffee drink, you need to take care of yourself. Changing your mindset isn’t about constantly struggling to survive until things turn around. It’s more about learning jhow to balance your actions, so the times you do have sit on the sidelines are worth it. Once you really get into the groove of thinking how to approach tough situations, especially in terms of money, you’ll probably find yourself using these skills in different scenarios as well.
Alicia Saville did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in psychology, mental health, and wellness.