For many people, having debts can feel like a weight around your neck, dragging you down constantly due to the pressure that it puts on you.
Research has even suggested that money worries can affect your decision making, due to the constant worry over an unfavourable financial situation, supposedly lowering your IQ by around 10 points.
As with anything in life there is always more than one way to approach something.
Prioritise debts emotionally?
Think of it as a battle you can win, rather than an endless struggle that will take a long time to pay off.
Many people may prioritise paying off the largest amount first. It can give you more satisfaction to pay off something that may mean more to you emotionally, rather than just paying off the largest sum.
If you are free of debts that are having a serious effect on your living expenses, you can list your debts in according to the ones that would mean the most to you to clear. The sense of satisfaction gained from clearing the debts that mean more to you emotionally can really spur you on to repay any other less significant debts.
For example, you may owe money to a family member which could be harming your relationship with them. By approaching this debt first you can begin to solve this issue, giving you a clearer head to tackle any other existing debts. You may want to give an emotional value to the rest of what you owe and continue the cycle.
However, if there is an amount you owe that is seriously affecting your ability to meet other more essential living costs, such as shopping and utility bills – you should prioritise getting rid of this debt first.
There are solutions available to you like consolidation loans which can help you to completely clear some debts, leaving you with more manageable repayment amounts.
If you cannot find a solution to your situation, you may want to contact debt advice charities. StepChange, Citizens Advice Bureau, Debt Advice Foundation and National Debtline are all able to provide you with free, independent and tailored advice to fit your situation.
Leave debts in the past
You were a different person when you took on these debts. Even now, by acknowledging that you have had a problem you are becoming more responsible and distancing yourself from the person you were before.
Rather than constantly beating yourself up about getting into debt, you should forgive yourself for that behaviour.
Further on, you will be able to feel much greater satisfaction the more you begin to repay what you owe.
Remind yourself of your progress
It can be a brilliant idea to keep a diary of how you overcame your debts; this can help to serve as a positive reminder of how much you’ve cleared and something that you can look back on with pride.
You may even be able to use it to offer some advice to any friends you have that are in the same position.
Enjoy the process
It’s likely that you’ll find it much easier to carry out a task if you enjoy doing it, rather than attempting a task you hate.
This may be difficult, especially if your debts are causing you some sleepless nights, but by concentrating on the positive changes you’re making, you should begin feeling a little better about your situation. Just remember that each step you take is one where you are nearer to being debt free.
This article has been written by Jamie Smith on behalf of Loans4Tenants.