What To Do When Overwhelmed By Debt

In today’s blog post I share 10 things to do if you feel overwhelmed by debt. Some of them may seem a little simplistic, but sometimes it’s the simple things that can be the most effective. These things helped me stay the course on my debt-free journey and I hope they help you too. I hope at least a few of them encourage you to stay the course on your debt-free journey.

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What To Do When Overwhelmed By Debt

 

It’s currently Debt Awareness Week a week dedicated to destigmatising debt and opening up conversations about money. The aim of this campaign spearheaded by the UK’s leading debt charity StepChange is to help people feel comfortable talking about debt and seeking the help that they need to get started on their debt-free journey.

 

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I was once in over £36,000 debt, so I know first-hand the shame, stress, anxiety and overwhelm that debt brings to one’s life. It’s a horrible position to be in, which is why I wrote an eBook to help other people that have found themselves in a similar position to transform their financial situation. My debut eBook, “How I Paid Off £36,000 debt: My 10 Steps To Debt Freedom” is a step-by-step guide outlining the steps I took to achieve debt freedom.

 

How I paid off £36,000 debt

 

In today’s blog post I share 10 things to do if you feel overwhelmed by debt. Some of them may seem a little simplistic, but sometimes it’s the simple things that can be the most effective. These things helped me stay the course on my debt-free journey and I hope they help you too. I hope at least a few of them encourage you to stay the course on your debt-free journey.

 

What To Do When Overwhelmed By Debt

 

 

1.      Accept Your Situation

One thing to do if you’re feeling overwhelmed by debt is to accept your situation. Accept that these are your current circumstances and tell yourself I am going to do whatever it takes to turn my finances around. From my own personal experience, this was something I didn’t do for a long time.

When my husband and I were in debt, we buried our heads in the sand and ignored what was going on. We didn’t want to face our reality which led us deeper and deeper into debt. There has to come to a point in time when you accept your current situation and make a decision to do the work required to become debt-free.

 

2.      Take Responsibility For The Role You Played

Accept responsibility for where you are currently. A lot of times we don’t want to be accountable to ourselves for ourselves, however, it’s important to do this. When we omit that responsibility and don’t take responsibility for our actions, we’re doing ourselves a disservice.

 

It’s unfortunate that sometimes we end up in debt through no fault of our own, but no matter how you got there, you’re there now, take the power to transform your finances into your own hands and you will feel empowered to actually do so.

 

3.      Don’t Panic

I know this is a lot easier said than done, but the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed by debt is panic. This will not help you think clearly. A clear head is needed to face the long road ahead to debt freedom.

 

4.      Focus On The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Focus on the goal and where you’re trying to get to, and don’t allow where you currently are to consume too much of your energy.  When you’re in a lot of debt, your situation can seem hopeless, like there’s no way out, focussing on the end goal will help you stay motivated to stay the course and work towards your debt-free dream. Your current financial situation doesn’t have to be your final destination. When you see a debt-free future on the horizon it gives you hope for a better tomorrow and subsequently reduces the overwhelm that debt can often bring.

 

 

5.      Reward Yourself

As you’re on the journey to paying off debt, it’s important to celebrate the small wins and every new milestone reached. It doesn’t even have to be a big reward. If for example, your goal is to pay off £6,000 debt by the end of the year, every month that you pay £500 towards your goal, give yourself a treat to congratulate yourself on the progress you’ve made. This will help build morale and keep you motivated to keep going on your debt-free journey.

 

6.      Don’t Be Ashamed, You Are Not Alone

Always remember that you are not alone, you are not the only person in debt. Being in debt can be an isolating place. It can feel like you’re the only person that’s made a mess of your finances so it’s easy to beat yourself up for the financial situation you’ve found yourself in. However it’s important to realise that you’re not the first person to end up here, and you sure won’t be the last. A lot of people are in debt it’s just that we don’t have enough open conversations about it to know.

 

7.      You Are Not A Failure

You may have failed at managing your finances effectively, but you are not a failure. Let me repeat myself for double impact. You may have failed, but you are not a failure. It’s important that you are able to distinguish between the two. Failing at something doesn’t make you a failure. Getting into debt is something that you did, it’s not who you are. Never let the shame or stigma of debt make you feel bad about yourself. You are amazing irrespective of what your bank balance tells you.

 

8.      Track Your Progress

It’s important to take pride in your progress. Track your progress and be proud of how far you’ve already come. Measure your progress and be proud of each milestone and every payment you make towards achieving your debt-free goal. Acknowledge your progress and how far you’ve come and appreciate the fact that you’re not where you once were. Whether it’s day 1, day 100 or day 1000, wherever you are on your journey, celebrate your progress each step of the way.

 

9.      Talk To Somebody

I mentioned earlier in the video about StepChange, a great debt-relief charity for you to contact if you want to talk to somebody about your debt so that you don’t feel alone and isolated. But equally, it’s important to have these conversations with your friends and family. People that will listen to you, help and encourage you on your debt-free journey. There’s a wise old saying… a problem shared, is a problem solved. I wish I had spoken to someone when I was deep in debt, as maybe it wouldn’t have taken me so long to get started on my debt-free journey.

 

10. Create A Budget

If you haven’t yet done so, create yourself a budget. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by your financial situation, and can’t seem to take control of your money, a budget will help you take the reins. You can grab a copy of my Budget Planner and Expenses Tracker here. This is the budget that I used on my personal debt-free journey and was subsequently able to pay off over £36,000 debt.

 

Deluxe Budget Planner & Expenses Tracker

 

 

Being in debt can be overwhelming, there are no two ways about it. However, allowing it to consume you to the point of inaction is something I really want to help you avoid. I hope that in reading this blog article, What To Do When Overwhelmed By Debt, you now have a few ideas of things you can do to make this debt-free journey more manageable.

Let me know in the comments section below the things you do to help reduce debt overwhelm. Have you already tried some of the things suggested in this post? Did it help you? Share in the comments section below.

 

 

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If you enjoyed this post, ’What To Do When Overwhelmed By Debt’, then you will also enjoy my other blog posts on similar topics. Check them out below:

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Stop Buying These 8 Things To Save More Money

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About The Author

Tolu Frimpong

Wife and mum of three boys on a journey to achieve financial freedom. Earn more, spend less and invest the difference.