Dealing with debt, no doubt, can destroy the peace and joy a family enjoys. For example, a researcher discovered that couples in debt hardly spend time together, they get into fights more often and are less happy. Arguments about debt and finances last longer, generate more yelling and hitting and are more likely to lead to other issues. Debt has been discovered to also be a leading cause for Divorce.
In fact in Nigeria, when a man starts accumulating debts, it becomes difficult or almost impossible for him to foot the family’s bill. When some wives realize this, their demeanor changes and fights ensues. They start making flimsy excuses or begin comparing their husbands to someone else which is of course, an extremely wrong thing to do.
Dealing with debt can be so frustrating but there are several ways you can manage your debt to keep your head above water and prevent further financial crisis from popping up in the future. This article pinpoints five ways you can deal with debt.
Examine your finances.
Determine your current budget by keeping an account of your expenditure and expenses. Make sure to take account of taxes, insurance, feeding, transportation and use monthly averages on them.
You can also increase your income by taking on extra shifts at your current job, work as an home lesson teacher, recycle, or turn your passion or hobby into a business you can do from home. Taking on extra jobs or shifts can gulp your time so ensure this does not encroach on activities that are more important, such as spending time with your family and your spirituality.
Make sure you cut down on your expenses by purchasing items you truly need and not because its cheap. If possible, move into a residence with a smaller monthly payment. Reduce your utility costs by minimizing the electricity and water you use. When it comes to food, take a lunch or snack instead of buying food from restaurants. Use coupons if available. When it comes to transportation too, sell vehicles you don’t need, and maintain what you have instead of buying the latest models. Use public transportation, or walk whenever you can. This will help to make the best use of your remaining money.
Organize your debt list
Be sure to list out those who you owe and how much you owe them. Try making a list of your debts, the total amount, how much you are to pay monthly, the interest rate and the deadline for payment. Doing this will help you keep everything organized and help you see a clearer picture. Make sure you fall back on your debt list every now and then especially as you pay off your bills. Update them regularly as the amount changes.
Try to reach out to those you owe. Consider negotiating the interest rate or the due date to help you ease off some of the debt but do not let them know if they agree to reduce the rate or postpone your deadline for repayment.
Work together against debt.
Work together as a family to manage your debts. Fighting occasionally won’t reduce the debt. It will not help matters at all. Instead of yelling or venting on your mate even though you had nothing to do with the debt, try working with them to see how you can clear your debt. Two heads they say, is better than one. Fight the debt, not each other. Such cooperation rather than arrogantly trying to solve things on your own, will help ease your financial problems.
Do not live your children out of this too. They can join in the effort. Children are known for continuously demanding things. Try explaining the current financial situation to your child. Tell them that their wants will have to be put on hold pending the time the debts have been paid off. Assure them that their needs however will be taken care of.
As a family, you can deal with debt together. Do not let the debt be a cause for unrest in your family.
Keep money where it belongs.
Let’s be truthful, despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself paying your creditors for many years. In the meantime, though, you can choose how you will view your circumstances. Rather than being obsessed with money or the lack of it, be content with these things. Contentment is what brings happiness not possessions.
List things that are truly valuable to you and that money cannot buy. Then, determine how to increase the time and energy you devote to each item on your list. Because at the end of the day, nothing else really matters than the things that make you happy.
Teach your Children to Manage Money
With so many adults in financial trouble today, experts are urging parents to teach their children about money—and to start early. Children need to know the value of money and how to identify their needs from wants. They need to know how to save and invest. This will help them avoid the heartache of debt and economic slavery. You can start by being a good example as children will imitate what you do than what you say. Secondly, set spending limits for them. If they also receive an allowance or earn money give them some guidelines to follow. Finally, teach them to share what they have with others.
Dealing with debt can be extremely frustrating and can lead to lots of other unrelated issues. Dealing with debts calls for sacrifices but in the end, the pain’s not much trouble than being debt free is worth.
Do you have other tips that got you through a debt crisis?