The average U.S. household carries debt- more than $132,000 in fact, including mortgages. Approximately 40 percent of households have credit card debt. The interest on credit cards alone is costing as much as $1,300 per household per year.
If you are struggling with debt, understanding the common emotions and actions surrounding debt can help you take positive steps moving forward to help improve your financial and mental health.
Powerlessness. If you have a large amount of debt, it can make you feel powerless. The best way to fight back is to take control. Get on a budget and stick to it. Knowing that you are taking control and have a plan in place will help you regain a sense of power.
PTSD-like symptoms. A recent survey found that one in four people who are in debt have symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. That number is even higher for millennials. Among people age 18-34 who are in debt, 36 percent suffer. Symptoms can include denial, avoidance (such as not paying bills), and not being able to sleep.
Fear & Anxiety. Debt can make us anxious. Be proactive and set up auto-pays on recurring bills you have. It will give you one less thing to think about. Put credit cards away (only temporarily, remember not to close out the accounts).
Retail Cravings. Nearly two-thirds of women and 40 percent of men have spent money to improve their mood, according to research. If you overspend, any euphoria you experience will surely diminish once the bills arrive in the mail. When you feel yourself wanting to spend, ask yourself what’s really going on. Think of the HALT acronym: Are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Address these feelings head-on without the use of a credit card.
Lowered defenses. Lowered defenses might be caused by anything from having a couple of glasses of wine to a break-up, to battling a cold. Be smart about your spending. To resist online impulse buys, delete credit card information stored on your computer and mobile devices.
Celebration. Did you recently receive a bonus or land a big account? When it comes to the risk of debt, feeling overly happy can be just as dangerous as feeling overly sad, which can oftentimes cause a financial splurge. Put any financial gain toward your debt or into savings.
If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.