For most of human history, mental health was swept under the rug and left unmentioned in most societies. Today, things have changed for the better, and people are more aware of the need to discuss the psychological challenges they face, rather than staying buttoned up about them.
Debt can be a major trigger for mental health crises, even in people who consider themselves to be otherwise stable individuals. Here is a look at the psychological advantages of minimizing what you owe, and how to go about this.
One of the most acute side effects of being in debt is facing up to the daily stress that comes with having a large sum to pay off.
Crucially this stress is not just something which impacts low earners, since even if you have a solid salary and have accumulated various valuable assets, you could still be harangued by worries regarding second home mortgage rates, for example.
Whatever your circumstances, freeing yourself of debt will instantly unburden you of the stress that nags away at you morning, noon and night.
Restoring emotional resilience
Debt not only represents a financial obligation, but often comes with a negative emotional association. So every time you make a payment or check your bank balance, you will be reminded of the event which required you to take on the debt in the first place.
Thus being debt-free is about distancing yourself from traumas in your life and starting a new chapter, one in which you can control your destiny rather than being ruled by past demons.
Broadening your horizons
Speaking of destiny, debt-free people are better able to expand their opportunities and pursue new projects.
Whether you are planning to start a business, grow your family or save for retirement, when a large chunk of your income is not going straight towards debt payments, your options are almost endless, and your optimism will increase in unison.
In terms of extricating yourself from debt, there are a whole host of avenues to explore, the suitability of which will depend on your circumstances.
Broadly speaking, setting up a budget and sticking to the guidelines you put in place as part of this process should help you to pay off your debt quicker.
You need to look at your incomings and outgoings, decide where there is room to make changes, and concentrate on reducing the amount you owe while avoiding unnecessary spending on luxuries.
There are also debt consolidation services, which may be a useful way of avoiding the steep interest that can accumulate if you have lots of smaller debts that are mounting up.
Most importantly, do not take on any more debt. Resist the temptation to lease that shiny new car, avoid the attraction of opening a credit account, and focus on escaping your existing debt before you borrow anything extra.
Making the right decisions
The reality is that most people need debt to live the lives they want, and things like mortgages hang over the majority of the population, creating a stress epidemic.
The answer is to be smart about how you manage your debts, and to aim to secure the most favorable loans in the first place.
You can get the best deals with the lowest rates of interest if you shop around and compare packages from different lenders, rather than settling for the first product you see. You can also improve your credit score to unlock more appealing loan packages, and drive down your repayment costs.
You donít need a lot of money to your name to make smart use of it. All you need is a willingness to become debt-free, and to ask for expert advice if in doubt.
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