Take it from the girl who has been in and out of debt multiple times – the anxiety is real! Debt is draining and the mental weight that comes with debt can be hard to manage. Sometimes, it’s easy to just throw in the towel and accept that your debt will always be there. Please don’t let that be you. Your debt CAN be tackled. It may not happen overnight, but it can happen.
On the flip side, I also don’t want your debt to debilitate you. I don’t want you to constantly stress yourself into a tizzy thinking about your debt. To help you tame your anxiety from debt, I’m sharing 6 tricks to start implementing. If you have debt and it stresses you out, these 6 tricks will help you tame your debt-induced anxiety.
6 Tricks to Tame Your Anxiety from Debt
#1 Detach your personal worth from your debt balance
It’s incredibly hard not to base your personal worth on financial or material things. I blame the society we live in. We have a direct line of sight into how the wealthy spend their money, and it creates feelings of inadequacy when we can’t compete. I think this can happen whether a person has debt or not. Listen to the CGS podcast episode How I Combat the Competition Mindset for some of the ways I put the competitive thoughts on the back burner.
If you have debt, no matter what got you into debt, I want you to detach your personal worth from your debt balance. More importantly, I want you to detach your personal worth from anything material or financial. You are so much more than what you owe or what you own. Detaching your personal value from your debt or material balances will reduce the amount of stress you have when you actually do look at your debt balances.
#2 Create a realistic budget, that includes some of the things you love
One of the best ways to tame your anxiety from debt is to have a budget plan in place that allows you to make sure your responsibilities are covered, you can enjoy life in moderation, and you can put extra money towards paying off your debt. Please don’t skip this step! A budget will be your saving grace as you work towards debt freedom. More importantly, your budget will be the key tool for success with managing your money whether you have debt or not.
Not sure where to start? Grab my Budgeting Basics Kit for an easy step-by-step guide to creating your own budget. Now, if the thought of creating your budget adds to your anxiety, let me create one for you! My specialty is budgeting, so I’d be happy to whip one up for you that allows you to enjoy life, put money towards your debt, and make sure your priorities are covered. Get started by visiting the Budget Form.
#3 Get a plan in place to tackle your debt
Once you have your budget created, you’ll know exactly how much extra you can put towards your debt. This information is critical as you move forward in your debt payoff journey. It also helps reduce your anxiety because you have an amount dedicated to your debt.
When it comes to paying down your debt, you’ll want to be strategic with it. Find a debt payoff strategy that works for you and stick with it. I recommend the snowball method, because it focuses on the lowest balance debt first, which allows you to get quick wins with your debt payoff progress.
#4 Track your debt payoff progress
Regardless of what debt payoff strategy you decide on, you’ll want to track your progress along the way. When I was paying down my debt, every month in my debt payoff spreadsheet, I would strikethrough the payment that was made towards my debt. Over time, it was incredibly motivating to see how much I had paid off.
You don’t have to use a spreadsheet. You can physically write your payments made in a notebook. You can color in a calendar or Debt Payoff worksheet. You can also use an app to track your progress. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you track your debt payoff progress, only that you do track it. Seeing the progress over time will keep you motivated to see the journey through!
#5 Share your feelings in the CGS Facebook Group
Debt can be draining. Debt can cause anxiety. Debt can eat you up inside. Debt can do all of those things, if you let it! Don’t keep your feelings towards your debt bottled up. Find a safe space to get those feelings off your chest. The City Girl Savings Facebook Group is a judgment free community that allows you to share.
You can also find other avenues of sharing. Talk with family or friends. Consider Debtors Anonymous. Work with a money coach. See a therapist. There are options available to you to help you share your feelings regarding debt and help you tame your anxiety.
#6 Practice patience and commit for the long haul
Paying off your debt is not going to happen overnight, especially if you have a lot of it. Help tame your anxiety by setting realistic expectations about the debt payoff process. It’s okay if you’re on this journey for the next few years. Decide to commit to the process and see it through until the end.
Once you’ve put the stake in the ground and made that decision, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You’re committing to doing what it takes, no matter how long it takes. That alone can put your anxiety at bay.
Because debt payoff doesn’t happen overnight, you’ll have to make a conscious effort to do things that will improve your situation and reduce your stress. The tricks above can have massive impacts to your mental health and stress levels. Start with 1 or 2 and work your way up to all 6!
Also, check out the CGS Podcast Episode My Debt-Free Story#15: My Debt-Free Story and the Biggest Takeaways to hear how I got through the long process of paying off my debt.
If you have debt, what are some ways you’ve managed your anxiety from it? How has your situation changed as you paid your debt off? Drop a comment to share!