I lived a high roller lifestyle and this is all thanks to my credit cards. On top of that, I also had existing loans from Gcredit. You know, Gcash’s feature that allows you to buy things now and pay later? My shopaholic self just loved that! So when the pandemic hit last year and I had a pay cut, I suffered from debt stress for most of 2020. It was not a good feeling at all. In fact, it was a scary feeling being in a lot of debt and unsure how I’d be able to pay it all off.
The Emotional Toll
I consider 2020 to be a dark and difficult time in my life. Yes because we are dealing with a pandemic and I never in my lifetime thought I would. But also because I suddenly worried so much about my finances. I thought so much about it specially in the first couple of months that I was losing sleep. More than anything, I felt so many negative emotions about the sudden drop of my financial standing.
After the initial shock of having to deal with a pay cut, I got angry. Angry mostly at myself because I let this happen to me. I took my finances for granted.
I was also anxious because I was swimming in credit card debts at the time. On top of that, I had other bills to pay. Plus how was I to help out my mom financially? Our source of income – the carinderia and her small catering business – were also badly affected by the lockdowns.
I also felt remorse – a whole lot of remorse – as I looked back at the frivolous way I spent my money. I felt so bad thinking the money could’ve gone to paying off debts and savings if only I was disciplined enough.
Lastly, I pitied myself for the sad and stressful financial state I was in. It was no fun seeing my salary disappear as quickly as I got it. I was really just earning enough to pay for my bills.
How I Dealt with My Debt Stress
My biggest win for 2020 was being able to fully pay off some of my credit cards. It has been a long and challenging journey. Money may not make the world go round but it sure as heck can make you feel very stressed especially if you’re in debt!
Let me share some tips on how I managed my debt stress.
1. I stopped being in denial
I allowed myself to believe I was in good financial standing just because I was able to pay off my bills and even have money to spend on whims. But on the back of my mind, I always knew it wasn’t true. It took a huge pay cut to make me admit the truth to myself.
“Hi, I’m Liz and I’m in debt.”
2. I changed my mindset
I let myself feel all the negative emotions brought about by debt stress. But I didn’t let myself stay in that negative space. Instead, I changed my outlook. I decided to think abundantly. The law of attraction says that if I think positive thoughts, I will attract positive outcomes so I thought of abundance in the form of money. I even do affirmations focusing on wealth and abundance.
3. I made a plan to pay off debt and stuck to it
Finally I made a plan on how I was going to pay off my debts. After all, it was the source of my stress! One of the things I did was research tips on how to pay off credit card debts. From Fitz Villafuerte of Ready to be Rich, I learned about the snowball method and it was an approach I used to pay off my credit card debt. It took a lot of discipline and determination on my end to be able to minimize my debts.
Looking for ways to minimize your debts and reduce your own debt stress? Check out this article to learn more about debt repayment plan and how to create one.
While am not completely out of the woods yet when it comes to settling debts, I’m already feeling a whole lot better compared to last year. Being able to minimize and eliminate my debts brings me one step closer to the goal of having financial freedom.