5 Steps To Lower Your Financial Stress When You’re Drowning In Debt

“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” ~Timber Hawkeye

I never anticipated the stress and pressure that come when you are no longer able to pay your bills on time.

Knowing that you owe money, and that your current income isn’t going to cover it, is a heavy reality to face.

I found myself starting to envy low-income, salaried employees. Even though they don’t earn a lot, which I’m sure brings its own challenges, they aren’t eligible to receive huge credit. This protects them from ever finding themselves owing millions.

My husband and I have recently gone through a time when we found ourselves way overextended. Due to a series of bad beats and various twists of fate, we found ourselves in over our heads. And this is not a good space to be in.

It’s a sickening feeling that has seemed to overshadow all the other areas of our lives. We’ve felt unable to breathe, knowing that debt is hanging over us. When the phone rings from an unknown number, we’re hesitant to answer it. It could be someone wanting to know when we will pay a bill.

Small Beginnings

It didn’t start out like this. Let me backtrack. I grew up on a farm in an average-income-earning household. Although we didn’t lack for anything, we weren’t wealthy.

My husband and I married early on in life and started out with very little. We set up a small business from home soon after we got married. I was halfway through studies at the time and managed to juggle both. Our expenses were minimal, and even though it felt like hard work, we seemed to prosper.

Friends would comment and say we had the Midas touch. As the business grew and branched out, money always seemed to be plentiful. We didn’t start out intending to reach a massive bank balance. Our aim had been to reach financial independence sooner than later. Words like “budget” or “frugalness” never seemed to enter our thinking though.

Over the years, we upgraded our living, our home, our cars. We took overseas holidays and bought properties. As our affordability increased, so did our expenses. In a short space of time, we up-leveled our lifestyle requirements.

The Storm

The stress and anxiety of knowing you are unable to catch up on financial commitments is scary. We had some business ventures fail, we bought out a partner, there was a notable economic downturn. We had new competitors enter the market that we could no longer match, as our running costs…

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