If you’re losing sleep over the debts you racked up during the holidays, or the possibility that you might lose your job, or any other prospective threat to your financial well-being, you’re not alone. You’re also far from helpless, no matter how dismal your situation might seem right now.
Coming clean about the “D” word
One in four Brits claim that they are losing sleep over debts. And according to a study by Norton Finance, one in five people are feeling pressure from their family to keep on top of their finances, so they try to hide the extent of the problem when they fall short. A surprising number, especially those people whose finances are in trouble, don’t even discuss money issues with family members at all. Some even lie to their families. Such stonewalling is unsustainable, and actually adds to the pressure that family money managers feel.
One of the worst things you can do when you are under this kind of pressure is to incur even more debt, just to hide the problems you’re already having. Following such a path only serves to make matters worse. Not only are you insulating yourself from any support your family might give you, the ultimate result will be that you find yourself in a debt hole from which you can see no means of emerging. Just think what that will do to your chances for a good night’s sleep.
Talk to your family. Be honest about your situation, as well as how it is affecting you. If you’re straightforward with them, and as patient with their struggle to fully understand you as you want them to be with you, it is possible – even likely – that you’ll feel your own pressure ease considerably.
Interim solutions for cash-flow problems
As you work to free yourself from a debt crisis, you may find yourself needing to borrow money at some point. While in most cases the last thing you want to do is take on more debt, sometimes you have no choice due to being faced with unexpected expenses. If you can’t get a loan from a family member or friend (which carries its own set of risks), and if credit problems prevent you from qualifying for a conventional loan, there are still options available.
Even if you have decent credit, you might find yourself in need of some quick cash, and have neither the inclination to fill out the myriad complicated forms nor the time for the weeks-long wait for approval that is part and parcel of obtaining a more traditional loan. If this describes you, a different kind of loan that can be applied for in mere minutes, and which can be quickly approved so you can get cash in your hands in a day, is likely to sound very attractive.
It’s important to realise, however, that almost any type of personal loan is only a short-term solution, and while it may relieve some of the stress for the time being, it more than likely won’t remedy serious or chronic problems. But don’t fret: there are plenty of things you can do to help yourself, and there are resources to turn to when you can’t do it all yourself.
A multi-pronged approach for solving your money problems
As indicated above, money problems can affect your physical and emotional health. You may not even realise the extent to which you are being stressed out. Certainly there are practical actions you can take to boost your finances: get a handle on debt, cut expenses, and find ways to increase your income. But you may also need to focus on easing the impact on your emotional and physical health, and that of your family.
This link on the National Health Service (NHS) site is a portal for information on many ways to cope with financial stress – everything from handling an acute emotional crisis to dealing with everyday emotional stress. It also offers guidance on more practical, tangible matters such as job seeking, setting a budget, and getting government help when you need it.
The important thing is that you actually do something to improve your financial situation and pull yourself out of debt. Once you see even the first signs of progress, you’ll discover that your stress level drops considerably, and that subsequent steps become easier and easier, until good money management beams a rewarding, natural task, rather than a dreaded chore. And as you feel that stress dropping away, you’ll discover that you are finally getting the good nights’ (plural!) sleep that had become so elusive before.