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Changing Your Relationship With Debt

Debt can be a terrible burden to have to live with. What can start with a small amount on an overdraft can slowly snowball into tens of thousands owed to various different companies. Pretty soon, you will be juggling a whole host of repayments to several loan companies. 

Debt can lead us to make some pretty poor decisions with our lives. It can make us desperate, and in the worst cases, can cause us to turn to crime to try to solve our problems. The cycle of debt can also cause severe problems when it comes to your relationships. The stresses and strains of harboring a large amount of financial weight can bring us to breaking point with our loved ones. If the debt is shared, not dealing well with the stress can create cracks. But if the debt is primarily on one partner, this can cause a whole different set of tensions. In many cases, people choose to hide their debts from their partners, and this will only lead to a feeling of betrayal and mistrust. 

Debt can tear families apart and put people on the streets. And, if you are in any way struggling with debt, you should take immediate action to stop it from ruining your life. This can be hard to do, and you may not know what the best course of action might be, or who to turn to for support.

Changing Your Relationship With Debt - credit cards and wallet image
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Getting The Help That You Need With Debts

In the first instance, when it comes to dealing with personal debts such as loans, credit cards, or student loan debt, you should reach out to a friend, family member, or partner and ask them for help. To be clear, this does not mean that they should lend you money. Quite often, taking a loan from someone that you are close to can be problematic as it may lead to arguments. It is only useful if it is a meaningful amount of money that can be used to clear entire debts. Otherwise, it is often just adding to the problem. 

The type of help that you will want to get is emotional support and constructive advice. Being able to talk to someone about your money problems will be vital as it can help you feel as though you are not alone. 

If you have a partner, make sure you involve them in the situation. They have a right to know about the problems that you are facing, even if they do not directly affect them, it can still be a cause of great tension in your life, and they need to be able to support you through it. 

Seeking Support From Debt Charities

To get support, you should reach out to the citizen’s advice bureau, or a debt charity such as Step Change. Having help from people who are trained to deal with your specific problems will be greatly beneficial to you and your situation. 

They may be able to signpost you towards a robust solution so that you can start to overcome your situation. There may be ways things that you have not thought about doing that can help immensely. 

If you have a complex relationship with managing your money or the stress of your situation is weighing down on considerably, then you might need to talk to a counselor who can help you to process the problems that you are facing. 

Restructuring Your Personal Finances 

One of the primary ways that you can fight debt in your life is to change the way that you deal with your finances. You may be in the habit of ignoring the money that you have going out because it causes you stress or anxiety. This is perfectly natural, and this is a defense mechanism that you will have developed. Unfortunately, it is not terribly helpful getting you out of debt and could, in fact, cause your problems to worsen.

Getting ahead of your debts will mean understanding where your money is being spent every month. For this, you will need to create a full and thorough assessment of your income and expenditure. You should ensure that you do need to leave anything out and be fully honest with yourself about what you are spending money on. Denial will only worsen your situation. 

Start with your most essential outgoings first. This will be your mortgage or rent payments. This will be outgoing that you probably cannot do very much about, but it is important that you prioritize paying it. 

Next up, look at things such as your utility bills. Your gas, electric, water, phone, and broadband. You may be able to lower your consumption or switch suppliers for many of these things. So, shop around and make the switch to the company that offers you the best deals. Make sure that if you are on a limited offer, that you understand the terms and look at switching again if the prices start to rise. 

Your debts should obviously be on the list. You need to pay these every month so that you are not going to get further into the financial black-hole. More on how to reduce the payments on these later. 

Then you will get to your non-essential spending. This will include items such as satellite and streaming subscriptions, gym memberships, as well as memberships to clubs. There may be things that you are paying out for that you don’t even remember that you have. These are prime examples of things that you should cancel in order to save some money. 

Setting yourself budgets for your food shopping is a good way of managing your money. Have a look at home much you are spending on average each month and try to use that as a basis for planning. Think about areas of your shop that you are spending too much on. Are you buying branded items, when an own-brand product would be much cheaper? Get yourself into the habit of shopping in a more savvy manner will mean not picking up impulse buys and working off a shopping list. 

One way of managing your spending is to spend more time planning meals. If you are cooking from scratch, and also have a plan for your meals each night, you can use cost-effective techniques to get ingredients that can be used across a number of meals so that nothing gets wasted. 

Keep in the habit of documenting and tracking everything that you are spending. It may feel completely unnatural to you, but doing this will teach you to control the way that you use money, Building a new relationship with your finances takes time, and eventually using spreadsheets and checking your online banking regularly will feel natural. 

Restructuring Your Debt

One way to deal with the debt that you have currently is to take out a consolidation loan. If you have multiple debts, you will have a few different interest rates. Some of your debts may be more pressing than others, and you may constantly be juggling them. When it comes to paying them off, you will probably not get to pay them all off as there will always be one or two of your debts that keep escalating because you have too many to manage. 

Taking out a consolidation loan will mean that you can put all of your debts into one easily affordable monthly payment. This will make the overall debt much easier to manage. 

Once you have paid off all of your other debts with your consolidation loan, you should cut up your credit cards and close the accounts so that you are not tempted to go back into more debt. 

Worst Case Scenarios

If your debt has gone too far, you should get in touch with a firm that can negotiate with your lenders to agree on a settlement. Doing this may mean that you can avoid filing for bankruptcy, while also giving you the opportunity to clear your debt in a more manageable manner. 

The lender may agree to cut some of the debt for you. There will be an agreed-upon payment plan that will be easier for you to manage in your current situation.  

Nobody wants to file for bankruptcy, or have any court judgments hanging over them because they have failed to pay a debt. Getting in there early and discussing your options with a company that can renegotiate your position may be greatly beneficial to you. 

Getting out of debt may well take you a great deal of time and effort. It will need you to remain focused and change your way of thinking about money. It is possible to get out of debt, though, and although it may feel as if it is the end of the world when you are tangled up in interest and loans, it can get better. Reach out and get the support that you need, but most importantly, work at yourself in order to improve your own relationship with money and debt. 

Is There A Credit Gender Gap?

In the US, Moms are 3.6 times more likely than dads to give their kid a credit card, according to a new WalletHub survey released today. Parents can make their child an authorized user on their account and give them their own card tied to the parents’ credit line.

Making a child an authorized user can be good way to teach them responsibility and help them build a credit history before they are old enough to have a credit card account in their own name. However, not all parents decide to give their kids a card. Below are a few key stats from WalletHub’s survey:

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Key Stats

  • 2.4X more daughters have credit cards than sons.
  • Kids in private school are almost twice as likely to have a credit card.
  • Dads are 3.4 times more likely than moms to monitor their kids’ credit card spending.

Q&A with Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of WalletHub:

What is an appropriate age to give one’s child a credit card?

“It’s a good idea to give your child a credit card for emergencies when they are in high school,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “That’s when young people start to exercise their independence more and more, making access to funds for emergencies increasingly important. Plus, adding your child to your credit card account as an authorized user can help them build some credit history, making it easier for them to get their own account after they turn 18. When they’re eligible to get their own account, set your child up with a secured credit card, and have them fund the security deposit themselves. This will give them good practice without too much risk. But it will be their own money at stake, which is important.”

What explains 2.4X more daughters having credit cards than sons?

“My guess is that parents tend to see their daughters as being responsible enough to handle a credit card at an earlier age than their sons,” said Odysseas. “However, the need for financial literacy is gender-agnostic. And the kids who are least responsible may actually need the most hands-on training.”

Should parents closely monitor their kids’ spending?

“Parents should monitor their kids’ spending, both to keep them safe and because it can provide some valuable learning opportunities. But they shouldn’t try to be sneaky about it,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “Rather, parents should discuss spending decisions with their children in order to help calibrate how they think about money and improve their financial literacy. Credit cards make this whole process a lot easier than cash.”

A copy of the full report can be found at https://wallethub.com/credit-cards#survey.

When You’re out of Options: 5 Myths and Facts About Declaring Bankruptcy

When debts grow out of control and you simply cannot make ends meet, bankruptcy is sometimes the only option. While bankruptcy is not an easy way out, it can help you legally overcome your debt and improve your financial outlook. Unfortunately, there are many bankruptcy myths that are perpetuated. Understanding these myths will help you to fully understand the truth regarding declaring bankruptcy.

When You're out of Options: 5 Myths and Facts About Declaring Bankruptcy - struggling with debt image

Types of Bankruptcy

There are multiple types of bankruptcy that can be filed, though there are two that are more common than others. Chapter 13 is often referred to as the “wage earner’s bankruptcy” because you are required to pay monthly payments. When people file for bankruptcy, they sometimes hire a lawyer to help.

Chapter 7 is best for those who have mostly unsecured debts. The process can typically be finished in six months or less, though you may be required to submit non-essential assets for liquidation to pay off the debts you owe.

5 Myths About Declaring Bankruptcy

As with most things, there are always those who spread falsities regarding bankruptcy. Unfortunately, bankruptcy is still considered a somewhat taboo subject, even though millions have filed. The following are some of the biggest misconceptions regarding declaring bankruptcy.

1. One of the biggest myths regarding bankruptcy is the individual will lose everything. Many people mistakenly believe filing for bankruptcy means they will have to give up their house, car, and all assets. For most people, Chapter 7 is a non-asset bankruptcy, so you do not give up anything.

2. Many people also believe the myth that all their debts will be wiped out by declaring bankruptcy. There are some types of debt that are not forgiven in bankruptcy, including student loans. Debts you are personally responsible for are generally not forgiven.

3. The belief that filing for bankruptcy means you are a big failure is truly erroneous. Many people believe they are admitting failure if they file bankruptcy. Most people end up filing bankruptcy because of a loss of wages rather than poor financial management.

4. A common myth that never seems to die down is the belief that your financial future will be ruined by bankruptcy. Although you will certainly have limited access to credit for about ten years, your credit score will likely begin to see improvements shortly after your bankruptcy is declared. Filing for bankruptcy is not the end of your future.

5. Some people mistakenly believe it would be better to pay off their debts than file for bankruptcy. If your debts are greater than 50% of your income, it would be wise to at least consider declaring bankruptcy because paying off the debts will be difficult.

Benefits of Declaring Bankruptcy

· Takes away a great deal of stress

· Can prevent foreclosure

· Allows for a fresh start

Although it is not right for every circumstance, there are many benefits to declaring bankruptcy. Most people find it easier to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer before they make a final decision.

Conclusion

Declaring bankruptcy does not mean you have failed and it certainly will not ruin your financial future. Taking the time to learn about your bankruptcy options will help you to make the best decisions for your needs. Bankruptcy will help you to overcome the vast majority of your debts and give you peace of mind in knowing there is less financial stress.

Should You Consider Getting a Car on Finance?

If you are thinking about getting a new car, there are a lot of different things for you to consider.

As well as having to decide on the specific make and model of car that you want, you also need to think about how you are going to pay for it.

A car isn’t something that you can go ahead and rush into buying. Buying a car is expensive, but car finance is there to help.

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Here are a few upsides of getting a car on finance:

The Cost is Easier to Manage

Regardless of how much money you have, nobody likes to pay out a lot of money in one go. This is avoided with car finance, as payments are split into smaller installments that are usually paid monthly.

You can pay a smaller amount each month, without worrying about breaking the bank or going over budget.

You Can Get a Newer, Nicer Car

When you have to buy a car using your savings, you are limited by how much money you have. Plus, you then have the worry of not having any savings left if a financial emergency where to arise.

If you don’t have enough, you could be left buying a car that you are not completely happy with.

With car finance, this is never a problem. As there’s no need to save up ahead of time, car finance can help you to get a newer and nicer car.

You Can Change Cars With Ease

If at any point you are not happy with your car and you want to trade it in for something different, car finance makes everything a lot easier.

Rather than having to sell one car and then buy another, you can simply swap it. There’s no need to worry about the hassle of selling a car, shopping for a new one and then buying it.

There is no denying that there are a number of benefits that come with getting a car on finance, which is why it’s something that a lot of people do.

Rather than buying a car using one large payment, many people split the cost in a way that is easier to manage.

Get Your Money and Life Back: How to Stop Your Gambling Addiction

About 10 million adults are addicted to problem gambling in the U.S.

What starts out as harmless fun, takes a quick wrong turn and becomes a destructive obsession.The worst thing about gambling addiction is that it may put you in a worse financial position than you were before. Once you’re hooked, your social life and psychological health may be crippled.

Trying to stop gambling addiction can be overwhelming. You’re always sure you’ll win in the next bet, only to lose again. Although you want to quit, you can’t do it yet – at least not before you make your long-awaited win!

However, saving yourself from this unhealthy addiction is a progressive routine. You’ve got to start from a certain point until you gradually become an ex-gambler.

Here’s how to deal with a gambling addiction.

Get Your Money and Life Back: How to Stop Your Gambling Addiction - stop gambling image

1. Get to the Root Cause

Identifying the source of the urge to gamble is the first step towards recovering from the addiction. Once you know what triggers the urge, you can then try and abstain from those causative agents.

Some people start gambling due to boredom, loneliness, or even stress. And since gambling activates the rewarding system of the brain, people use it to cope with unpleasant feelings.

2. Change Your Thinking About Gambling

Most problem gamblers have a strong belief that they can control the outcome. Even after losing consecutively, they’re still convinced that they’ll somehow get lucky.

To counter these thoughts, you’ve to accept that gambling involves random events that are beyond your control.

Cultivating hate towards gambling can also help you change your thinking. Simply reflect on how much you’ve lost, every time you feel the urge to gamble.

3. Avoid Tempting Situations

One of the best ways to stop gambling is to avoid situations that prompt you to gamble in the first place.

If having too much money at your disposal fuels the urge to gamble, try limiting the amount of money you access. You can put it in a locked savings account or try investing in something substantial.

Sometimes, it can be a simple visit to a Vegas casino that prompts your gambling urge. So you may want to avoid such joints. Instead, you can try out some top Las Vegas marijuana strains recommended by this website.

4. Be Easy on Yourself

When trying to stop your gambling addiction, it’s likely that you’ll gamble a couple of times despite your efforts of stopping.

It’s important to understand that you can’t quit gambling in just a single day. So, be patient with yourself.

To help you with this, try keeping a diary and record the number of days you’ve successfully abstained from gambling. This way, you can track your progress and even aim at achieving more gamble-free days.

Kick-Start Your Gambling Addiction Treatment Today

Gambling addiction can be likened to substance addiction. It’s easy to quit, but only if you’re willing to put in the effort. Use the above treatment tips to help you counter your addiction to gambling. Looking for ways to put your money into good use? Check out these money plans