The Emotional Impact of Debt

Many people ignore the emotional impact of debt but its very real and very powerful. Not knowing how you’re going to pay off all the bills that are due during the course of the month while at the same time finding the money for food and gas. Living paycheck to paycheck for a couple months isn’t the end of the world and happens to most people when they first start out but imaging trying to do it for years and decades at a time, struggling to make ends meet. This has a very profound impact; at least it did on me.

Knowing that you have to juggle payments just to make everything work is never a fun task, you stress about which bills to pay when, which ones you can short pay to leave you enough money for gas so you can keep your job. The job becomes almost like a prison, you can’t leave it regardless of what’s happening. Uncertainty and fear really start to plague you; frustration at the whole situation sets in and if you aren’t careful you can fall into depression. Now it’s not that bad on a regular basis but the long term emotional impact of debt isn’t something that we can just ignore either.

When you’re just out of school, typically you have a few debts and flexibility in your life, but as we get older we inevitably settle down and take on more responsibility such as buying a house, starting and raising a family, or getting married. All of these are examples of the on goings of regular daily life; having to deal with the stress of debt and juggling everything just isn’t fun. If you’re there keep the stress in check because it can consume you and further impact your life.

Another thing about debt and getting out of it slowly is the fact that the light at the end of the tunnel can seem so far away that it makes you wonder why even bother doing anything about it. Knowing that you’re going to be paying off a credit card for 2 or 3 years not being able to spend money on yourself is definitely a motivational killer. The debt drags you down you have to fight to keep yourself above it and moving forward. Every step forward means you’re that much closer to your end goal even if it might be very far away. Taking a step back will often mean you’ll need to take 2 or 3 forward to get back to where you are now.

Struggling with debt is something that many people do every day, they don’t think about the emotional impact it has on them and they just blindly blunder through life (unfortunately too many people do this in general). With no motivation and frustration setting in people just fall into the status quo and just keep at it, shells of what they could have achieved and become. I’m still in debt and slowly getting out of it but I’ve been further in debt where it sapped me of all motivation and backed me into a corner, a shell of what I could have become because of the fear and confinement of my debts. Keep the emotional impact of debt in mind; if you’re aware of it you can build a support structure to make sure it doesn’t drag you down further. Your family and friends have probably been in a similar situation at some point in their lives or might even be there now. Your friends won’t be upset with you if you don’t want to go out because you have no spare money and if they do then really are they friends? Lean on these people when you need a little extra support and remember each step forward is one in the right direction.

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4 thoughts on “The Emotional Impact of Debt”

  1. I wish more people thought about the emotional aspects of debt. Numbers are one thing, but the impact of those numbers is what diminishes your quality of life. nothing is worth replacing peace of mind with.

  2. Oh, absolutely! The very idea of debt on top of an already stressed financial situation makes me shudder. It’s the ultimate slippery slope that, if you’re not able to pull completely back and reassess, could really drop you into deep water. What’s worse is that seeing the final numbers of what you owe can de-motivate you to the point of inaction.

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