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How to Deal With the Emotional Toll of Consumer Debt

Feeling stressed out and overwhelmed by the amount of consumer debt that you owe? You’re not alone and it may be affecting your emotional health. While it’s not surprising that debt can take a toll on your emotions, it may be surprising to learn that men and women do not experience debt in the same way. In fact, according to our Affordability Index, more women than men struggle to deal with overwhelming consumer debt and also tend to carry heavier debt loads.

Dealing with the emotional effects of overwhelming consumer debt takes planning, commitment and perseverance. Here are a few tips to help women who may be struggling with their finances and their debt.

Take ownership of your consumer debt

One of the most overwhelming things about consumer debt is the feeling that your debt is controlling you rather than you being in control of your debt. You can diminish this feeling by taking ownership of the debt you owe.

One way to do this is to become more involved in household financial planning. While research shows that women tend to feel less financially confident than men, when women take a greater role in the financial management of the household their confidence increases.

If you find that your partner tends to make more of the financial decisions, it’s a good idea to become more involved. Not only will this allow you to take ownership of your debt, it will also provide support for your partner who may also be feeling overwhelmed.

Taking ownership of your consumer debt also means understanding your current debt situation. Are you worried or stressed? Our financial health test can help you recognize any debt warning signs. Next, run your numbers through our debt calculator to determine how much you really owe and how long it will take to pay off your debt load.

Build a debt relief support network

While taking ownership of your debt is important, it’s also important to understand that you are not alone. Creating a support network is key and will help diminish the stress and tension associated with having too much consumer debt.

Connect with other women — friends, family members or co-workers — who also feel overwhelmed. Share your plans and progress.

Take action to reduce the consumer debt you owe

After owning your consumer debt and building your debt relief support network, it’s time to take action. Taking action involves building a realistic plan which outlines the steps you’ll need to take in order to make that debt go away. Just remember, your support network can help provide feedback and suggestions based on their experiences, and also keep you accountable.

Taking action also involves sticking to the plan you’ve created. When you are tempted to overspend or do something that would jeopardize the plan, remember what you’ve learned about your debt and that you have a support network available to help you stay motivated.

Dealing with consumer debt can be stressful. Share your best tips for diminishing debt and making your financial goals happen with us. #LeaveDebtBehind #WomenAndMoney #DebtSolutions

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