Ways to Cope With DebtCredit: Mary R. Vost (MorugeFile.com)

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How to cope with debt is a question on many people's minds. Statistics point to financial problems as the number one reason for divorce. Couples who argue about money can cause irreparable damage to each other. Moreover, research and polls reveal that debt-related stress can lead to health problems such as ulcers, headaches and neck and shoulder pain. Other possible consequences are  strokes and heat attacks. Fortunately, you can take measures to cope with debt.

1. Family unity is important when coping with debt. This is the only way that you can support each other emotionally. It's also important to unite your resources. Have regular family meetings to discuss any progress and to show appreciation for each other's support. Gestures of appreciation for each other can help you cope with the situation while you get out of debt.

2. A budget can help you cope with debt. It's imperative to keep track of every cent that's received and spent. Only by making a budget can you prioritize and give attention to the most important things first.

Budget for food, shelter, utilities and transportation first. Once you have these items covered, include other bills you may have. If you have a surplus, create an emergency fund.  Save at least $1,000. Your next step is to start paying off delinquent accounts one by one. Negotiate a debt settlement, or reduced payoff amount, whenever possible.    

4. In order to cope with debt, look for ways to save money. Your goal is to save as much money as possible as quickly as possible. Here are some ideas.

  • Eat home cooked meals instead of going out to eat. You may need to stick to the staples such as beans and rice. Look for vegetables that are nutritious but inexpensive. Buying in-season produce is a practical way to save on groceries. Some people buy meat that's about to expire. They cook it right away and then freeze it.
  • Recycle your clothes. You can turn a long-sleeved blouse or dress into a short-sleeve garment. Shorten a long dress or skirt by cutting it and then hemming it up. You can give the garment a modern look through simple alterations. Recycling your clothes will help you get out of debt faster.

5. Consider a part-time job to help you cope with debt. This may seem extreme, but if you adhere closely to your budget, you may not have to work a second job for very long. Providing customer service from home is a possibility. Visit work-at-home forums. You can benefit from the experience of others who already work from home. You can also learn about reputable work-at-home employers. Turn away from get-rich-quick schemes in your efforts to cope with debt. Otherwise, you could end up losing valuable resources. 

It is possible to cope with debt successfully, but you have to make a deliberate effort. Remain positive. This is essential to prevent yourself from getting sick due to debt-related stress. Prolonged stress can cloud your judgment, and you need your clear thinking ability to make the best decisions possible for yourself and your family. 

Copyright © 2011 Ana Jackson. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part constitutes plagiarism, is illegal and strictly prohibited.


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