Beat money depression with 7 amazing tips

When you face downfall due to money problems, it can be dangerous for your mental health, physical health, and even for your family. But listening to this might give you peace of mind that you aren’t alone.

 

If you’re depressed about money and want to turn the table with a positive approach, here are some options to brighten your mind.

 

1. Reviewing the past

If you are depressed with your finances, a good first step might be reviewing your past. Look at your past income flow and how much you have spent. Review how much you have borrowed and how much you still owe to creditors. Evaluate your assets and check if they are still worthy of being called assets or if they have now become a liability.

 

You need to find the issue if you want to beat money depression. Most of the time, people become depressed because they can’t find the real issue that causes depression. A change of perspective may solve your problem. It might happen that the financial issue you’re facing might be totally out of your hands. For example, financial downfall during the economic recession.

 

2. Stay active like other happy people

It is the easiest way of recovering from money depression as per my knowledge. Instead of being depressed, keep yourself active. Go out with friends, do whatever you want to do. This might help you to distract yourself from the problems.

 

Doing this constantly can make you happy. It’s called the ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it approach’ for fighting money depression.

 

Keep yourself away from alcohol and drugs. You need sufficient sleep at night, but too much sleep is also harmful to you. If you sleep for more than 7 hours a day, try to wake up early. Do exercises regularly and drink lots of water. It will increase positivity in your body and mind. Initially, you’ll find it difficult to cope up with these habits, but soon you’ll get positive results and start recovering from money depression.

 

3. Take the required actions

You’ll have to decide what your next step will be. To handle money depression, would you increase your income? Retirees might consider the idea of generating income, less spending, and more savings once again. You can try whatever you like to start paying off some of your debts.

 

One practical step to deal with money depression is reviewing your monthly bills. Checking your monthly bills may give you the purpose of what you must take care of in the first place.

 

Trust me, paying off your debts, no matter how small it is, can make you feel relieved and happy.

 

4. Volunteer yourself for charity

Barbara Neitlich, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist working in Los Angeles, suggested, “The act of volunteering or helping someone has a chemical effect on the brain and will often raise your spirits.”

 

Research reveals, people who volunteered weekly for charities, were 16% more likely to be “very happy.”

 

Through volunteering, you can meet new people and make new connections.

 

Lisa Kindel, a multimedia freelance consultant in Frankfort, Kentucky, explained, “When I’m feeling insecure, unsuccessful, I go sit at the info desk at my local farmers market to talk about local foods, produce, weather, recipes… Talking to other people about food and recipes can pick me up because I’m not dwelling on what’s wrong with me that day.”

 

5. Focus on controlling your budget

You should be focusing on maintaining your current budget plan. Free websites like mint.com might come in handy to assess your income and expenses. Prepare a plan to beat your money depression. Improve your finances by maintaining a solid budget. You must also seek out new income streams.

 

Brad Klontz, PsyD, a financial psychologist based in Hawaii, has explained, “Do an honest assessment of what you need because there’s very little correlation between things and happiness.”

 

6. Get mortgage counseling

In 2010, about 2.9 million U.S. homeowners got foreclosure notices. Make sure you do not become a part of a similar record in 2020.

 

If you’re behind on your mortgage payments, seek free help from mortgage counselors approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Craig E. Pollack, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, also suggests the same.

 

7. Create a temporary plan and deal with money depression

Practically, you need to find out how you will make payments of your bills and handle finances while dealing with money depression. If you are broke and have no income, you may consider taking a job to earn dollars.

 

If you can’t engage yourself in a job, then you may ask for help from your family to lend you funds. This way you won’t have to worry about the interest. You may even opt for a low-interest personal loan. You may even take out a loan from 401(k). But try to avoid it considering your retirement funds.

 

If you are still having financial issues like debt (credit card bills, payday loans, etc.) and can’t find a way out, take help from professionals in the industry.

 

Endnotes

“One reason people can find themselves down about money problems is that they don’t know how to solve them.” – Colin Drake, entrepreneur, California.

 

You may take help from a financial planner as per your affordability. You might also need a therapist. Your health insurance does not cover any illness due to your money depression.

 

Talk to your friend or a family member. If you’re truly financially depressed, your dear ones may join you in fighting money depression.

How to crush your debt easily with 3 simple steps in 2020

To most people, like me, keeping New Year’s resolutions is difficult. Some people even hesitate to make new year’s resolutions at all. But some people responsibly follow each resolution they make on the occasion of New Year.

 

Of all types of resolutions, managing finances is one of the most common of all that is usually broken. People mostly fail to get debt relief due to their negligence towards financial matters.

 

Make sure 2020 is the year when you are definitely going to keep your get out of debt resolution. If you can follow these 3 basic steps to crush your debt, you can reach your goal to become financially free in 2020.

 

1. List all of your debts from lowest to the highest amount

 

Relax and take a deep breath. Now you are going to prepare a list of every outstanding debt you owe, a.k.a. your total debt balance. This may include:

 

  • Credit card debts
  • Payday loans
  • Personal loans
  • Mortgage payments
  • Student loans
  • Auto Loan Payment

 

Once you make the list of all your debts, sort out the unsecured debts from that list and create a new final list of debts to start your quest. Practical mortgage and car loan payments will be off that list as they secure debts with collateral.

 

*Do not forget to list every balance with their interest rates and creditor names. Now you have a clear picture of what you owe and to whom.

 

2. Decide which debt to crush first

 

Professionals might suggest you focus on the debt with the lowest balance first because it’ll be easier to crush such debts due to the low balance. You may even get out of debt quickly if the entire balance of a particular account is small enough.

 

But if you ask me, I’d always target the debt with the highest interest rate. The best way to crush your debt is to target your highest interest debts first. This is because the highest interest debt can continuously generate more debt into your account. Normally, payday loans and credit card bills have the highest interest rate compared to other loans.

 

In some situations, the circumstances related to your debt may push you to pay it first. For example, if you have taken out a loan against your retirement plan and somehow facing issues in your work life, it is better to pay off that debt as soon as possible. To support your quest, you can engage in multiple income streams like doing any side hustle. If you live in a friendly neighborhood where you can arrange a good old-fashioned garage sale, do it. It is the easiest and a low-cost option to clear your unwanted commodities and make a profit out of those things. Once it is done, use the money to pay off your debts.

 

Once you have determined which debt to target first, analyze your basic expenses again before starting the quest. Starting from the current month, make minimum payments on other debt accounts, and invest as much money as possible to make a payment on the target debt, which is the lowest one.

 

If you are confused about how to save money from your monthly budget and make debt payments, it is suggested that you should use the 50/30/20 budget strategy. Keep basic, important expenses on top priority, like housing costs, and engage 50% of your income for that. Then engage 30% for other requirements, and use 20% for savings and debt paydown. You can even use the 20% to repay the debt if you can.

 

3. ‘Snowball’ or “avalanche” your remaining debts

 

Once you’ve made the list, now is the time to choose your debt payment strategy.

 

You primarily have 2 options:

 

a) “Snowball” – List your debts as per their amount, from the lowest to the highest. Engage most of the income to repay the debt with the lowest amount. Make sure to make minimum payments to other debts. Once it is paid off, target your next debt account on your hit list. Again, follow the same strategy on the next debt with the lowest amount and make minimum payments to other debt balances.

 

b) “Avalanche” – Just like the previous method, you need to make a list. But this time list the debts as per their interest rates, from highest to lowest. Make minimum payments to your other debts and focus on the one with the highest interest rate. Once it is paid off, choose the next with the highest interest from your kill list. This is my favorite debt payoff strategy so far.

 

You need to take care of your credit score. Making extra payments each month on your debts can also lower your credit utilization ratio, which can improve your credit score. You may also think about the option of debt consolidation. You may tackle your credit card debts by choosing one of the most popular debt consolidation methods, a.k.a. the balance transfer method. You may also take out a debt consolidation loan (a personal loan) to consolidate multiple debts into one.

 

The more you pay off your debts, the better your credit score will be.

 

Endnote

 

These are the 3 basic steps to crush your debt. Once you gather debts, you should try to get rid of them as soon as possible. Remember, you can’t get debt relief in one night. If you follow these financial steps properly and keep your patience, you’ll definitely progress in your quest to crush your debts.

 

70 Percent of consumers are in debt – Are you one of them?

 

The holidays are arriving. Consumers are still crying over their financial owes. As per a survey conducted by CompareCards.com, 70% of Americans are in debt and they are crying over their financial wounds. Around 31% of these people are in financial trouble due to household debt, and 20% of these consumers are worrying due to credit card debt.

 

Debt is a huge source of stress. Everyone knows about it. Debt takes an emotional toll on people. Almost 15% of the surveyed people are worried due to unemployment, high cost of living, rents, and mortgage payments. Almost 14% of the surveyed people are tensed due to tight budgets.
The survey was conducted on 1004 consumers. But this survey reflects America’s general consumer debt scenario of America. Consumers have $1,074,979,918 credit card debt in the US, which is a massive amount. And such a huge debt load is driving consumers into tears.

 

Only a debtor knows how it feels to be in debt. Sometimes, it feels overwhelming and stressful. It pushes people toward depression and anxiety. Ballooning credit card debt and student loan debt have become a point of major concern for people. And, it’s logical. It’s normal. Anyone would feel stressed.

 

#Survey result

Millennials are immersed in student loan debt.
70% of Americans are stressed out due to their debt problems.
31% of Americans are worried due to household debt.
20% of Americans are tense due to credit card debt.
15% of Americans are crying due to inflation.
14 consumers are distressed due to tight budgets.
Millennials are emotionally perturbed due to student loan debt.
Millennials are also worried about bringing up kids.
Women are crying due to rent and monthly mortgage payments.
Men are more concerned about their auto loans, student loans, and credit card debts

Other financial factors leading to stress and anxiety are personal loan debts, medical debts, retirement, investments in the stock market, tax, credit score, and identity theft.

 

#How to get out of debt and financial stress

Are you also shedding tears for your debts? Do you also belong to this 70% category? If so, then don’t lose your heart. Here are a few tips you can use to get out of debt and depression. Here you go.

 

1. Think rationally instead of emotionally: Life is not a bed of roses. You can’t expect that there won’t be any problem in your life. If you have debts, you have to pay them off. Don’t panic or get stressed out. It’s natural to be worried when the debt amount is huge. But there are plenty of ways to get rid of debt. You’re not the only one who is in debt. Millions of people are in debt. If they can deal with it, then why can’t you?

 

2. Create a debt payoff plan: Unless you have a debt payoff plan, you can’t get out of credit card bills or student loans or auto loans, or mortgages. If you have credit card debt, call your creditor and ask him to lower the payoff amount. If your track record has been good, the creditor is most likely to give you a settlement offer. The problem is most people prefer crying over their credit card debt problems instead of calling creditors.
If you have a mortgage and can’t make monthly payments, then ask the lender for a loan modification. Refinancing is also a good option for you.
If you have a federal student loan debt, then you can explore various repayment plans to lower your monthly payments. If you have auto loan debt, then refinance it if possible.

 

3. Create a budget to spend less and save more: No matter what debt repayment plan you choose, you have to pay money, even if it’s a small amount. You have to arrange the money, and for that, you need to create a personal budget plan. Download a budgeting application after reading its reviews and split your expenses accordingly. Focus on reducing your luxury expenses so that you can save more in the long run. The more you save, the more you can pay toward your debts. See also: How can you make a perfect budget when you are jobless?

 

4. Get advice from professionals: What do you do when you’re suffering from viral fever? In most cases, you consult a doctor and get the required medicines to be fit. Likewise, when you have debts and can’t pay them off, you should get advice from certified credit counselors and debt negotiators. These people have immense knowledge on the various ways to get rid of debt. They know the root cause of your problem and also the solution. They also know how to negotiate with creditors and grab an affordable repayment plan for you. So if you’re in debt, then you should approach a debt relief company and ask for a solution.

 

However, don’t be in a hurry. Make thorough research on debt relief companies before making the final call because scams are also rampant in the country. Read more: Clear your debts with professional help and DIY Options.

 

Final words

There are thousands of people who are going through debt problems in our country. They need both help and hope to recover from debt distress. If you’re one of them, then use the aforementioned tips to repair the broken parts of your financial house.
Debt counseling, consolidation, or settlement: Which is beneficial

Debt counseling, consolidation, or settlement: Which is beneficial?

The two most feasible options for people struggling to pay off debts are debt counseling and debt consolidation. But most people feel overwhelmed when they need to choose between these two options. It is worth mentioning that each method has its advantages and disadvantages. So before you select a suitable debt relief program, it is advisable to analyze your financial situation as well as check the two options properly. Therefore, let us discuss these two options in detail to know which one will be favorable for your financial situation.

 

Credit counseling/debt counseling

 

What is credit counseling?

Credit counseling is a process where a credit counselor educates the debtor about various debt-relief options, money management techniques, and budgeting. This process also provides guidance to debtors to eliminate debt.

 

The credit counseling agency assists indebted people to get out of debt. The firm guides the debtor to manage the financial situation effectively.

 

What is the function of credit counseling?

 

A certified credit counselor guides debt-stricken consumers to get out of debt.

 

When you opt for credit counseling, the credit counselor will formulate a budget plan after reviewing your financial situation so that you can manage your finances. He will design a repayment plan to make the owed amount affordable to pay off.

 

Effect of credit counseling on credit score

 

Your credit counseling session will not bring down your credit score as the effects of this program will be negligible to your credit score. Credit counselors prevent consumers from applying for new credit cards and incur fresh debt. They also prevent consumers from using a credit card in the wrong way, which can hurt the FICO score in the future.

 

Debt consolidation

 

What is debt consolidation?

 

Debt consolidation is the process of merging your multiple debts with a consolidation loan at a favorable interest rate. You can prolong your repayment plan, which will help to lower your monthly payment.

 

How can you consolidate your debts?

You can take out an unsecured consolidation loan from a bank to combine your debts. If your credit score is low, then you might not be able to get the loan at an affordable interest rate.

 

Try to opt for a secured debt consolidation loan if you are looking for low-interest loans. You can take out a loan against a security deposit on favorable terms. But keep in mind that if you default on your payment, then you might lose possession of your assets.

 

You can even hire the services of a debt consolidation company if you are unable to manage your debts. This company can help you to get a consolidation loan at an affordable interest rate. You need to find a reputable debt consolidation company with Better Business Bureau accreditation.

 

There is yet another way to consolidate your debts, and that is by enrolling in a debt consolidation program. Here the debt counselor associated with the company will negotiate with the creditors to lower the interest rate on the principal balance. He might instruct you to skip payments so that the creditors agree to lower the repayment plan. If you skip payments, your credit score might drop initially. But once you start making payments, it will eventually increase.

 

Debt settlement

 

What is a debt settlement and what is its effect?

If you can’t manage your multiple debts due to lack of income and the debt collectors are giving you harassing calls throughout the day, you can enroll yourself in a debt settlement plan and repay the reduced balance with ease. While there are professional companies that you can resort to, you can also take certain steps on your own. By settling your debts yourself, you can save your dollars on the unnecessary fees charged by the debt settlement attorney.

 

3 Steps to settle your debts

  • Know your lenders: You can settle your payday loan debts through settlement. If you have a dozen payday loans or a couple of them, calculate the total amount before considering further steps. Calculate the principal amount and the interest rates on each account. This will help you to understand how much you need to repay your creditors.

 

  • Know the licensing laws in the state: You should check the licensing laws so that you can understand whether you owe them both the interest rate and the outstanding balance or just the principal amount. If the lenders are legal in your state, then repay the entire amount. If the lenders are not legal, then you just need to pay back the principal amount and not the fees.

 

  • Negotiate with your lenders: To settle your debts, you need to negotiate with your creditors to reduce the total debt amount. However, negotiation can be difficult for you since you have to convince your creditors about your financial difficulties. Thus, you can enroll in a debt settlement program, when the negotiator negotiates on your behalf and successfully reduce the total debt amount.

 

Therefore, analyze your financial situation before selecting a debt relief plan as it will help you attain financial liberation. Make sure you exercise financial discipline when you take out a debt consolidation loan, otherwise you might get further into debt. If you are looking for a fast debt relief solution, then credit counseling will not be a good option for you.

How You Can Get Rid Of Debt Before Christmas - 4 Tips

How You Can Get Rid Of Debt Before Christmas – 4 Tips

Although it may look like an impossible task to get out of debt before Christmas, it isn’t so actually especially when you owe less than $10,000 to creditors. If you read this post and follow the tips mentioned here, then I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy delicious foods and friendly banters with your family without any debt problems or stress. So without wasting any time or words, here’s how to have a debt-free Christmas.

1. Take up a second job:

The thought of doing a second job after a tiring day might not be appealing to you but it can fetch you a good amount of money. Instead of watching Netflix in the evening, you can use that time to make money. Simple jobs like pizza delivery and writing articles can help you to get extra cash. Use it to pay off your debts. Focus on those jobs that give you a minimum of $200 – $400 per week.

2. Give a garage sale:

Take an inventory of what you have and throw in a garage sale. I’m not saying that you should sell everything. What I’m suggesting is, sell the items that you don’t need. Try to pick items that have decent value in the market. Otherwise, you won’t be able to make a big amount of money. You can also choose items that you can’t sell on eBay due to shipping problems.

3. Settle your credit cards:

One of the fastest ways to get out of debt before Christmas is to settle credit cards since that allows you to pay less than what you owe. But for that, you need to save money first.

 

Create a budget to see how much you earn and how much you keep in your bank account. Thereafter, think about ways to reduce your expenses so that you can keep more money in your bank account. You can use this money to settle your credit cards since creditors would expect a lump sum payment. See also: Is it possible to settle the debt without hurting your credit score?

4. Opt for a balance transfer card:

A balance transfer card can help to reduce your debt load instantly. You can take out a 0% interest balance transfer card and pay off your outstanding balance on other cards instantly. Thereafter, pay off the new debt at a low-interest rate in the next 12 months. Check out – transfersHow to make the best credit card balance transfer to avoid mistakes!

What else you can do

Thousands of people are getting into debt at Christmas. Last night, when I was writing this article, I decided to check how many people go into debt for Christmas on Google. The results startled me. Nearly, 74% of Americans couldn’t budget properly for the festive season and incurred an average of $1054 of debt in 2017. As per the financial experts, if consumers make only the minimum monthly payment, then they won’t be debt-free before 2023. Adding fuel to the fire, consumers would end up paying $500 interest during the tenure.

 

It’s high time to stop going into debt for Christmas because that affects the overall financial planning in the next year. Remember, a recession can hit the country at any time. So you should start taking steps to build a recession-proof financial life from now on. And, the first step is to get out of debt before Xmas.

 

Do you feel that what I said is wrong from any angle? If so, then feel free to post your feedback in the comment section.

Have any ideas on how to pay off debt before Christmas? Share them with us too.

Debt consolidation: Pros and cons that you should be aware of

If you are struggling to repay your credit card bills, medical bills, or monthly bills, then you should apply the right debt relief strategy. Ignoring debt can create more financial trouble in the future.

 

You can seek many debt solutions to get out of unsecured debts. But if you are struggling with multiple debts or bills, consider the debt consolidation process.

 

In this process, you can either combine all your outstanding balance under a single card or obtain a loan at a lower rate of interest to pay off all your unsecured debts. You can also enroll with a debt consolidation company to consolidate your debt. Once you enroll in the program, the debt counselor will negotiate with your creditors to lower the interest rate on your debts. They will club all your outstanding debt obligations into a single low monthly payment plan. You just need to make one single monthly payment for a certain time to become debt-free.

What are the benefits of considering the debt consolidation process?

Some advantages of the debt consolidation process are as follows:

You need to make a single monthly payment

If you opt for the debt consolidation process, you do not have to bother making multiple monthly payments to your creditors. Just by making a single payment every month, you can pay off all your debts after a certain time. You do not have to pay any extra fees. Only you will have to pay consolidation services fees if you enroll with a debt relief company to opt for the consolidation service.

 

It helps to lower the interest rates on debts

You can reduce the interest rate on your debts through debt consolidation. By putting all debts under one card, you will be able to get a lower rate of interest.

 

If you are taking out a consolidation loan to pay off your credit card debts, then you will surely get the loan at a lower interest rate.

 

If you are getting help from a debt consolidation company, the company will negotiate lower rates of interest with your creditors. Thus, you need to pay a much smaller amount than what you were supposed to pay.

You need to pay to a single creditor

When you consolidate your debts, you just need to pay only a single creditor.

 

If you take out a debt consolidation loan, you will have to pay only the bank or the lender who has provided you with that loan. Thus, you do not have to take the trouble of paying multiple creditors.

 

If you get help from a debt consolidation company, then they will assess your financial situation and decide on a single monthly payment. You need to pay this amount to the company and they will further distribute this money among your creditors. Thus, you do not have to pay multiple creditors.

You will get a lower monthly payment

If you consider a debt consolidation program, the debt counselor will negotiate with your creditors to lower down the rate of interest on the debts that you owe. This, in turn, lowers down your single monthly payment amount. It is easy for you to pay a lower single monthly payment plan.

You will get back your peace of mind

When you have too many credit card bills to pay, you will get several credit card bills in the mail. This can turn into a very stressful experience for you. When you consolidate your credit card debts, you will get only a single credit card statement. Thus, you can feel relaxed, which is very important for you to plan your finances better and live a good life.

You can avoid bankruptcy

Ignoring debt can create more trouble. You will start getting debt collection calls. If you don’t respond, then creditors or debt collectors can sue you for the due payments. You may have to file for bankruptcy to pay off the debt collectors. In bankruptcy, you may lose your assets. So, considering debt consolidation can help you to avoid bankruptcy.

Raise your credit score

Debt consolidation programs do not hurt your credit score. Since you are paying off all the debts, it will not hurt your credit score. Rather, if you make regular monthly payments, your credit score gets a boost.

Disadvantages of the debt consolidation process

Nothing is flawless, and debt consolidation has some flaws as well.

 

Here you go:

  • In the debt consolidation process, you can’t reduce the amount of debt. You can reduce the interest rate on your debts, but you have to pay the total debt.
  • The debt consolidation process can be expensive in the long run. If you take out a consolidation loan to pay off your debts, then you have to make monthly payments on the new loan (Consolidation loan). It will take a longer time to pay off the new loan. So you end up paying more on the interest rate.
  • If your credit score is not good, then you won’t get better rates on your new loan (Consolidation loan). You will be charged a high advance fee. If your credit score is not good, then you can get help from a debt consolidation company to consolidate your debt.

 

Lastly, you shouldn’t miss the debt payments for your new consolidation loan. So make sure you follow the budget to make monthly debt payments on time.

If you decide to enroll in a debt consolidation program, then make sure the company is good. Check the rating with BBB before signing the agreement. A good debt consolidation company provides free debt counseling. So, you can be benefited by the debt counseling session. The counselor will help you to learn better money management and budgeting skills.