“If you have debt I’m willing to bet that general clutter is a problem for you too.” — Suze Orman
Being in debt in our 20s completely sucks because all of tomorrow’s income goes to yesterday’s purchases. It becomes even worse when debt begins to take a toll on your life and your relationships. It gets extremely dreadful when you start making mistakes that you normally wouldn’t have.
Let’s take a look at mistakes that we make when we happen to already be in debt. These are mistakes that cause us to get into further amounts of debt.
Not seeing an end to your debt.
A major mental lapse caused by debt is the fact that it feels like that there’s no end in sight. Don’t worry because we’ve all been there at some point. When you begin paying off your debt it’s like the first day of class or the first day at the gym. When you’re out of shape going to the gym will be torture at first. You might feel intimidated. You might even want to give up.
Paying off debt is the same. It just feels like there’s no end in sight. When you owe $5,000, it can get pretty discouraging to see your monthly debt statements. The good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s just difficult to see it when you begin your journey to becoming debt-free.
Spending even more money while in debt.
The problem that many folks in debt make is buying more stuff. Spending money can be an addiction just like any other addiction. There are those that can’t help but spend their money. I’m in no position to judge. I’m just pointing out that I’ve seen many of my friend spiral out of control with debt. They either justify their purchases or they claim that they’ll just pay off their whole credit card bill (no matter of how big it gets) when they start making “real money.” The problem is that this real money takes a long time to actually come.
When you’re in debt it feels like you’re going nowhere fast, similar to running a treadmill. Many people become accustomed to being in debt so they just figure they’ll just buy more stuff now and deal with the consequences later.
Making just the minimum payment.
It’s possible that you’ve found a debt elimination plan that works for you. You’re debating implementing this plan. You’re ready to get hardcore about becoming free of all debt. Unfortunately, a major mental mistake we all make when in debt is to only pay the minimum monthly payment.
It’s fine that you’re making the minimum payment but do you realize how much this is costing you? Let’s just say that it’s going to take you much longer to bring that debt down because you’re going to be paying interest on your interest.
Not negotiating your APR.
Many of us assume our current credit APR or debt interest rate is final. The thing that I’ve learned about prices is that everything is negotiable. Interest rates are no different. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
This is why I highly recommend that you call your credit card company to work out some sort of a deal.
Why would anyone care about a few percentage points?
Let’s assume that you call your credit card provider and either threaten to get a balance transfer with another credit card company or politely ask for a APR reduction because you’ve hit hard times. Let’s pretend they drop your APR of 18% by 4% to 14%. Imagine how much money you would save on your debt payments?
Are there any mental mistakes caused by debt that I missed? What mistakes have you made while in debt?