For some, piles of debt can come from defensible sources like student loans, but maybe you just have more credit card debt than you planned on and now you’re struggling. The first step? Stop guilting yourself.
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As psychology blog Psychology Today points out, as in most areas of life, routinely beating yourself over the head with the guilt of past mistakes doesn’t help your budget. All it does is cloud your judgment and make it harder to get back on track. If you’re in debt because you screwed something up or made a bad choice, then OK. Acknowledge it, then move on:
While it is vital to face up to financial reality, it is not necessary, helpful or healthy to do so while carrying around the guilt and overwhelm associated with that burden. Emotional overload can blind you to the fact that there is always a solution. It can debilitate your ability to find clarity and move to a better place.
Of course, absolving yourself doesn’t mean saying it’s not your fault, or pretending it never happened. It simply means that you don’t need to punish or berate yourself anymore. Instead, focus your energy on finding practical solutions. And, if you’re on the right track to paying off your debt, be glad about that, rather than continually feeling guilty because you weren’t doing it right in the past.