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Everyday Cheapskate: Got debt? Do something about it!

Doing something about consumer debt is good for your finances — and just about every other area of your life, too.

Health. Experts say there’s no question that carrying a lot of debt can be stressful — causing all kinds of health issues. It can result in worry, sleeplessness, communication breakdown, depression and anxiety. Credit card debt takes a terrible toll on our health. Our bodies bear the consequences of the heavy loads our minds carry when we place our lives in financial jeopardy. Do something about your debt starting today, and you’ll be doing something good for your health, too.

Job. Being in a job you hate is an awful place to be. Every time you think about leaving, you realize you can’t afford to right now because you have too much debt to pay off. Get started today doing something about your debt to get unstuck from your unhappy situation.

Relationships. I’m not proud of this, but it is the truth: Loads of debt prompted me to lie to my husband. I resented him for not making more money; he learned he couldn’t trust me. The No. 1 killer of marriages in the U.S. is unresolved conflicts. And what do couples argue about the most? The No. 1 area of conflict is money. Divorce is expensive. If strengthening your marriage were the only reason to debt-proof your life, it would be reason enough. Want to lessen the stress at home? Do something about your debt. You’ll be amazed.

Future. Carrying credit-card debt keeps you in the past. Think about it: You’re now legally obligated to pay for stuff you don’t even remember with money you haven’t earned yet. Reducing debt has the opposite effect. It frees up money to save for the future. Looking forward and planning for the future will improve your life and get you unstuck from the past. Doing something about your debt will seriously improve your outlook on life.

Peace of mind. Creating a plan to methodically pay down debt brings a sense of peace, joy and calm. Even if you have to start small, that’s fine. The key is to get started right away. It will never be easier than it is right now. And remember this: As long as you’re headed in the right direction, even the baby steps count. Just keep going; don’t stop and don’t give up!

Convinced? Are you ready to get serious about getting out of debt and then staying that way? I can help. My book, “Debt-Proof Living: How to Get out of Debt and Stay That Way” has just been released in its 3rd edition. In it I share the simple money management plan that got me out of more debt and has helped thousands of others to do the same.

Mark today on your calendar as the day that you decided to do something about your debt — and you meant it. I know you can do this, and I’d be honored to walk with you all the way to paying off that last dollar of the debt that’s been keeping you in financial bondage. I know you can do this!

Mary Hunt is founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com.

You can email her at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630. To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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