Credit cards and debit cards were introduced to make our lives easier. But, like every new thing they introduced a new set of problems. While taking loans became easier to buy things, it also posed a problem of people buying things they do not need and do not have the money for.
Spending money you don’t have can lead to anxiety. Economic and health concerns are both aggravated by money problems. And the money kind of stress can lead to anxiety. Not having enough money or having more than enough loans can make you feel agitated. Your brain may switch to fight or flight mode even if the threat isn’t tangible and that is harmful to your mental peace.
If you’re suffering from money anxiety, paying your bills can possibly overwhelm you, even though, they are non-discretionary expenses. Your bills aren’t something you can bail out of, in the name of saving money.
When you lack self-control and spend more than you earn, then even just looking at your credit card debt can induce panic from within. Such cases can also be true if you’re having money issues in general; this is common in people who are very swift with swiping their credit cards.
To get your finances on track, you have to strive to pay off your credit card debt first. One of the ways to do that is to not take on any more debt before you pay off the existing ones. To make spending money that you don’t have easier, ditch the plastic cards. Credit cards, debit cards, even prepaid cards.
You don’t have to cut them and throw them away to not use them. But avoid using them except in emergency situations. You will have to strictly define what “emergency” means for your situation because buying the $1000 shoes because it is on 50% off sale isn’t exactly an emergency.
The rationale here is that your income should be able to tide you over until the next payday – which is also called living within your means. You will have to follow your budget religiously. Having a budget will let you know what your expenses are other than the non-discretionary payments. You can withdraw the amount that you need to get through the week and use only cash to pay for things.
This will make sure that you actually spend as much as you have and not a penny more. If you have to pay with your card, then remove that amount from the cash you have. This will ensure that you stick to the budget, otherwise the amount will look like a surplus and you will end up spending that as well.
Using cash to pay for things throughout the week will help you stick to your budget. Calculate how much you need to get by and withdraw the amount. Keep a small notebook and make a note of every payment. This will help you stretch the money to last you the week because it will make you mindful of each payment and its importance.