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Breaking the debt-depression cycle

Financial problems can ensnare those who lack clarity on how to handle money properly. Most Americans find themselves in thousands of dollars of debt stemming from credit cards to student loans. Despite where the debt came from, the awareness of owing money to other people, creditors, or agencies can weigh heavily on a person’s mind and emotions.

It is no surprise that many people who are struggling financially with debt also experience depression, anxiety, strained relationships and other negative issues. Money is a foundational aspect to livelihood and how your world is operating and functioning. Debt makes a person’s lifestyle and emotional response dysfunctional, increasing the risk of a mental health breakdown.

How does this happen?

The debt-depression cycle starts by not being aware or knowledgeable on how money works. It is easy to spend money in the moment when you are impulsively making purchases according to your fleeting emotions. For example, on payday you could feel like you are in abundance and spend on things you felt deprived of when you were broke. It may feel liberating to spend your money on what you want and neglect paying bills and other necessary things first. You delay responsibility only to have the consequences crash down on you later on.

Not keeping a budget, overspending and getting into debt can happen easily and be a trap that is hard to get out of afterwards. Once you are in the debt trap, you will start to have all the negative emotions associated with financial struggle. It can make it harder to make wise decisions and therefore, the emotional-financial loop of negativity continues to occur.

How to break the cycle

Breaking this vicious cycle begins by becoming aware of your problem and seeking help. There are many resources available to help people budget their money and save for their futures. Increasing your education in personal finance cannot be overstressed. It is also important to consider alternative ways of getting what you want without spending lots of money outright.

For example, consider adopting this thought process anytime you need or want to buy something.

  1. Can I make this from scratch?
  2. Can I borrow this from someone?
  3. Can I find this at a garage sale or thrift store?
  4. Can I get something similar to this (generic) at a regular store?
  5. Can I get this on-sale at a regular store?

The last resort is paying full-price for the item you want. Making changes to your viewpoint and overall mentality when it comes to money will help greatly to break the cycle. It is empowering to realize that you are capable of setting limits and being organized with your finances, instead of feeling helpless and depressed. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get the help you need for a brighter financial future!

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