Christmas is for kids everyone says, I agree. Then I guess the New Year is for adults? Then perhaps New Year’s resolutions are for adults too. What are the typical resolultions: lose weight, be happier, make more cash, be a nicer person , the list goes on, but there’s another one that’s on my most people’s list – get out of debt.
At Christmas we wonder what gifts to buy, the New Year is when we wonder how to pay for them. It’s exactly at this time of the year that peoples’ debts are increasing, so in a sense the New Year is the business end of Christmas. It’s certainly the time for looking at our credit card statements at least.
Who exactly does it affect
It’s been said that one in three people go into debt around Christmas. Debt is not only a risk to our financial well-being, but also to our relationships and even to our health.
According to Debt Advice a leading organization that gives free advice on peoples’ debts – it’s the leading cause of breakups. Actually it ranks higher than other factors such as unemployment, illness, gambling and alcohol problems. Although It’s hard to see how they themselves are connected to peoples’ debts.
It’s also said that 44 % of people in the UK alone, are now under the burden of non-mortgage debt. That’s a lot of families with debt problems! Many of these families will fail to make their payments.
I’m no better than you
I have no intention of telling you about how I crawled out of debt, or of how I never had a debt problem in the first place. But I will mention, that debt doesn’t only affect the adults – kids feel it too. I can recall time when my father whispered to me to crouch down, and hide from the man who was knocking on the front door. He may have been a legal sort of debt company or something even worse, I never found out, that’s often the problem with debt.
Talk to loved ones
Don’t hide your debt, don’t ignore it. Debt can seem like a terrible shame and burden. But that’s exactly when you need communicate with your family or partner. Your family needs to understand what you’re going through.
My Mother who was very able woman with money, but she had the worse kind of surprise one day. I can’t remember how she found out, perhaps it was a letter, anyway the result was she found out her husband had taken out a second mortgage against our home – the first was almost paid off! Thanks dad!
Nobody ever knew why he did it, but he hid it, and even more dangerously ignored it. My father really was the perfect storm when it came to letting his debts spiral out of control.
Bottom line – get the family on board with financial decisions. They can push you, or stop you, encourage you and or support you. They can’t do anything if they don’t know. Talk to someone you know, who’s been through it, or call a national debt line or something for free advice on debt. Good advice can often come free.
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