From a very young age we are all taught by our parents to always do the right thing. Don’t cheat, don’t steal, don’t lie, and on and on. As we grow into our teen and adult years we begin to experiment with budgeting, bill-paying, and yes, even having to manage credit card debt. Some of us may be prone to experimenting with other things using credit cards, but that is an article for another day.
One of the age-old adages that we almost all adopt is that it is extremely important to always ALWAYS pay our bills on time. Yes, I know Mozart was in debt, and many famous and noteworthy people also died in debt and penniless. But, as a society, we certainly don’t want to teach our children how to end up in debt. However, sometimes it just becomes a fact-of-life that we as individuals, families, business-people may find ourselves for one reason or another head-over-heels in debt. Perhaps we willfully abused our credit card privileges. Perhaps we accumulated the debt from inheritance, home-remodeling, a once-in-a-lifetime trip, helping out a family member in need, or due to a medical catastrophe.
In any case, we may be faced with the tough decision to enter into a debt-settlement program and be forced to face one of our biggest fears…having to go delinquent purposely on our outstanding credit-card debt. Oh my, the stress! Many clients have said their biggest stress comes from no longer having that good feeling of paying their bills on time. Others have said they cannot deal with the stress of fielding harassing phone calls on their cellphones all day long, or worse than that….dealing with embarrassing calls at work. Others have even told us that they’ve gone to sleep at night dreaming that by not paying their credit-card bills on time that there was a likelihood they may be arrested….by the credit card police, no less!
So, how do we, or better yet, how can we cope with the stress of not paying our credit-card bills on time? First of all, we have to learn to be present and put things in a healthy perspective. What do I mean by present? Normally, as adults we associate feelings of guilt, shame, and negativity to our current problem that are nothing more than a clear and direct result of how we associated those feeling from the pain of a past painful event. Our minds are like a long tape recorder of history and our minds tend to play tricks on us. Get present and clear-headed and tackle this current decision of not paying your bills on time with a sense of steadfastness and clarity.
When your mind is present and focused it’s only then that you can “get your power” back and understand that by entering into a debt-settlement program you “hold all of the cards” and are firmly in charge of your financial future for the first time in a long time.
Also, it is wise to have a healthy perspective. If you are going to go behind in paying your credit-card bills try to ensure that all of your other major bills are indeed being PAID ON TIME! This will help to create a strong attitude knowing that your whole “house” is NOT falling down. Lastly, open up to trusted family members and your debt counselor and talk about your feelings of stress. Never ever keep it bottled up. Try to live a productive, positive lifestyle in all other areas of your daily life; and you will no doubt be able to to cope with the unnecessary stress of beating the credit-card companies at their very own game.