Owing money can cause a lot of stress. Depending on the circumstances of your debt, it might impact every other area of your life. Balancing a budget is one thing, but keeping calm, cool, and collected in the face of money problems is something everyone faces at one time or another.

Here are three ways that debt can affect your stress levels:

How Did I Get So Much Debt?

The past can haunt you! The choices you made to acquire such debt might have been bad ones, or maybe it was just bad timing. What’s done is done, and can’t be undone… but that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t weight on you.

The productive thing to do is focus on the present and the future, and making choices that will get you out of debt. Learn from past mistakes, take the wisdom, and make smart financial decisions moving forward.

More Work, Fewer Options

The stress of paying bills leads many people to pick up extra work, either additional jobs or “gig” work through online companies like Uber. This will lead people to work a lot more, and have a lot less time and money to spend enjoying life.

Quality of life matters. The more time spent at work translates to less time relaxing, seeing friends and family, or chasing life’s passions.  And when all the extra time working doesn’t translate to more cash to spend on these passions, it can deeply affect your mindset.

Stressing Over the Future

It is easy to obsess over past mistakes, and to feel trapped in your current situation. The biggest stress of all comes from worrying about the future.

Sometimes debt can feel like it is too big to ever escape from. All the work, all the saving and budgeting, and there still is no finish line in sight. Debt is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and takes a lot of time, effort, and self discipline to finish the race.

Keep running.  Keep working, keep budgeting, stick to your plan to reduce what you owe.

You can do it!

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