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Debt Relief Tip: How to Free Yourself from the Obsession with Credit

Managing your family’s finances is always a challenge. And you might find that your credit card debt keeps climbing. The convenience of using plastic, and the ability to avoid paying for things in full up front means that the use of credit has increased–and so has consumer stress about finances. If consumers truly want to experience debt relief, it’s time to end that toxic relationship for good.

Yes, credit cards are handy. But the other side of credit is debt, and that’s where the love is lost.

A survey done by Manulife Bank found that 37 per cent of Canadians carrying debt constantly feel anxious or worried about it. That number zooms to 70 per cent for Canadians carrying a significant amount of debt.

Those who are debt free are subjects of envy for those who aren’t.

In our Debt Confessions poll, we found that four out of five Canadians admire at least one of their partner’s financial habits, with the most admired habit being that they carry little to no credit card debt (38%).

If you’re struggling with debt, the best solution is to break up with your credit cards, at least for a while. It might be hard to do at first, but the long-term benefits — and the relief you’ll experience as you get rid of your debt — will be worth it.

Fall in love with your cash

Using cash ensures that you only spend what you have. You still get the satisfaction of making a purchase, but you avoid the anxiety, guilt, and stress of owing money in the future.

What’s not to love about that?

Commit to only using cash for the next month. If you don’t follow a budget, make sure you set one up so you can ensure that you know where your money is going and have enough to cover all your expenses. Here’s one to get you started.

At the end of the month, see how you feel about the fact that your credit card debt hasn’t grown by any new purchases in the last month. You’ll probably feel more in control of your money and less anxious, both big benefits.

Commit to using cash as much as possible, and watch your debt decrease and your financial confidence increase.

Start reducing your debt

The best way to end the obsession with credit cards is to discover how great it feels to be free of debt.

Find the method that works best for you. These two ways of tackling debt, the debt snowball and the debt avalanche, are a couple of examples.

Look for ways to reduce spending, save money, and earn additional income, then put any extra dollars toward getting rid of debt.

Many people, like Christine over at The Wallet Diet, are exploring the rewards of adopting a minimalist lifestyle in order to pay down debt and live debt-free. It’s a great way to declutter your home life and mental state and to save money.

The love affair with credit cards isn’t worth the pain of carrying debt. Like many things in life, moderation is key. Living without a credit card might not be realistic for you, but using it thoughtfully to avoid unnecessary debt is. Focus on spending what you have and paying down your debt for the ultimate joy of true debt relief.

What are you doing to end your obsession with credit cards? Tell us on Twitter. #LeaveDebtBehind #RelationshipWithMoney #DebtTips

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