Is debt a millennial- eating boogie monster? Should we be scared?

By Hayley Hemmings
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Not all debt is bad. In fact, borrowing money can be a good decision sometimes!

If you’re one of the many millennials in the UK with credit card or loan debt, you might notice how your debt tends to rear its ugly head whenever you need to make a big purchasing decision.

Indeed, having debt can make life tricky and far less enjoyable. For example, you might find yourself rejected for a mortgage, because you have too much debt baggage. Or perhaps your debt limits your lifestyle choices, because of the hefty repayments you have to stump up every month.

Let’s face it; having debt is not a lot of fun. But so many people do have debt waiting to be repaid even though they might wish deep down that they could be free of it – because in today’s world, it’s practically normal to carry some kind of debt. Yet the topic of money can still be seen as a taboo for many millennials today, here's a article to overcome this.

Debt is often seen as “the norm”

Debt is usually a hindrance at best, but the concept of borrowing money is regular enough that debt becomes easy to brush under the carpet, where it silently stays until you need to worry about it another day. Debt is easy to ignore and put to the back of your mind.

After all, paying off debt is difficult and often requires an extreme amount of willpower to stay the course. The process involves not actually getting into any more debt for a start. It means making cutbacks and financial sacrifices, sticking to a budget and overpaying the debt to clear it that bit faster.

However it goes without saying, that life will most definitely be better if you don’t have to carry a lot of debt around with you. Tommy one of our own gaffers, definitely feels amazing after clearing his debt - to read his story click here.

Challenge your attitude towards debt.

If you tend to put your debt on the backburner, it’s worth considering whether your attitude to debt needs to change.

The best way to handle your debt responsibly is to pay it off in a timely manner. Getting to the point where you can clear your debt balance at the end of every month is a great position to be in. You’ll not only avoid interest charges – your credit score will thank you for it too!

If you really want to get out of debt, you’ll have to change your money mindset and your attitude to debt as a first important step.

This won’t happen overnight, but if you surround yourself with as much knowledge as you can about debt and the impact that debt could have on your life if it gets out of hand, you’ll find a place to start. 

Goal setting is a great way to start shifting those behaviours around money from bad to good. What do you really want from your life? What would you love to achieve, if you had a little more money at your disposal and no ongoing debts to service?

Why not set yourself a goal and a plan of action as to how you’ll get there? Having a life goal to work towards can really help with changing your attitude around debt and money. 

Thinking Long-term About Your Finances May Help

The chances are that if you are carrying a large debt balance, you’ll have given in at some point to instant gratification.

When you’re working hard and dealing with life’s everyday pressures, it’s perfectly understandable to want to enjoy and treat yourself. This is usually fine of course – but not necessarily when such thinking involves regularly getting yourself into debt.

The decision to get into debt to alleviate your “wants” in the short-term could end up having a negative impact on your finances in the long-term, if you tend to let your debt balance stack up.

So, before making any purchasing decisions that involve getting credit, it’s worth thinking long-term. Will that credit purchase, which will probably make you really happy right now, be doing you any favours in a couple of years’ time? Taking time to consider the best option for you, is well worth the investment into your financial future. To start, it may be helpful to set up a emergency fund - you'll be thankful in the long run! 

Top takeaway

Not all debt is bad. In fact, borrowing money can be a good decision sometimes, especially if doing so will propel you to a better place in your life – as long as you can afford to repay your debt that is. This is the important question you must ensure you ask yourself before committing.

With that said, carrying a lot of debt most certainly doesn’t have to be the norm and you don’t just have to accept that debt will always be a part of your life. Are you trying to get out of debt right now? What challenges are you facing?

 

Author Bio: Hayley Hemmings is a freelance writer, blogger and tea addict from Yorkshire. She’s passionate about money matters, frugal living and loves anything handmade. When Hayley’s not writing, she’s most likely to be found enjoying snuggles with her little girl or walking her border collie through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.  

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