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Yes to Less Debt

Feeling stressed by the amount of debts you have? Three years ago Michelle was struggling on a nurse's salary. She had run up huge debts with a number of court judgments against her name. She longed to travel - a dream that she kept telling herself was impossible. It was clear to Michelle that she couldn't continue to run up debt, yet on payday she would rush out and buy new clothes to cheer herself up.

Becoming more and more stressed about her debts meant that she frequently slept badly and was not fresh for work, which resulted in time off sick. She was unable to work any overtime because she was always too tired. She kept asking herself, Why is it so difficult for me to save instead of spending all my money? The same answer came back every time: Because you spend more money than you are earning!

When Michelle was finally ready to listen to the answers from her own conversations, she acknowledged that she needed to stay away from shops so that she physically couldn't spend her money. She knew that, by continuing to shop, she would sabotage her dream of financial security and travelling abroad.

Michelle had warning signs almost every day in the shape of bills and credit card statements. She began to dread the post arriving. Finally, she gave in to the situation and called me. As you know, she said, I bought a new car a few months ago, which I hardly use now. The bank has just bounced my payment this month and I can't see how I'll be able to make the payment within the next seven days.

She had not realised how much debt she had incurred. Short of winning the lottery, she accepted that she couldn't change her level of debt immediately. Michelle didn't deliberately put STOP signs in her life to prevent her dream happening. She simply hadn't stopped to think about the consequences that her spending would have on her dream to travel.

Even though you may know what really matters to you, you may put all sorts of barriers in place, which firmly STOP you from achieving what you really want to do. Have you longed to make changes, to find that you have been stopped just as you got started, or even beforehand?

In facing her financial situation honestly, Michelle could see how long it would take her to be debt-free. For the first time in her life, she took time to look at her outgoings as well as her income.

Michelle accepted that she had let things slide too far, and she was determined to avoid bankruptcy. She changed her spending habits and decided what was important in her life (no debt and all the stress associated with it; being able to travel). Three years on, she is working in Australia, with an apartment by the beach, having paid off all her debts. Now, most of her days are stress free.

If you find you are in debt, don't bury your head in the sand - debt does not go away. It is important to deal with the problem before it escalates out of control.

Speak to a friend, family member or a professional advisor and then act on sorting out the debt. Prioritise repayments on essential services such as mortgages and utility bills.

If you are paying off a range of credit cards pay off those with the highest rate of interest first.

Carolyn Matheson is a nationally recognized Coach, Speaker and Author of "Yes to Less Stress."

Carolyn is a Master Certified Coach, and works with executives and their teams across the world. She has pioneered an innovative approach to coaching, combining many years of high performance coaching with a holistic approach to work/life balance and has coached hundreds of leaders and their teams. Her experience as a presenter, both nationally and internationally, spans 20 years, with clients currently in Europe, Australia, the Middle and Far East, and the USA.

Her book, Yes to Less Stress is available online from http://www.areustressed.com

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