Staying Debt Free: Avoid a Relapse

By • Nov 23rd, 2011 • Category: Debt

Staying Debt Free

300px WeTakeCreditDebitCardsCrop Staying Debt Free: Avoid a Relapse

Image via Wikipedia

Getting out of debt is such a relief that, no matter how you achieve it, it’s likely to generate a feeling of euphoria. Being released from the shackles that debt places on you is fantastic, however, staying debt free and ensuring you don’t relapse back into the red, it’s important to see your responsible approach to finance as an ongoing mentality.

Here are some steps to follow to help you maintain the right thinking about staying debt free;

Ease Yourself Back Into Using Credit

As you will be aware, when you’re living with debt, most forms of credit, even when desperately needed, are almost always impossible to obtain, with lenders worried that their money will be used by you as a ‘quick fix’ attempt to consolidate your existing outstanding commitments.

Now, having broken free of your debt, it is more important than ever to remember what you’ve learnt; it is possible to live without depending on credit. Now that you will be able to access cards with higher spending limits and other convenient forms of credit, it is vital that you do not start using them as a financial crutch.

By gradually introducing credit back into the way you organise your finances, you reduce the risk of becoming dependent on borrowed money again.

Get Over the Lows, but Don’t Forget Them

Living with debt can put a massive strain on you, in ways that go far beyond the sphere of personal finance. Indeed, it is not uncommon for the stress of debt to develop into more serious, potentially life destroying conditions such as depression.

Many people going through money problems suffer feelings of low self esteem and anxiety, and whilst it is certainly important to move on from these lows, it is beneficial to remember what it was like to experience them.

Try writing down an account of how that period of your life affected you. You may want to keep this document with your credit cards if you are trying to refrain from using them. Whilst the advice of others is often all too easy to ignore, the voice of your former self may be far more compelling.

Get Support

Whilst it is easier to ignore the advice of others than it is your own, it is much harder to make excuses to other people than it is to overlook our own misdemeanours. For this reason, sharing your efforts to stay debt free with a network of friends and family can be really beneficial.

One of the problems with credit cards are that you can spend without really feeling like you’re handing over any of your funds. However, if you’ve arranged to share your bank statements with your friends each month, you’re more likely to have the tangible sensation of a transaction taking place.

Don’t Give Up on Credit

Though, as stressed throughout this article, you should demonstrate caution with credit as you acclimatise to being debt free, this doesn’t mean you should give up on it together.

In fact, this won’t help your finances at all. As far as your credit score is concerned, if you don’t ever use credit your score won’t improve, meaning that, when you need to do some substantial borrowing for a major purchase, such as a house or a car, you’ll be running into difficulties.

For this reason you need to demonstrate that you can handle the responsibilities of using credit in your everyday life. Even if this only amounts to making one small purchase on your credit card each month then paying off the balance it will still help to rebuild your credit profile, ready for when you might need it in the future. Bear in mind your aim is staying debt free.

Nathan Laszlo writes about a number of issues surrounding debt. To read more from him about responsible ways of borrowing money, visit

 Staying Debt Free: Avoid a Relapse
Tagged as: , , , , , , , , ,

Email this author | All posts by

Leave a Reply