In life, debt can be swirling all around you, like the water in the ocean. Does that mean that the tide of debt in your life is necessarily bad? Not at all. Like water, debt can help us get things done. We go into debt in order to get a college education, and we go into debt in order to pick up a house. We even go into debt in order to pick up a great car that will get to work, home, and everywhere else in between. There’s a lot of good that can come out of debt.

Yet like water, the tide of debt can turn against us, threatening to wash away everything that we’ve grown to love — even ourselves. When you’re in debt, it can feel like the world is against you, which means that it’s a lot harder to get things done. It’s a lot harder to prove to your friends and family that you are good with money and social approval does have a role in determining our self-worth. We feel bad when people don’t see us as responsible adults.

Like most things in life, you can change the tide of debt in your life, but it won’t be easy. Of course, all of the things that are worthwhile in life are rarely easy. Let’s build you a battle plan, shall we?

First and foremost, you are going to have to face the numbers. Not your friends. Not your family — you. It’s your debt, and despite the fact that there really are circumstances that are often out of your control. You are the one that is going to have to take responsibility for your debt. You are the one that’s going to have to figure out how to make the most out of your finances, even when everything feels upside down. You are the one that’s going to have to push and make sacrifices in order to get things done. If you aren’t willing to make the changes, no one around you is going to be able to force your hand — it’s your debt. Now, we know that a lot of guide swill let you get away with feeling sorry and feeling bad about the situation that you’re in, but we’re not really ones to sugarcoat anything. It’s your debt, and only you can fix it. Only you can make the choice to work your battle plan to the fullest.

So, what do you think the next step is? You need to get help. Even if you only go to a credit counselor in your area that educates you on the ins and outs of personal finance, that’s better than anything. A lot of people really don’t have a solid education in personal finance, and the school system is definitely to blame for that. We’re not saying that there aren’t social, environmental, and even financial factors in the way of you having a debt-free life. However, you can’t rest on those laurels so to speak when it comes time to fix the problem. You can’t blame the media because they sent out cute commercials and nifty postcards to your door about the latest credit cards. By taking those credit card offers and later spending the credit card as you saw fit, you agreed to the terms. (more…)