“We wish you a Merry Christmas” was presumably the music you heard playing in one of your local shopping markets in early October. You most likely felt a sense of uneasiness because you quickly remembered the financial implications that tag along with the festive season.
27 November 2012
The negative effects that debt has on a family are huge. Moderate pay rises and rising household bills are both contributing factors to a family getting themselves deeper and deeper into debt.
Below are some situations which may occur and ways to solve them.
1. Lying about debt/being in denial. “I can handle it, I can make a plan”
Denial about the seriousness of your debt situation is a sure way to delude one’s self about the underlying problem. Rather than bury your head in the sand, a more sensible option is to discuss the situation with your family and explain how you got there. Together you can think of ways to reduce household spending and resolve the situation. Being in debt can also make you stressed and cause medical conditions so it is imperative to take control before things spiral out of control.
2. Families take strain.
When a family member is in debt they will most likely be stressed and feel like everything is not under their control. This may reflect in their personality and will therefore affect the household as a whole. Talking the situation through and not putting blame on the indebted person may make the situation seem more bearable. Obtaining a home loan becomes difficult once you have racked up debt and this will impact on the family as a whole.
3. Teaching children how to manage money effectively.
By being open and honest about household debt, you are showing family members, especially children and young adults, a good example on how to budget and manage money effectively. By sharing experiences it teaches children financial responsibility at a young age and it is amazing how family members pull together to look at reducing expenditure and increasing household income.
4. Cut down on spending as a family
An ideal situation to reduce debt would be to draw up a budget of money coming in and money going out so you can see easily ways of reducing costs. Each family member can come up with ways to assist such as making packed lunches instead of eating out at lunchtime, changing DTSV packages to a lower tariff or taking a second job to boost income for the family, as well as sharing lifts.
For further advice please contact DebtBusters on 0861 663 328 or have a look at our website www.debtbusters.co.za.