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The world can be a scary place. Maybe the aggression of the world’s superpowers makes you nervous, maybe it is the mind-blowing amount of people getting covid-19 in India’s second wave or perhaps it is fires in major SA cities burning down houses, residences and libraries. Is anywhere safe any more?

When you have all that going on and suddenly a retailer tells you that owning the latest phone/pair of shoes/gaming console/toothpaste will make your life better we become fascinated and foolishly buy into that sales pitch. Maybe a mountain of debt and a new asset is the key to happiness? And so, off we go accessing credit to have that thing now, rather than later, because we need to feel happy and safe now, not later.

‘Maybe a mountain of debt and a new asset is the key to happiness?’

It takes most people a lifetime to realize that having lots of shiny things is not the path to happiness. Life is a little more complex than that. But the chance to reach out and perhaps grasp happiness in any form is so enticing. And let’s admit it things get stuck in our heads and we become consumed by them.

I must admit I got a little too caught up in the internet meme come true: ‘the Josh Fight’ this month. I found it funny to think that someone who was just having a goof during lockdown saw something they were just joking about come true (If you don’t know anything about it, then why not Google it and have a laugh?).

Credit gives us a short cut to access things we want now. Paying off credit, of course, leaves us trapped for years or even decades. Debt review is one of those amazing provisions that helps people with debt be treated with dignity and reasonableness but once the process is started it hems you in. No more access to more credit to splurge with. No more missing debt payments, like in the past. It requires a level of discipline that is genuinely hard to maintain. So, many people think about leaving the process with much of their debt still weighing them down.

We look into this in some detail this issue and also look at things consumers really need to be very careful to avoid.

If you have been feeling a bit panicked and hemmed in by your debt review I can only say that it is important to remember it is your debt that is weighing you down and holding you back. Not your debt review.

‘remember it is your debt that is weighing you down and holding you back. Not your debt review’

You may want to take a short cut in getting out of debt so you can be free now not later. It is really important that you realize that debt review is that short cut. Beware of leaving the process at the wrong time. You could be heading right into a whirlwind of disaster. So, educate yourself about your options and always talk directly to your Debt Counsellor before making any big decisions about such matters.

Rather than all the shiny or negative things that may capture your imagination why not get fascinated by living a life where you have no monthly debt payments, no debt obligations, no debt. Fixate on it. Make it part of your daily thought process. If you can do that then you are truly on your way to being debt free.



This article first appeared in Debtfree Magazine issue #4 of 2021