Living on Less: Changing Your Mindset

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Adjusting Your Mindset When Your Circumstances Change

One of the reasons why people let their financial situation spiral out of control for so long before getting help is often because it is hard to adjust the way we think about debt problems.

Getting Professional Assistance

Many people feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness. They would rather suffer and make their situation worse than get a professional to help them with their financial situation. This is, of course, different to how they deal with other similar situations. If they are ill, the very same person will not hesitate to go to a professional health care worker for assistance. If they have teeth pain they will not hesitate to go to a dentist. If their problems or symptoms lasted more than a day or two and after googling their symptoms they will soon pick up the phone and make a doctors or dentists appointment.

‘Getting financial advice…is also a sound course of action when a situation cannot be effectively handled yourself’

Getting financial advice (from a Debt Counsellor, for example) is also a sound course of action when a situation cannot be effectively handled yourself. What would be a poor decision is getting such advise or help from unregistered individuals who could potentially make things worse. Always deal with professional, properly trained and registered Debt Counsellors. The National Credit Regulator has a database of contact details on their site of all registered Debt Counsellors. You can find similar info on the www.debtreviewawards.co.za website or in the back of each issue of Debtfree Magazine.

The Importance of a Positive Attitude

Another factor that holds people back from getting the help and making the changes they need to is an unfounded optimism that in some totally unrealistic, undefined and unfounded way their situation will somehow just “get better”. While a positive attitude is helpful it does need to be balanced with an experienced and realistic view of the likelihood of the situation improving. Many times a more realistic option requires a mental change. The change to realizing that you are now earning less and need to adjust your lifestyle. This is not an easy thing to do.


 

‘a positive attitude .. does need to be balanced with an experienced and realistic view of the likelihood of the situation improving’

Sadly, many people who, through circumstance, find their income suddenly reduced carry on living as if nothing has changed. They often delay in making needed cuts and adjustments to spending for so long that they make their situation so much more difficult to deal with. Credit cards get maxed out, loans are used to try to maintain a lifestyle they can no longer afford. If they were in a hole before they have now dug down deeper into the hole and made things much harder to get out of the situation.

A Changed Mindset

A better, but often difficult, course of action requires mentally acknowledging that your situation has changed and you need to adjust to match the situation.

‘A better… course of action requires mentally acknowledging that your situation has changed and you need to adjust to match the situation’

It is a simple truth that if your income has adjusted you will have to adjust your spending and habits to match how people with this new level of income spend. This may require some drastic changes if your income has dropped drastically. The changes in your spending need to match the change in income. The bigger the drop the more you are going to have to do to offset the change.

If you have been hit by changes in income due to the lockdown or economic conditions then you need to make the mental change first before you can make effective adjustments to your lifestyle. Don’t cling to the past and make things worse. Find a professional who can assist you to avoid problems that could wreck your entire future.

Why not speak to a Debt Counsellor and get free advice on how you can adjust your spending or how you can talk to your credit providers about your situation effectively?