If numbers of debts pile up, then it's likely you're in super financial stress and anxiety. Your family will also be in stress because they continuously see your stressed face and agitated attitude. Long functioning financial stress leads to depression, hypertension, or arguments between you and your family members.

Being the head of the family, you need to deal with this stressful situation very delicately. You're the only person who can keep your family financially and mentally complacent. Your family members also need to support you in this situation. This way, you will stay focused and balanced while overcoming the bad financial phase gradually.

Here, look at how to deal with financial stress while keeping your family financially and emotionally content.

Accept your debt problem and talk about it with your family

Accept that you are in financial setback instead of denying it. Hiding or overlooking the problem can’t erase it. Debt is something that progresses fast and builds slowly over time.

So, once you realize you're in debt cycle, accept it and talk to your family members regarding your financial worries. By sharing the problem with family, the stress gets reduced to some extent.

Try to be upfront with your family members regarding your present financial setback (debt trouble). Tell them that the financial worries can affect them, but, you are trying your best to get out of the debt problem. Ask them to keep patience and also promise them to support both financially and emotionally. In return, your family members will surely understand your crisis and will support you.

A. Ways to keep your family financially happy in debt

Sit with all of your family members and discuss your financial priority. Set some financial goals for the coming days that will help to pay off the debts.

1. Manage the psychological approach of debt

You must be very careful while revealing that you’re in debt and the family may undergo financial crisis for some time. Because, for many of them, spending money is a way to get out of disappointments or to improve mood. Maybe your wife or your teenage daughter love shopping, which can be difficult to quit.

If your family's spending behavior is causing debt, then deal with their psychological or emotional state carefully. Seek the advice of a counselor to know what to do in this situation.

2. Formulate a budget together keeping debts in mind

Understand the need of your family and based on it, plan the monthly expenses. List the needs based on your affordability and list down the debts that are to be paid.

Revise your old budget and formulate a new one eliminating all unnecessary expenses. Get a clear idea of your net worth. Your total worth is simply your total income minus your expenses. This is the figure that exemplifies how much is left to pay off your debt.

This way you can get an idea of your current financial situation and ability to pay debts.

3. Encourage your family to embrace a frugal lifestyle

Practicing frugality helps to save more money than you usually wouldn’t have been able to save. Frugality doesn't signify that you will have to become a total miser, you will rather have to become more calculative.

For example:

Rather than wasting food by throwing away the leftovers, use those to make a new dish.

Save money on electricity and gas. Put off lights and any other electronic gadgets when not in use.

Buy gasoline when the weather is cool as gasoline remains dense in cold weather (early morning and late night).

4. Use cash instead of using credit cards for purchase

One of the main reasons for incurring debt is using credit cards for every purchase. Since you can buy things on credit, you tend to forget that you have to spend within limits as you need to return the money. Instead of this, if you use cash for purchasing, you will be able to keep a track on your spending. Also, ask your family members to do the same.

5. Increase your support system

During financial tough times, you may find a new support system in your family. For an example, you can encourage your older teenager to get a job and to share utility bills.

B. Ways to keep your family emotionally content in debt

As I have mentioned earlier, tackling the emotional aspect of debt is important especially when all the family members are dependent on you. Tell them that dealing with debt doesn't mean all of you have to live a sacrificed life. Assure them that this financial setback is temporary; you will get back the good financial health very soon.

6. Eat together at home

You must have heard the saying, a family that eats together is a happy one. There is a definite benefit of doing this. Most of the times you eat together when you are at home. This will prevent you from buying food from outside and increasing expenses. It should be a strict pattern that everybody in the family will have dinner together, and that should be home cooked food.

7. Organize small parties (birthdays, anniversaries)

You can organize birthday parties or anniversaries when dealing with debt. Plan outdoor bonfire and barbecue parties with few close friends and family instead of organizing a big one at an expensive cafe. This will save money spent at cafés and other hangout places.

8. Make entertainment an option available at home

Entertainment is needed, both for you and your family. So instead of having fun separately, you can spend valuable family time together. Rent DVDs instead of going to movie theaters. You can also consider playing board games and gardening to spend more time with family.

9. Plan for a small trip instead of a long and lavish vacation with family

Dealing with debt may not allow you to plan for an expensive family vacation, but you can plan for a small family getaway anytime.

Ask each of your family members to set aside money into a common piggy bank allocated for trip expenses.

By doing so, you will have money for family trips. You don't require to use a credit card to fund a family trip.


The worries and insecurity associated with being in financial setback are natural. In a few years, your debt will seem like a past story. So, instead of panicking, take proper action together to beat the debt.

Also while dealing with debt, don't ignore your health. Eat proper balanced diet, do exercise, take enough sleep and pray together. Keep a faith that your debt will go away soon.

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