When You’re Suffocated by Debt

2 min read


It’s severe suffocation when you are overwhelmed in debts, have racing thoughts, live paycheck to paycheck, and cannot sleep.

You also worry if the debt collectors will contact your employer. In America, 78% of people live paycheck to paycheck. I decided it to be enough! Therefore, I developed a plan for how I spend my money. Personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. That indicates it is essential to have a plan in place.

Where do you begin?

1. Make a goal.

Make a goal to save money in the future to get you motivated and maintain stability. However, start after you have begun to have the extra money in your pockets and bank account.

Follow this advice:

  • Start saving for emergencies.
  • Pay off all your debts.
  • Save for your children’s college.
  • Invest 15% of your income to retirement.
  • Pay off your mortgage early.
  • Begin giving.


2. Create a budget.

More than 5 million people have conquered debt by creating a budget. Creating a budget is one of the essential ways to beat debt. It reveals where your money goes and why you feel as though you are suffocating.

First, list your basic requirements on your budget list, such as:

  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Housing

After budgeting your basic requirements, you will see where the leftover cash is going. It may be a car payment, hospital bills, or a student loan. Maybe there are extra expenses that are not required, such as dining out too much or buying lattes at Starbucks. Place every cost on that budget, and you will see where your money is going and where you need to cut back on spending.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others.

You may have a friend who lives in a beautiful home and takes vacations frequently. Comparing yourself to them only makes you envious and depressed. Have hope, create a budget, stick to it, and you will make the same success. It can be challenging, but you do not know their financial situation. They may be blowing up credit cards and later end up in debt. If you see all your friends taking glamourous vacations on social media, take a break from it.

4. Stop spending on unnecessary expenses.

You can cut out expenses when you see every unnecessary spending habit you have on your budget. End all unnecessary subscriptions that you do not need. Stop buying lattes from Starbucks and dining out. All those expenses add up and cost loads of money at the end of the month. It is okay to spoil yourself at least maybe once or twice a month, but not more than that. You have to get your finances under control. Consider the items you need and what you want.

Suggestions are:


  • Selling items you no longer need
  • Stop buying the expensive lattes and make coffee at home
  • Stop dining out at restaurants
  • Decrease your grocery bill by using coupons and have leftovers

5. Start paying off your debts.

You may have extra money now, and that is when it is time to begin paying off debts. List your debts from the smallest to largest. Sell things no longer needed if you must. Put your extra money into paying off the smallest debt first while making low payments on your more substantial debts. Keep this up until you no longer have any more debts.

6. Stop investing at least for now.

When you live paycheck-to-paycheck, investing is the worst idea. Temporarily stop investing because you can save that extra money to pay off debts and save money for emergency funds. However, you can return to investing once you have paid off your debts and have extra money.

7. Get a side job to have more income.

Stop beginning new debts ultimately when you start a budget because you must add to your income. Take on a side hustle or another part-time job to make extra cash as fast as you can. As for me, I drive for Uber and make an additional $600 a month. It depends on how much you are on call for them as far as the money you receive. You can also do landscaping or work part-time at a library or bookstore. It is challenging to work seven days a week, but it is worth it in the end and is only temporary. It takes making sacrifices.

8. Never create new debts.

Creating new debts can harm you. Stay away from credit cards because it can damage your future of being financially successful. You may have emergencies and believe you need a credit card. However, you will get tempted to buy little things you desire, and those things add up through time. I’ve been there.


You are not alone. Although you feel as though you are suffocating in debt right now, it is only temporary if you work your way out of it the right way.

Mari Colham Mari Colham is a court reporter, freelance reporter, domestic violence volunteer and survivor, cab driver, and survivor of identity theft from her abusive ex-spouse. She has an Associates Degree in Business Administration, graduated with honors, and is from Nothern Louisiana where she had to take prevention and safety measures into her own hands due to her ex-spouse's connections with law enforcement and their uncooperation to work with her. Her passions are speaking the truth against domestic abuse, spoiling her cat, Lil Man, fishing, mud hogging, and reading crime novels.

One Reply to “When You’re Suffocated by Debt”

  1. To these excellent suggestions I would also self-servingly refer readers to two other DDI articles: “Break the Stranglehold of Debt” and “Defy the Myths That Kill Your Retirement.” All of these posts will help put you in the proper mindset to get out of debt and — more importantly — achieve financial freedom.

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