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Mistakes dads make when trying to get out of debt

Being in debt can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders – similar to having kids depend on you. When you have both of those at the same time, it can seem impossible to find a solution. Being a parent in debt means that as well as trying to pay it all off, you have to look after children at the same time. Don’t make these mistakes when trying to pay off your debt.

Not being straight with the kids

Children are often more mature than we give them credit for. One of the worst things you can do as a parent in debt is not giving your kids the respect they deserve and telling them about your troubles. Perhaps you think that you don’t want to burden them with your problems but hiding things will only make things worse in the long run. Or maybe you don’t think they will understand – young kids can understand money surprisingly well. If you come out early and tell them that you are experiencing some money problems, they will be more understanding when you don’t buy them the shiny new gadgets that they want.

Sticking to old spending habits

Your old spending habits are likely what got you into this debt predicament in the first place. Habits can be difficult to break. You probably always shop at the same place but perhaps now you need to go somewhere a bit cheaper to keep your food costs down. You will most likely need to curtail how much you eat and drink out – home cooked meals, batch cooking and supermarket alcohol are much cheaper choices. You should also make your own lunches for work instead of buying meal deals or going to a fast food place. There are a lot of online resources dedicated to providing advice on better management of personal finances, with offering advice tailored to Australians.

Not budgeting

Everyone should be budgeting, whether in debt or not. Having a weekly and monthly budget will help ensure that you do not spend more than you have. When you are in debt, you need to make sure that you’re not spending more money than you have as well as putting aside money to pay off the debt. Make sure you factor in everything – food, bills, clothing, the car, smartphone bill and any commuting costs, as well as the money you need to pay off the debts. If you need help making a budget, then the Australian government website has some tips.

Not making sacrifices

Perhaps you and the kids are really looking forward to the holiday you’ve got coming up next year; however, can you really afford to pay for flights, accommodation, food and activities? Being in debt means that you will have to make some sacrifices. You need to sit down and look at your budget – can you really afford to do that? If not, then you have to be willing to break the news to your family and cancel the holiday plans. It will be painful, and the kids will be bitterly disappointed but at least you won’t get into more debt and trust me they will get over it.