What to Do When You’re Broke, Indebted, and Scared

Have you ever looked at your finances and actually become terrified? Wondering how you’re going to pay your next bill? Not sure how you can pay off bills and debt?

You are not alone.


If you’re in a bad situation, it’s okay to freak out. But after you freak out, take one minute to remind yourself that you CAN take control of your finances.

Don’t do anything drastic.

Being in a tough or disastrous situation is depressing. Utterly depressing, and I don’t blame you. But I assure you – there is help and you are not alone.

Talk to someone. It doesn’t matter who, but talk to a trusted source. Let them know you’re in a sticky situation financially. Let them know you’re sad, angry, scared, anxious, suicidal or whatever emotion you may be feeling.

People do care about you. If you think they don’t, you are lying to yourself. Someone will listen and help you, or get you the help you need.

What would your life be like without financial burden?

Now that you’ve talked to someone, really take some time to imagine what your life would be like if you weren’t in a financial hole. Write down some realistic goals. Create a vision for yourself. Examples could be:

  • I want to find a job to make $5,000 more a year by this time next year.
  • I want to start a side hustle to earn money to supplement my income.
  • In one year, I want to be free from the burden of credit card debt.
  • In three months, I want to have $1,000 in my emergency fund.

Writing down attainable goals shows you the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s okay to sit in misery for awhile, but then you gotta get moving towards the goal.

You can get out of this hole. You can meet your financial goals, and have so much more. But it’s up to you to realize that.

Make a plan.

No matter where you are financially, you can get out of debt. Getting out of debt has two parts:

  1. Cut your spending.
  2. Increase your income.

You can do one without the other, but to get out of debt the fastest, you’ll want to look at how you can do both.

Look at your expenses. What can you cut? Can you cut out any subscriptions, like Hulu, Netflix, or gym memberships? How can you cut your budget to the minimum?

Next, look at increasing your income. Can you take a second job, start blogging or freelance writing, or start another side hustle?


In order to get out of debt, you have to commit to changing your habits. You can’t keep living like you have been in the past – that’s how you got into debt in the first place. You have to commit to change.

I have so many friends who are in a huge hole financially, and they know they need to get out of debt. They might even know what they should do, but they refuse. They think they’re above taking another job, or too lazy to cut their spending habits or even create a budget. End of the story is they never get out of debt.

If you’re in deep debt, you have to swallow your pride. If you’re serious about taking control of your financial situation, you have to consider some big moves. Would moving back in with your parents save you money and allow you to focus on debt repayment? Should you take a second job to pay off debt faster?

The answer is likely yes. You aren’t “above” any of this.

Getting into debt is easy, but getting out of debt is difficult. You’ll want to give up, but keep going. You can’t just quit on your debt.

Surround yourself with a support system. Keep yourself busy so you are less likely to spend money. Educate yourself by reading books and blogs.


You have the power to get out of this situation. It will take time and hard work but you can do it.

What advice do you have for someone getting out of deep debt? How did you personally do it? 

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6 thoughts on “What to Do When You’re Broke, Indebted, and Scared

  1. “Don’t do anything drastic”
    This is so important. An alarming number of people go through deep depression or worse due to financial issues. No matter how bad things get, it’ll get better.

    1. You are absolutely right. So many people think there isn’t a way out when there certainly is. Just takes some time and hard work.

  2. I loved these, especially about having a support system. I recently became very dedicated to get out of debt so I can be a stay at home for my kids even as a single mom. Now I read every author that comes across my path that seems like they know what they are doing financially. It is amazing how immersing yourself in something changes your mindset. Before I wouldn’t have stopped and thought about it before buying something, now I make myself think about it beforehand and often find that I don’t need it. Thank you for sharing these!
    Cara @ Fashionably Frugal recently posted…How to stop emotional spendingMy Profile

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