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Friday 14th June 2024

Overcoming mum guilt while paying off debt 

Tolu Frimpong discusses how to overcome ‘mum guilt’ while paying off debt


At one point, I found myself drowning in over £36,000 of debt. On my blog, tolufrimpong.com, I openly share my debt journey, discussing its impact on my marriage and friendships.

However, one topic I haven’t delved into deeply is the mum guilt that came with being in debt. 

Mum guilt hit me hard. I felt awful about not being able to buy my young child and newborn the latest gadgets and gizmos.

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I couldn’t take them on holidays or afford the exciting experiences I saw other mums and influencers enjoying with their kids on Instagram. The guilt of failing financially and the fear of potentially making my children homeless was overwhelming. 

During our debt-free journey, my husband worked a lot of overtime, and I took on multiple side hustles. This meant we had less time to spend with our children, which only intensified my mum guilt.

Overcome mum guilt

Now, having achieved debt freedom and overcome that guilt, I want to share five things I wish I had known and done to reduce or eliminate the guilt. 

1. Enjoy the journey, not just the destination 

I was so laser-focused on achieving debt freedom that I lost sight of the present. There was no balance, and as a result, I missed out on precious family time. Those years of my children’s early childhood are now a blur. It’s crucial to enjoy the journey and make time for your family, even when you’re working towards financial goals. 

2. Remember your why 

You’re paying off this debt to ensure a brighter future for your children. That’s an amazing and responsible thing to do. Your children will be proud of you for taking accountability and making sacrifices to improve their future. Keep this in mind whenever guilt starts to creep in. 

3. Be intentional with your time 

If you’re working overtime or side-hustling to pay down debt, your time with your children is limited. Make sure the time you do spend with them is intentional and undistracted. Give them your undivided attention—this means putting your phone away and being fully present in the moment. 

Read more from Tolu Frimpong on Mouthy Money

4. Find frugal fun 

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create great memories with your children. Find creative and frugal ways to have fun together. Bake, cook, build a fort, go on a hike—there are countless ways to enjoy quality time without breaking the bank. 

5. Speak to a trusted friend or family member 

A problem shared is a problem halved. We are often our own worst critics. Talking to someone you trust can help alleviate your guilt. They can offer perspective, support, and encouragement when you’re feeling down and beating yourself up. 

6. Create a vision board 

A vision board can help keep the bigger picture in mind on days when guilt creeps in about not being able to afford expensive trips and things. Visualise your long-term goals: being debt-free, thriving, and able to provide your children with the dream life you all deserve. This can provide motivation and remind you of the positive future you’re working towards. 

Photo credits: Pexels

Tolu Frimpong

Mouthy Blogger

Tolu is a Money Coach and Content Creator, passionate about helping others break the payday-to-payday cycle and achieve their financial goals, through the power of intentional budgeting, saving and investing. When she’s not talking about money you can find her spending time with her 3 boisterous boys.

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