(TORONTO, ON) – January is already a stressful enough month as it is – cold, bleak, and no long weekends to look forward to until mid-February. Many Canadians also suffer from the latest holiday-related disorder that we’ve coined, called Bill Avoidance Disorder (B.A.D.).
Each January, millions of Canadians across the nation are affected by Bill Avoidance Disorder. This typically happens in the middle of January when the bills arrive from holiday shopping and entertaining. With all of those holiday bills piling up, there’s a natural reaction to not want to see the damage that the previous month has wrought on your credit card. If left untreated, your B.A.D. day can continue into the following months, which leads to increased debt, collections calls or even worse – bad credit. Don’t let your B.A.D. day turn into a W.O.R.S.E. month (Worry Or Regret Surrounding Expenses).
Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, wants to raise awareness for the cause.
“With holiday bills rolling in, plenty of Canadians are having B.A.D. days,” says Schwartz. “Consolidated Credit would like to declare January 15th as B.A.D. Day and help Canadians face their debt head-on.”
Cases of B.A.D. are highest among the nearly half of Canadians who are living paychque-to-paycheque. Last year, the average holiday-related debt load in Canada was $963 – a tall order for many.
“People love the holidays,” adds Schwartz. “They’re compelled to dig a little deeper during December, maybe deeper than they should, and these are the folks who seem to have contracted Bill Avoidance Disorder.”
Symptoms of the disorder include:
- Fear of looking at your email or phone apps
- Tendency to take the fire escape or a different way to work to not go near your mailbox
- Hair loss due to pulling it out
- Overall helplessness
If you notice someone having a B.A.D. day, offer these tips:
Confront those fears: Open the bills and begin to come to terms with how much needs to be paid. Prolonged avoidance to bills can lead to much more serious complications in the future. Contrary to popular thinking, if you ignore it, it won’t go away.
Pay it off all at once (if possible): Just like pulling off a Band-Aid, the faster you do it the less it will hurt in the long run. Instead of trying to pay off the bills by paying the minimum amount required per month, try and pay the bills off in full. If this is impossible, pay as much as you can. This should stop the symptoms of Bill Avoidance Disorder.
Consult a professional: All of this advice can be easier said than done. If you need help, a non-profit credit counselling service can be a great place to start. Credit counsellors can offer expert, personal advice, free of charge.
About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.: Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.
For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:
Jacob MacDonald, Public Relations Coordinator, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc., T: 416-915-7283 ext.1041, C: 647-390-5253, F: 416-915-5200, E: [email protected]