Spring clean your finances

Get your financial house in order this spring!

TORONTO, ONTARIO, March 15, 2017 – Although the chill in the air and the snow on the ground says otherwise, spring is coming; signaling the perfect opportunity for Canadians to get their financial house in order. spring clean your finances

So while Canadians go through their homes getting rid of things they no longer need and transition their homes for the arrival of spring – Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada suggests your spring clean your finances too.

“As the seasons change, so will the spending habits of Canadians. So take this time to make the necessary steps to spring clean your finances,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.

New debt statistics from TransUnion suggests Canadians should take a second look at their finances this spring as the results for the fourth quarter of 2016 paint a concerning picture. The average non-mortgage debt loads for Canadians are the following:

  • $29,859 in lines of credit (-1.8 per cent from Q4 2015)
  • $25,009 in installment loans (+6.0 per cent from Q4 2015)
  • $21,912 in non-mortgage debt (+2.18 per cent from Q4 2015)
  • $20,374 in auto loans (+2.98 per cent from Q4 2015)
  • $4,094 in credit card debt (+2.33 per cent from Q4 2015)

“The reality is almost 50 per cent of Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque and many are racking up record levels of credit on their credit cards without a plan how they are going to pay it back. Now that spring is almost here, consumers should take the time to review their finances to get back on track,” says Schwartz.

With spring on the horizon, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada recommends the following:

How are you doing?

Re-evaluate your measure of success and ask yourself – is this where you thought you would be at this time of year? If you are nowhere near your financial goal, it’s time to create a financial plan to help you achieve your goals.

What’s broken? Fix it!

Have you been following your budget? Or have you been falling prey to impulse purchases? Whatever the culprit, it’s time to sit down and fix the problem. Create a budget and factor in all of your expenses. This will give you a good idea of what is coming in from going out. Once you have a better grasp of your finances – you will be less prone to spending money you don’t have.

Be S.M.A.R.T.

Your financial goals in the winter may differ from your spring goals. So take the time to create some specific goals to spring clean your finances:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-based goals

The more focused your goals are, the better chance you will have at achieving them.

Go on a diet

Not the type of diet to lose weight, but the kind of diet where you stop treating your credit card like your debit card. Credit is meant to be paid back! So instead of fattening the pockets of creditors, it’s time for you to fatten your own wallet. Decide to use your debit or cash only wherever you go.

Ask for support

Debt is a heavy burden to deal with on a daily basis. When your debt is too much to handle, don’t be afraid to seek help from a trained credit counsellor. The faster you get help to manage your debt, the better you will feel about your finances again.


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:

Natasha Carr, Community and Public Relations Manager,
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.,
T: 416-915-7283 ext.1041, C: 416-830-4720, F: 416-915-5200, E: ncarr@consolidatedcredit.ca


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