Personal finance experts recommend paying off holiday debt by March
TORONTO, ONTARIO, March 28, 2017 – Spring is here! Is your holiday debt still weighing you down? Did you think you would be able to crush your debt in three months after the holiday season? Maybe that was wishful thinking – your holiday debt is still here – what to do now?
For many Canadians the debt they racked up over the holidays is sitting comfortably on their credit card garnering interest. Consumers are watching their debt grow which is a hard position to be in since almost 50 per cent of Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque and as a consequence some have reluctantly signed up for the “forever and ever” plan with their credit card company. Being a subscriber to the forever and ever plan is not a fun club to be a part of; Canadians who are stuck here are only able to pay the minimum payment and watch their credit card balance balloon as a result. The reality is Canadians are in a constant competition of juggling their debt and for some it’s becoming too much to carry. Canadian households are spending beyond their means and now consumers owe $1.67 for every dollar of disposable income.
“Let’s not sugar coat it, debt is a heavy burden to carry. And if you are carrying holiday debt three months into the year – you have to really think about your priorities,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“If you do not create a plan to tackle you debt now you may end up carrying it well into the summer and again in December when the busy holiday season begins once again. The reality is no one wants to be paying for their holiday debt a year later,” says Schwartz.
The unfortunate truth is holiday debt has become the new normal for some Canadians and it does not have to be that way. For those Canadians who are sick and tired of carrying their holiday debt into the spring season, it is time to get serious and crush your debt. So to get in control of your debt today by following Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada’s recommended debt busting action plan:
Size up your debt
Get an understanding of which creditors you owe and by how much. If you have a variety of debts, prioritize them. You may want to pay off the debt with the lowest balance first or focus on the bill with the highest interest. You choose what method works best for your lifestyle.
Show me the money
A budget is an effective tool to control your cash flow. So instead of spending aimlessly, control your spending now! Add all of your expenses so that you can get a good idea of what is coming in from going out. When you learn the truth about how much you can spend – stick to it! Remember spending more than what you are bringing in is what brought on your debt in the first place so stay true to your budget!
Save for tomorrow
The cycle of debt could be broken by learning how to save for your future. Remember every little bit helps. If you don’t know where the money for your savings account will come from – take a step back and examine your lifestyle. Maybe it’s time to brown bag your lunch or stop daily coffee runs to your favourite coffee shop. If you really need coffee to get you started in the morning, make it at home before you leave for work or pack your breakfast so you don’t have to buy a morning bagel. Your new found money can be directed to your savings account.
When debt controls your life, you have to make some sacrifices to regain control again. So take the time to get rid of the costly things you can live without. For some that means’ cutting back on their VIP cable bill or selling their second car or going out for dinner and drinks less. Keep in mind, the key to downsizing is having a concrete understanding of your needs versus your wants. If holding on to something is causing you to rack up a mountain of debt – it’s time get rid of it. Period.
Too much debt?
When you’re sick with more than the common cold – you go to the doctor. When you have car trouble; you go to the mechanic. When your wallet is sick and tired of struggling with your debt, shouldn’t you seek help too? There’s no shame in getting help to manage your debt. Seek credit counselling from a trained non-for-profit credit counsellor to help you take control of your debt today.
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: [email protected]