With the release of the 2nd annual National Payroll Week Employee Survey, conducted by the Canadian Payroll Association, the majority of Canadians who responded indicated if they were to win a lottery they would be able to pay off their debt. Plus, if their paycheques were delayed by even one week it would cause considerable financial hardship.
“Good money management techniques, controlling spending habits and sticking to a budget are just some of the ways Canadians can overcome the vicious paycheque to paycheque cycle,” says Jeff Schwartz, Executive Director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada. “We are here to provide tools to educate Canadians on how to avoid financial distress. In fact, last year we counselled 85,000 Canadians on how to better manage their money through our free community outreach programs, visits to our on-line debt learning centre and directly by phone.”
Schwartz offers these budgeting tips to help Canadians stay on top of their finances:
- Challenge yourself to account for every dollar you spend – create a budgeting worksheet to track your expenses daily. There are easily accessible tools geared to just this task, such as Consolidated’s Expense Worksheet and our free iPhone/iPod application ‘Budget Tool’.
- Review your expenses at the end of a week and the month to determine if your money went to necessities to maintain your household (mortgage, utilities or taxes); how much was spent on flexible items (groceries, clothing or gas) and finally, what was spent on the nice to have items (coffee, lunch, dinner or entertainment).
- Determine what expenses you are able to reduce or eliminate and put those funds towards paying off your debt.
Schwartz continues, “We know this seems simple but it is not easy; if we all just try to make wise decisions about how we spend our money, it is possible to have a better personal financial outlook.”