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Useful Debt Advice To Help Reduce Financial Stress

Do you find yourself looking for debt advice to ease your money worries? There’s no doubt that financial stress can have a significant impact on how you live your life. These days, money worries can come from almost anywhere — the cost of living, the cost of housing, job loss, child care expenses, and more. And while it may not provide much comfort, know that you are not alone in dealing with financial stress — money was identified as the number one source of stress for Canadians.

The good news is that, by making small changes, you can take action to reduce the impact of that stress. Use short, medium, and long-term goals to build a plan that will help alleviate financial stress. The debt advice provided below can guide you when planning your financial goals for 2017.

  1. Use the Financial Goal Calculator.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has been a leading advocate for improving the financial literacy of Canadians. They recently re-launched the Financial Goal Calculator to assist you in developing a realistic plan to get out of debt and save for other priorities like emergencies, retirement, and post-secondary education. Make sure to spend some time exploring other areas of the FCAC’s website as there is an abundance of tools and resources that can really help you increase your financial knowledge on all sorts of topics.

  1. Work from a monthly budget.

This piece of advice is offered time and time again because it is critical in helping you pay bills on time, put money into savings, reduce debt, and avoid additional debt. If you are working from a budget already, then this is the time to do a thorough analysis. Look at what worked well for you in your budget and where you can improve in the coming year. Make any necessary adjustments and review your budget each month to make sure that you are staying on track with all of the goals you’ve outlined in your plan.

Small changes in your spending habits can lead to significant savings over the course of a year; helping to reduce stress. United Way offers a “Small Changes” app that can help you implement small changes and support charities in the process — it’s definitely worth checking out.

  1. Consider the option to consolidate your debt.

Managing multiple debts means paying multiple bills and dealing with multiple interest rates, which can take away from your ability to save and reach those short, medium, and long-term goals. Consolidating your debt into one debt through a loan can help alleviate stress because it turns multiple debts into one. One debt at a lower interest rate, and a potentially lower monthly payment can mean less stress and more money to go towards savings or paying your debt off faster. More money in your emergency savings, means less stress and worrying should a major financial emergency happen like losing a job.

Debt consolidation isn’t the solution for everyone, so it’s best to speak to a debt relief professional or your lender about your specific situation. And debt consolidation is not the only professional option for debt control. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Kingston can explain other options including credit counselling, consumer proposals, and personal bankruptcy.

Considering the high debt load that many Canadians families are carrying, financial stress is bound to be a fact of life. But it’s not something you need to live with. Use the above tips as a jumping off point to do your own research on how to relieve your money worries. Along with financial literacy websites like the FCAC, you can also find the latest financial news, resources and debt advice on Twitter (@FCACan, @abclifeliteracy; @MoneySkillsCA), from major news sites (like BNN, Financial Post and Globe and Mail), and from personal finance bloggers.

Have you come across debt advice that was useful for you? Share your thoughts on Twitter using #LetsTalkDebt.

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