Be Debt Free This New Year

2014-01-15

This year, you are going to make financial health a priority. You are going to gain control of your finances, dig yourself out of debt and eliminate stress from your life. And every day, you resolve that you will start that process...tomorrow.

Knowing that you have to face your financial situation is a lot easier than actually doing it. But it is possible and can make a big difference in your life the sooner you start. Tools and strategies to address debt.

Decorated Christmas tree surrounded by glitter

Start with looking at your day-to-day spending and create a household budget. Record your fixed and fluctuating monthly expenses. Make sure that you include annual expenses and allocate a monthly amount for them. For example, if you spent $1,200 this past Christmas, you should allocate $100 per month for this expense in your budget.

After you are done, hold your breath and add up the total. If you are like a lot of people, the total you spend is more than the total monthly income you receive. If you are spending more than you are making then, like many Canadians, you have debt. While there are many tools available to help you create a balanced budget, if you do not find ways to correct your spending habits, it will be near impossible to have a balanced budget.

If this situation sounds familiar, then it is time to find the strength to tackle your debt. There are several financial calculators available online that can help you determine what it would cost you to get out of debt on your own. Look at your recent credit card statements as they now include a section that tells you how many years it would take you to pay off your credit card balance if you only paid the minimum monthly payment. The number of years that you will be paying down your debt can be startling and in fact could be longer than a lifetime.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you using credit to pay for normal household expenses like gas or groceries?
  • Are you paying only the minimum payment on your credit cards?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then getting out of debt on your own may not be a possibility. Seeking the help of a professional is recommended to help you create a plan to address your debt issues and help you get back on track financially.

At MNP, a trusted advisor will meet with you in person to assess your needs and help you understand your options so you can manage your debt issues once and for all. At MNP our licensed professionals will look at your unique situation and help you decide which option is best for you and your family. There are alternatives to bankruptcy, and with a licensed Trustee in Bankruptcy you can explore those alternatives together. Let MNP help you meet your New Year’s resolution to be debt free.