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5 Bold Ways to Find Debt Relief This New Year

Have you and your family deemed 2019 the “Year of Debt Relief”? If you’re ready to make some big changes and get serious about reducing your debt, this is the blog post for you!

Reasons for change

After the holiday haze, financial realities come back into focus quickly when January arrives. And, if you’re like many Canadians, you probably spent more than you intended to, adding to your debt balances in the process.

When affordability is already tough and budgets are tight, extra expenses can add further financial burden for families. These points were made evident late last year after the release of our Affordability Index which polled Canadians to see how they are coping with their debt, expenses and lifestyles. Here are some of those results:

  • Less than two-in 10 (16 per cent) of Canadians say their income is enough to let them live debt-free.
  • 34 per cent of both millennials and parents with kids at home say their debt load is so overwhelming they don’t know what to do about it.
  • Nearly 40 per cent of Canadians find it challenging to afford basic essentials such as housing, food, clothing and utilities.

Evidently, debt can play a major role in a family’s ability to afford their needs. It can also prevent Canadians from affording those “wants” and make it hard to save up for goals. That’s why sometimes, it takes a bold move to make a difference in your situation.

Ready for change? Five bold moves to help you find debt relief

Whether you want to increase your debt repayment or you’d just like to have more money in your pocket, here are five impactful steps that can help you achieve your goals this year.

  1. Become a one car family. Yes, it’s possible! Whether you’ve got an older car that’s costing you more and more in repairs or a car that you’re still trying to pay off, downsizing can make life more affordable. And, living in the city comes with the perks of walking, cycling or using public transit to get where you’re going for a fraction of the price. Check out how this family made it work.
  2. Take on a side gig. The thought of working more hours in a week may not seem enticing, but it can certainly pay off. With that extra money you could:
    • Make some serious headway with your debt repayment
    • Sink more money into your emergency fund
    • Add to your retirement fund
    • Save up for a major purchase such as a home or car
    • Flush out your savings account for those future financial goals

    Find a side hustle that’s low maintenance to avoid burnout, and reap the rewards.

  3. Downsize your home. The CMHC predicts population and employment growth for Calgary’s economy over the next two years, improving home sale prices. That means it might be a good time to prepare your home for sale if it’s something you’ve been considering. Downsizing can give you a more affordable monthly mortgage payment which can allow you more affordability in other areas. You may even find a more affordable living area outside the city that will add to your quality of life. Just don’t forget to factor in commuting expenses if you choose to relocate.
  4. Sell your stuff. The minimalist lifestyle is trending and with good reason. Do we really need all the stuff? There’s never been a better time to turn your possessions into cash since the second hand market is booming. Start some winter purging by listing your used items on buy-and-sell Facebook groups or Kijiji.
  5. Skip that vacation. There’s still a lot of winter ahead and you just may be looking forward to sipping drinks in the sun while the kids find seashells. The thing is, according to a 2017 Ipsos poll, the average vacation costs $2,673 – a sizeable chunk of cash that could kill some credit card debt fast.

 

If you’re ready to make a big dent in your debt, remember that you have options. Check out our debt repayment calculator or consider booking a consultation with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) to find a solution that works for you.

Have you contemplated making a bold move to find debt relief this year? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter and let us know! #LeaveDebtBehind
#NewYearsResolution #FamilyFinances



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