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BDO Kitchener Waterloo

51 Breithaupt Street Suite 300,
Kitchener, Ontario
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Phone: (519) 570-4000

You Can Do This! How to Make Debt Relief a Reality

Do you tend to shy away from financial matters? Does your credit card bill send you into a tailspin? Time to boost your financial confidence, find some debt relief and learn to handle your finances with confidence.

Why debt relief is important for women

Canadian millennials don’t have an easy financial road. One-in-three say they’re overwhelmed with debt and in need of relief, but they don’t know what to do about it. In addition, millennials report being poorly prepared for retirement, home ownership, financial independence and starting a family of their own.

Women especially are more likely than men to feel the sting of heavy debt and lack of affordability. This is likely because, on average, women earn less than men, contribute less income to their households, and score lower on financial literacy tests than their male counterparts.

The good news is that according to Stats Canada, when women earn an equal or greater income than their spouse, they are more likely to feel financially confident and have equal financial literacy scores as Canadian men.

4 ways women can boost their financial IQ

This month, as we celebrate all the strong women in our lives, we wanted to dig in and help you conquer your financial fears and show you just how empowered you’ll feel once you take control of your money. Here are four ways you can take charge:

  1. Don’t play from the sidelines. In your household, who handles the budget, bills and major money decisions? If you’re sitting on the sidelines, you’re missing out on important skills. Talk to your spouse or partner about divvying up the financial duties. Together, go over all the household expenses, bill due dates, etc. You can then decide which duties you’d like to take on. Use our budget worksheet to map out your new roles.
  2. Don’t leave your debt unchecked. Out of sight out of mind isn’t a good idea when it comes to debt. Ignoring those balances will just add to your stress. Add up all your debt balances, using this debt calculator. Are you paying only the minimum on your credit cards? Find a DIY debt payment method that will help you pay off those balances quicker, or use our repayment options calculator to see which debt help option might work for you. And, when you’re feeling overwhelmed or unable to manage your debt on your own, it’s a good idea to speak to a professional, such as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT).
  3. Don’t ignore your money goals. Do you have goals on the horizon such as buying a home, having a baby or spending some time abroad? How will you make those goals a reality? The hard truth is that without a real, concrete and dedicated plan, your goals and dreams will fall to the wayside. Or worse, you’ll finance your goals by adding to your debt and ultimately, your financial stress. Let’s skip that chapter and start making SMART goals you can stick to.

Watch this video from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada about how to budget to reach your goals.

  1. Don’t go it alone. Sticking to a goal isn’t always easy. On those days you feel like throwing in the towel, it helps to have someone to cheer you on and remind you why you embarked on this journey. Committing to saving your money and finding debt relief means you’re in it for the long game, not the quick results. Talk to your spouse, family and friends about your goals so they can support you and help keep you focused. Another great way to find motivation and inspiration is to follow people on social media whose personal finance advice, experience and successes resonate with you.

 

Check out Christine Drummond’s blog, The Wallet Diet and follow her on social media for millennial money and lifestyle advice.

Is debt relief a goal in your household? How will you boost your financial IQ? Share your thoughts with us by connecting on Twitter #LeaveDebtBehind #IWD2019 #Millennials



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