Did you meet your financial goals for 2015? Or did you track your expenses for a couple of months and then fall back into old habits of spending without accountability? Have you already forgotten about your 2016 financial New Year’s resolutions? Media coverage on the high level of debt Canadians are carrying may make you feel better about your own situation – you are in the same boat as a lot of other people. The problem is that complacency won’t solve your debt problems.
It’s now February – make this year your year of financial recovery. Five easy steps to follow:
- Track all of your expenses for a month. Keep track of every cent spent on coffee, school pizza days, etc.
- Prepare a budget of your monthly income and expenses. The amount you spent on coffee per month may have surprised you – set a goal in your budget to reduce that expense. Plan a stay at home fun day with crafts and board games rather than an expensive trip to the bowling alley and arcade. How much is left at the end of the month to tackle your debt?
- Make a list of all the debt that you owe – overdrafts on your bank account, bank loans, student loans, credit cards, family, and income tax. Record the interest charged on each debt. Add up the total.
- Make a plan to pay down the debt based on your budget and the monthly funds available. Pay larger amounts on your high interest debt. Make minimum payments on all debt to avoid collection proceedings. Calculate how long it will take you to pay the debt in full.
- If the debt can be paid in a reasonable amount of time – stick to your budget and pay off your debt. Make additional payments from any gift money you receive or tax refunds. The satisfaction of paying your debt off sooner will feel better than any monetary item you may buy. If the debt can’t be paid in a reasonable amount of time – contact a professional to review your options.
At Taylor Leibow Inc., we help people every day that can’t pay their debt on their own. We will prepare a complete analysis of your financial situation and find solutions for you. A bankruptcy or a consumer proposal may be the solution that provides you a fresh start and sets you on your path to financial recovery. We would be happy to meet with you to ensure you reach your 2016 goals.