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It’s Christmas time and besides Christmas carols; the main sound we hear is the rhythm of the ring of the cash register, or the beep of the credit card reader. Shoppers leave stores laden with bags and bags of gifts, quickly spending thousands in mere days. If they saved up for this expense, they are fine, but if not, the spectrum of debt looms over them when those January bills start to roll in. It’s so easy to do. We find the perfect gift, forget our budget and think, “I’ll pay for it later!” But when the stress of January comes with going back to work and waiting in anticipation for our credit card bills to come in, reality sets in.
Canadians owe a lot of money. Just days ago, Stats Canada reported that household debt ratio to annual disposable income reached a new high of 164.6%! (see Canadians are carrying more debt than ever before) So the average household in Canada now owes more than 1 1/2 times its annual income. This is shocking considering our global economic instability. Still, people don’t seem to want to talk about or even think about their debt. Once you’ve become overwhelmed with it and the prospect of losing your home becomes a reality, it is often too late.
Signs you have a debt problem
- Refusal to acknowledge debt
- Don’t ask and don’t talk to anyone about money
- Using one credit card to pay off another
- Spending your emergency money, while promising to pay it back later
- Using your bank overdraft as a backup while you wait for your paycheque
At some point, your debt will come back to haunt you, and no matter what promises you make to yourself, or how you try to hide it, it will be a big problem. It’s time to take control of your debt and take back your life before your debt controls you.
There is still time to control your debt
Controlling spending is a key to reducing your stress. Even if you have lots of debt and bad spending habits, there are still ways to break your bad habits.
Collect all your information, see how much you owe, calculate how much you are spending a year to maintain your debt, particularly if you are carrying a balance on multiple credit cards, and take a close look at the numbers. If it is costing you thousands to maintain your debt load, wouldn’t it be nice to use that money to pay down your mortgage instead? Multiple payments and high interest rates on various credit card make it very difficult to pay off your debts.
Make a budget to see where your money is going. One of the easiest ways to track your spending is to use a program called Mint (seehttps://www.mint.com/) which helps you to track your spending and sends warning messages when you have gone beyond your monthly budget. Once you start looking at how you spend your money, then look for ways to reduce your spending. For example, do you really need that $4.00 latte every day? For the $1344 a year you spend on lattes, you could buy a nice espresso machine and lots of coffee to make your own. Or do you go out for lunch every day? It is these small, but deadly spending habits that can add up very quickly into thousands of dollars a year.
Pay more than the minimum on your credit cards and try to stop carrying monthly balances. It happens so quickly once the interest rates start adding up the amount we owe. Once you carry a balance one month, it gets harder and harder to pay off that debt. Pay later actually means pay for years! Stop avoiding those bills and take control of your spending.
Another approach is to cut up your credit cards and start using cash for your purchases. If you don’t have the money saved up, you shouldn’t be spending it.
All of this can seem difficult, but it is time to find your way out of debt and begin taking back your life and financial freedom. Imagine what it would feel like to be debt free?
Debt Consolidation Loan
One of the best ways to take control of your debt is to take out a debt consolidation loan. A debt consolidation loan is best when it is based on the equity in your home, since you are able to borrow money against your home at a much lower interest rate to pay off your multiple sources of debt. Just by going with a lower interest rate through this method, you are automatically beginning to pay off your debts!
This allows you to
- Reduce monthly payments
- Use one easy payment to pay bills instead of multiple payments at differing interest rates
- Save thousands in interest payments, fees and penalties
- Reduce your stress over your debt load
- Begin to get out of debt
Not sure how to begin? Contact the team of Mortgage Brokers today at email@example.com or call them at 1-877-874-8988. If you own your own home and live in BC or Alberta, they can help you with a home equity loan and debt consolidation options.
Enjoy the holidays, but do it responsibly
Christmas time is all about spending time with family and friends, and it is the gathering that makes the holidays memorable. Consider setting a strict budget per person and don’t fall for the buy now, pay later idea, since it could take years to pay that debt off. If you are not working over the holidays, this also may add stress to your monthly income, so do consider it when you are spending. You can still be generous and find that perfect gift, but it is usually the thought that counts more.
Contact One Stop Mortgage
If you find yourself needing some options to solve your debt, or you see that you are avoiding the debt that is lurking in the shadows and need advice on how to break free, the team of mortgage and debt specialists at One Stop Mortgage can really help.
Imagine having someone in your corner to look after the troubles of finding you the best rate you can get, advocating for you, and set up a debt consolidation package that fits your needs. Before the holidays arrive, contact us and get your financial house in order.
Easier said than done? No, One Stop Mortgage makes debt consolidation, home equity loans and mortgages simple!
Contact us today to find out how:
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A debt consolidation may just be the best Christmas present you give yourself this year! Contact us and get started.