Do you dream about financial freedom? Do you long for the day when you don’t have to stress about credit card debt, high interest charges, or steep penalties for missed payments? For many families struggling with debt, this New Year will be a time when they resolve to finally pay it all off and start over.
However, financial resolutions made this time of year often hit a roadblock before they even get started. That’s because they’ll start their January off with more than just turkey leftovers – they’ll be dealing with leftover holiday debt. According to one survey, 45% of all credit card holders are willing to take on debt over the holidays, something that consumers do year in and year out. Many borrow so much it takes them months to pay it off, and the effects accumulate.
How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt in Canada
There are a few different tools you can use to speed up your debt-free dreams in Canada. One popular option is debt consolidation. You’ve probably heard of a debt consolidation loan, but it’s not the only way you can combine several different credit card balances and other debts into a single payment and save on interest charges.
With a Debt Consolidation Program, available through the help of certified Credit Counsellors from a non-profit credit counselling agency, you get all the same benefits without having to apply and qualify for a new loan. Certified Credit Counsellors can answer all your questions about debt consolidation.
How to Stay Out of Credit Card Debt this Christmas
Now, how do you keep yourself from adding more debt this season?
Budget Your Gift List: Thanks to the growth of online retail, you can plan out where every dollar goes before you make a single purchase, even if you go to the store to pick everything up after all. Start by identifying how much you’re able to spend this year without going into debt and go from there.
Don’t Use Credit Cards: Credit cards make it incredibly easy to spend money you don’t have, and that comes with a price. Some suggest destroying credit cards once you’ve paid them off so that you stop using them, but that depends on you. Get rid of them if you’ll use them, but if you can restrain yourself, keeping them helps with credit repair in Canada.
Find Out How Much You Spent Last Year: Comparison is always useful. Check credit card statements and receipts to estimate how much you spent on Christmas last year. When you see the full total, you can see where you went wrong – and just how much all those festive extras cost. This will also be an opportunity for you to adjust your expectations around gift-buying.
Talk to Family About Expectations: If you’re serious about going debt-free this year, your family should know about it. Make sure everyone’s expectations are appropriate. Don’t worry, you can still have a happy, festive holiday, but by doing things like foregoing gift exchanges with extended family, you can stretch your budget a lot further.
Don’t let the pressures of the holidays control your budget. Take these steps to limit your spending and give yourself a chance to become debt-free next year.