Over the summer many families find that debt rises with the temperatures; vacations, weekends away, daily outings, etc. can all leave the wallet feeling very light. If you entered the summer drowning in debt, the worst thing that you can do over the summer is add to that. Instead, use this time to make some financial changes and reduce you debt rather than continuing to build it up. Here are our summer debt relief tips to help you regain control of your finances.
Debt relief tip #1: Go over your finances and set a budget. Look at how much you spend every month on bills and see where you can save. And be realistic. Don’t deny yourself every luxury – you won’t be able to stick to it. For example, if you eat out 5 nights a week, don’t cut this out altogether, you are bound to cave in at some point. Instead try and limit these treats to once a week, or even once every 2 weeks.
Debt relief tip #2: Avoid making only minimum monthly payments. Most of your monthly payment is just interest, very little of the principle balance being paid off as a result. Check out your monthly statement – most will give you a timeline showing when your balance will be paid off if only monthly payments are made – this might shock you – and hopefully motivate you to reduce your debt!
Debt relief tip #3: Contact your creditors and see if they can offer a lower interest rate, especially if you have received offers from other companies offering an interest free period and free transfer (just be sure that you can pay off the balance before the interest free period is up). This option though is often only good for those with good credit – if your credit is less than stellar or if you routinely miss payments, there isn’t much motivation for your creditors to reward you with a lower interest rate.
Debt relief tip #4: Seek the help of a professional. Once you get deep into debt, it can seem impossible to climb back out. But it is possible. If you have tried to reduce your debt but just can’t seem to make any progress, it might be time to call in the professionals, ones with experience helping Canadians get debt relief. Debt consolidation, consumer proposals or bankruptcy are all viable options to reduce your debt, and can all end up significantly reducing the amount of debt you currently carry.
Don’t let summer spending get away from you. Instead, try to reduce your debt instead of increasing it with these tips and others. For more tips about debt relief and how to reduce your debt over the summer, please contact DebtCare by calling 1-800-890-0888 or visiting www.debtcare.ca.