Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Globe and Mail: Why Teaching Your Teens to Stay Debt Free Matters

With an often unstable job market, and huge tuition rates, it has become a trend over the last few decades for kids to rely more on their parents financially than ever before. Gone are the days of kids turning 18 and leaving the house (and your wallet debt free) for good. Longer stays at home after high school or returning to the nest after post-secondary has become more common these days, and parents are really starting to feel the financial pressure.
According to a recent Globe and Mail article, “Plan to Retire? You May Need to Pay YourGen Y Kids’ Debts First,” the trends with regard to financial dependence are quite startling, and parents are finding themselves dealing with not only their own debt, but that of their adult children as well. And those children are admitting to having come to expect it.
How parents are helping:
·        Pay off their student loans: 37 per cent of poll participants said their parents had done this, or that they expected this.
·        Pay their bills: This is happening with 42 per cent of 20- to 24-year-olds, 28 per cent of 25- to 29-year-olds and 17 per cent of 30- to 33-year-olds.
·        Buy a home: One in four said parents have helped with a down payment, or will.
Savings, in the past, that were accumulated after the kids had flown the coop, usually from the mid-50s to retirement, used to sustain parents through the retirement years. Now however, in an effort to assist their children, those saving years (and the savings themselves) are dwindling, leaving very little amassed at the end.
Living debt free has become a far less common way of life, especially for the younger generations, and parents finding themselves saddled with bills that are not their own can become disheartened very quickly.
For more about debt free solutions, either for yourself or your children, as well as saving and spending tips that won’t leave you calculating desperately in the end, please contact DebtCare Canada today by calling 1-888-890-0888.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Take Action to Get Out of Debt: Tips and Tricks

Debt free: a highly attractive yet increasingly unattainable lifestyle for the average Canadian. No matter how you slice it, consumer debt has become a major problem for many individuals, and whether as a result of job loss, divorce, student debt, or just overzealous spending, many now find themselves trying to dig themselves out of a fair-sized financial hole that often seems more like a bottomless pit.
Ok, wait. We are not just going to saddle you with negatives and not offer some useful advice. We are, after all, here to help. So, with that in mind, here is a realistic list of tips to help you get back on the road to financial freedom.
1.      Make a monthly budget. We absolutely cannot stress this enough. It is the best, really the only, place to start when it comes to ways to get out of debt. Once you realize how much you take in each month, and compare it to how much you spend, you will actually have a better idea where your money is going, and how you can decrease certain amounts. And be realistic – don’t attempt to cut out all spending – no one can do that.
2.      Stick to that budget. Become a savvy shopper and curb needless spending whenever and wherever possible. Look for sales whenever possible and take advantage of money saving incentives.
3.      Stop paying just the minimum payments. Take any money saved thanks to your new budget and put it all on those debts. Since most minimum payments on credit cards are interest, making the minimum payment really is making the minimum payment. Give as much as you can to those creditors.
4.      Work on those high interest credit cards. When you are overwhelmed with credit card debt and trying to decide which debts to eliminate first, always take a look at interest. If one card is 15% interest and another is 25%, think about how much money you are contributing to the principal and how much is just empty interest.
5.      Seek out some debt help. Once you have tried to implement the above changes, but feel as though you are still left in a precarious financial position, it might be time to seek some professional assistance. An organization that can offer you various options to get out of debt might be your best solution.
Stop struggling and start swimming above water. It can often seem impossible to get out of debt if you are drowning, so start with these 5 tips and see just how far diligence can take you.
For more tips or for help getting out of debt please contact DebtCare today by calling 1-888-890-0888.

DebtCare’s Karen Goldenberg Made a Member of the Order of Canada

DebtCare is proud to announce that our own Karen Goldenberg, C.M., Director of Community Outreach at DebtCare Canada, has been made a Member of the Order of Canada. This prestigious award  recognizes a lifetime of achievement and commitment, and Karen’s work in developing the DebtCare public education program and our community outreach initiatives has been a great source of pride for the entire DebtCare family. Congratulations Karen!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Wallet-Friendly Summer Fun Ideas – Don’t Get Caught Drowning in Debt

Any parent knows that once school is out, the kids are itching for some fun outside of the classroom. For many, this means summer camps or family vacations, but if you are drowning in debt, the thought of shelling out all that extra dough just to keep the kids entertained may be a bit more daunting than you’d like. With that in mind, check out this list of wallet-friendly summer fun ideas to keep your little ones out of your hair and out of your wallet.
1.      Go to the beach – pack a picnic lunch, grab some towels and some water toys and head out for a day in the sun. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.
2.      Spend a day at the library – just because the kids are out of the classroom doesn’t mean they can’t read for pleasure. Head to the local library and get the kids signed up for a library card. Let them pick out their own book or spend some time on the computer.
3.      Craft day – tie-dyed t-shirts, homemade play-dough, a kite they can fly in the backyard. Check out Pinterest for some great ideas that don’t require a lot of payout.
4.      Berry picking and jam making – not only can you get them out of the house and out of doors, this can be a great way to get some preserving done for the coming months.
5.      Gardening – head to the garden centre and let the kids pick out a plant or two, then head back home and set out a separate space in the garden that they can design all on their own.
6.      Drive-in movies – check out the local drive-in theatre and get great bang for your buck. Take advantage of the outing and bring dinner and snacks with you to save on treats. Go for a walk around or spend some time at the park. And once they are tired out, take advantage of the peace and quiet and sit back and relax and enjoy the movie.
7.      Camp out – set up a tent in the backyard, light a bonfire, and get the ghost stories ready. The close proximity to a private bathroom is just an added bonus!
8.      Take a hike – fill your backpack with bug spray, a few bottles of water and some trail-mix and head to the local nature area. Keep kids’ minds going by creating a scavenger hunt so they can play along the way.
9.      Set up a lemonade stand – not only will this motivate the kids to get out there, letting them make some money, but it teaches them about working and can help you teach them about finances.
10.   Help out – contact local charities in your area and find out if you can help out. Spending the day at an animal shelter or at the community garden is a great way to teach kids about giving back and it doesn’t cost you anything more than your time.
Summer spending doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Get creative, and keep that money in your wallet!
If you feel like you are already drowning in debt, use these tips to keep the spending to a minimum. And if you feel like you need some help getting those debts under control, contact DebtCare today by calling 1-888-890-0888.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

DebtCare's Financial and Debt Expert Sara Mitchell Interviewed on CFRB 1010 by Tim Hudak

Sara Mitchell, financial and debt expert at DebtCare Canada, was interviewed on CFRB 1010 by Ontario's PC leader Tim Hudak about the implication of debt on Canadian families and solutions for overcoming it. If you are in a financial crisis, feel free to reach out to Sara or the DebtCare team at www.debtcare.ca or by calling 888-868-1400.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Not So Happy Canada Day When it Comes to Canadian Consumer Debt According to Yahoo Finance

Last week we celebrated Canada Day and that means that half of 2014 is officially over. Just like New Year’s Day, this holiday often leads people to think back on the past 6 months – have you evaluated your current debt load? Well, if you haven’t, Yahoo Finance has, and has discovered just how much Canadian consumer debt is impacting the nation’s economy.
Check out this recent release from Yahoo Finance, “Household Debt Overhang Holding Back Canada's Economy”: https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/household-debt-overhang-holding-back-124451782.html. According to the article, Canada was able to overcome the recent financial crisis thanks in part to consumer spending. A hot housing market and consumer spending meant that our economy was able to rebound far quicker than the U.S., but at a substantial cost. Now, thanks to high Canadian consumer debt, individuals are spending less and paying off more, meaning that economic growth won’t reach the levels initially anticipated.
Furthermore, “Canada's disposable household debt-to-income ratio is at a near-record high of 164.0 percent. By contrast, U.S. households reduced their indebtedness in the wake of the crash.” Clearly there are drawbacks to having dealt with the crash in a way that meant less economic meltdown for the average Canadian.
If you are one of the many Canadians whose spending has led to a mountain of debt that now seems unmanageable, it might be time to start thinking about some viable solutions. Don’t get stuck barely able to make ends meet because of the interest on credit cards and the looming collection action being threatened by your creditors.  Get in touch with a company today to find out what options exist to help you regain control of your finances.
For more about Canadian consumer debt and taking back control of your money please contact DebtCare Canada today by calling 1-888-890-0888.