If Post-Holiday Bills Have You Worried About Debt – Here’s What We Recommend.
Money trouble is not what you were hoping Santa would leave under your tree. Your debt problem may have already been on the horizon before the holidays, or, it may be a challenge you’re now facing in the New Year. Regardless of when and how your debt grew beyond your control, you may need help getting back on track. We’ve got three suggestions to help you try and press the reset button on your current financial situation. You owe it to yourself to become debt free in 2019, don’t let last year’s bills derail your financial plans for this year.
Tip #1 – Make a 3-6 Month Plan to Repay Your Debt
Your credit card company, bank, and even collection agencies, will work with you if you can afford to set up short term payment arrangements to clear up your account. If you’ve fallen behind you can try to set up a plan to turn things around. When making a payment arrangement it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind:
- Get the arrangement in writing if possible.
- Make sure you can afford what you’re agreeing to.
- Don’t set up pre-authorized payments, it can be hard to block access later if something happens and you can no longer afford to pay (especially if repaying a payday loan/advance).
- Stick to the plan and pay it off faster if you can afford to.
Tip #2 – Cut Back On Expenses to Save Money
A payment arrangement may stretch your budget very thin. Looking for ways to save money will help you repay your debt and get you out of money trouble much faster. If you do set up a payment arrangement with your creditors, extra cash in your budget will definitely help you stick to your plan. Here are a few common ways to reduce expenses:
- Cut out cable television try switching to a streaming service.
- Reduce your cellular phone package, call your provider and ask for promotional rates and deals.
- Coupon clip, save money on groceries with store loyalty programs, price matching apps, or find a friend with a membership to a members-only discount store and save on bulk items through their membership.
- If possible, leave the car at home and take alternative transportation to work or school.
- Stick to a strict budget and limit spending on non-essential items.
Tip #3 – Find Extra Income to Eliminate Your Money Trouble Quickly
“Finding” extra money sounds much easier than it is. You’re not likely to just run into “free” money so you’ll have to look for creative ways to add some extra cash for bills to your monthly income. If you have savings or retirement savings you don’t want to cash them in if you don’t have to. Fortunately we have a few ideas for you. Here are some of the common ways people scrounge up a little extra money to pay bills:
- Sell things you’re no longer using (online, by consignment, or at a garage sale).
- Take a part-time/second job or temporary job in your free time.
- Find a hobby that you enjoy and can do for extra money (for example – knitters and quilters can sell their finished projects at bazaars or by commission).
- Start a labour-based business with little cost to you to run it – for example, house painting, snow removal, yard work or odd-jobs/handy-work.
Any or all of these tips can help you clear up post-holiday debt and get yourself out of money trouble as fast as possible. However, if you’re debt can’t be managed by working with your bill collectors, adjusting your budget, or bringing in additional income – you’ll need a “Plan B”. Plan B doesn’t necessarily mean “bankruptcy” – but it does mean reviewing your options for debt relief and may include a discussion about bankruptcy.
If you think you need advice about debt relief options such as bankruptcy or consumer proposal please call us to discuss 1-877-501-4321. We also offer online booking at a location that is convenient for you.