November marks Financial Literacy Month across Canada. After a difficult year for many Canadians, more and more people are facing financial hardship. Financial Literacy Month aims to help Canadians learn how to better manage their finances.
“Atlantic Canadians across all income levels, all levels of education, and even all levels of concern for their financial future want to conquer their debt,” says John Eisner, President & CEO of SolveYourDebts.com. “They should know they don’t have to tackle the challenge alone.”
In a recent survey of 800 adults living in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, SolveYourDebts.com found that 8 in 10 are highly inclined to pay back all their debts. In fact, 86% would rather pay off debt over a longer term, instead of going bankrupt in the short term.
“A quarter-century of experience helping individuals get and stay financially well has shown us a lack of money management skills is one of the top five reasons people get into trouble with debt,” says Eisner. “With the cost of goods, services, and debt rising steadily, it’s no surprise that Canada’s household debt-to-income ratio is forecasted to hit an all-time high in 2022.”
Nearly 20% of bankruptcies are filed by people who have gone through the process before. With a recidivism rate of only 1%, Credit Counselling – debt repayment with intensive support from an accredited credit counsellor – is a proven method of achieving long-term financial wellness.
“Canadians should want a debt solution that sticks,” says Eisner. “It’s a whole lot easier getting into debt than getting out of it, so it just makes sense to do it once. To do that, you need a partner who will teach you the skills and habits you need for long-term financial wellness. Simply put: you need debt solutions that stick.”
In honour of Financial Literacy Month, SolveYourDebts.com offers 10 practical money-saving tips that anyone can implement right now.
- Always have a shopping list. Never go to the grocery store without a plan. You’ll end up buying things you didn’t need. With a shopping list, you can be sure to follow it and only it.
- Use your local library. Libraries have an endless supply of books, movies and music – all for free!
- Go thrifting. Ditch the overrated and expensive clothing in typical retailers and go shopping at the thrift shop. Not only will you save money, but you also likely won’t run into anyone wearing the same outfit as you!
- Get holiday decor on sale. By shopping at the end of a season or after key holidays, you’ll benefit from huge sales. For example, in the fall, purchase next year’s bathing suits, and in the spring, buy that coat for next winter.
- Ask for a lower credit card rate. Call your credit card company and ask them to lower your rates. Tell them you are considering a balance transfer to a low-interest card. Most companies will try to keep your debt and will therefore reduce your rate, lowering the amount of interest you’ll pay. If they say no, transfer your balance to a card offering a low or 0% promo offer.
- Wait 30 days. Avoiding instant gratification is one of the most important rules of personal finance. Next time you want to buy something, wait 30 days before doing so. This way, you’ll have time to decide if you truly want it.
- Get generic medication. Ask your doctor if you can switch to generic medicines instead of brand name. Oftentimes they have the same ingredients, but simply cost less.
- Don’t speed. Not only will you save lives, but you’ll save money! Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 100 kilometres per hour. Each 10 kilometres you drive over 100 kilometres per hour is like paying an additional $0.30 per litre for gas.
- Shop locally and in-season. Choosing seasonal fruit or visiting a local farmer’s market will save you money. While apples are often cheap, the prices of other fruits, like pears, can beat them depending on the season.
- Exercise more. Exercise is a free activity that’s good for your health and your wallet. Financial trouble is the leading cause of stress, so exercising can help offset some of that.
If you need help with debt, contact our accredited credit counsellors for a free consultation. Visit www.solveyourdebts.com for more information.