Holiday Spending Hangover

You did what you said you wouldn’t do over the holidays and that was over spending. Unfortunately, what’s done is done, you beat yourself up over it, and now you just need to move forward to fix it.

First thing to do is to assess the situation. See how much you have spent over the holidays and how much damage was done to those debit and credit cards. Then figure out a payment plan. Determine which debts to pay off first and prioritize when you will pay them off. While doing this, take a look at how much you will be bringing in over the next couple of months and if you have money left over after paying off your fixed debts, put that money towards your extra debt you accumulated over the holidays. Also, stop all unnecessary spending habits such as shopping, dining out, movies and entertainment, and vacations. It may be painful to give up some of your luxuries for a while, but it will be worth it once you have paid off your debt.

Additionally, to find extra income during this financially trying time, try getting your taxes done early and you never know, you might receive a significant amount on your tax return that you can put towards your debt.

The final tip is to learn from this preventable mistake. Plan ahead for the next holiday season and you are sure to make all the right choices next year.

Canadian Government Tightens Mortgage Rules to Stem Consumer Debt

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced new mortgage changes this morning to combat the rising household debt levels of Canadians.

Three main changes are:
· The maximum number of years the government will back a mortgage was lowered from 35 to 30.
· The upper limit that Canadians can borrow against their home equity was lowered from 90 per cent to 85 per cent.
· Government insurance backing on home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, has been removed.

The home equity change is the result of the Government’s concern that homeowners are rolling too many consumers purchases into their insured mortgages. “These loans are not used to create housing. They’re used to buy boats, and cars and big screen-televisions,” Flaherty said. “That’s not the business that home insurance was designed for.”

December Poll reveals Canadians are concerned!

Knowledge Bureau shared the results of their online poll – “Are families in your community more worried about their financial affairs this Christmas shopping season compared to a year ago?” 78% said yes. Some comments were:

– “They have to curtail their shopping, as they are worried about the financial situation their families are in.”

– “I think everyone is worried about their financial affairs”.

Read more of the results here