How to Prepare for the end of Debt Holiday

The pandemic made it tough for thousands of Canadians to keep up with their bills, especially the high-interest consumer debt. A debt holiday was put in place on consumer debt and mortgages helping Canadians handle the daily cost of living without worrying about excessive debts.

Now that the country and even the world are coming back together and things are opening up, the debt holiday is nearing its ends. This means many bills will be due again – but how do you prepare for such a change in your finances?

Check out the tips below.

Negotiate a Payment Plan

Before your deferment plans end, contact your creditors. Don’t wait until the plan expires and then try to work something out. At that point it’s too late, your payments will be due and if you don’t pay them, it will hurt your credit.

Call your creditors long before it ends and ask about your options. Let them know your financial situation, whether you’re furloughed, not working, or working but trying to catch up. Most creditors will work with you, helping you figure out an affordable plan. Creditors would rather make a plan and receive the full payment than put you at risk of defaulting altogether.

Continue reading “How to Prepare for the end of Debt Holiday”

How to Budget Single Family Income

Has the pandemic brought your family down to a single income? With more than a million jobs lost in Canada, many families are in the same boat. Whether you were laid off or were required to stay home with your children who couldn’t go to school or daycare, it’s important to know how to budget your single family income.
 
Even if you collect unemployment, for now, it may not last. Just in case, consider the following ways to budget your single family income.
 
Make Cuts
 
It’s not a pleasant thought, but you must cut expenses. Get creative here. For example, if you cut cable, can you afford to replace it with a streaming service? Netflix, for example, costs a fraction of standard cable services. See if you can work it into your budget so you don’t feel like you’re sacrificing too much.
 
Think of other places you can cut, such as:
 
·       Eating out
·       Entertainment
·       Grocery store (shop sales and clip coupons)
·       Household goods (shop sales or comparison shop online)
 
Redo your Budget
 
Take an honest look at your budget. Where do you spend? If you can’t cut in certain categories, where does that leave you each month?
 
Think about saving for an emergency fund and retirement. Both should remain line items on your budget even when you’ve gone down to one income.
 

Continue reading “How to Budget Single Family Income”

Stores are Open – Reign in your Spending

Life is trying to get back to normal. As the COVID-19 numbers drop, more retail stores are reopening, which is a great sign for our economy, but may not be as good for your pocketbook. Try to avoid getting caught up in the excitement of things getting back to ‘normal,’ and be mindful of your spending.

Before you shop, ask yourself the following questions.

Is this an Impulse Buy?

Are you shopping with a list? If you are, is the item you’re holding or that you ‘need to buy’ on your list? If not, it’s an impulse buy. Even if you don’t have a list, but you look at things you don’t need or didn’t intend to buy; it’s an impulse buy.

Rather than buying without thinking, give yourself 48 hours. Leave the store or close your web browser without buying the product. After 48 hours, if you’re still thinking about the item, maybe it’s something worth buying. Chances are though, if it was an impulse buy, you won’t even think about it again.

Continue reading “Stores are Open – Reign in your Spending”

How to Cut your Expenses to Stretch your Budget

Money may have become tighter for more and more families. Whether you’ve gone through your savings already or you’re worried about what is yet to come, it’s important to know where you can cut your expenses to save money right now.

While each family has different expenses and areas they can cut, we share some of our top tips to cut your expenses below.

Trim the Entertainment

Yes, we are all bored sitting at home, but there’s no reason to go overboard right now. Entertainment is probably one of the easiest areas to cut in your life. Consider cutting:

  • Subscriptions – How many subscriptions do you have? Do you use them, especially right now? Cutting your monthly subscriptions could save you significant money right now.
  • Movie streaming services – How many streaming services do you need? Can you cut it down to one main service that has most of what you need? 
  • Shopping – While we can’t go to many of our favorite stores, online shopping can be just as dangerous, if not worse. Shopping when you’re bored can lead to excessive and needless spending.

Continue reading “How to Cut your Expenses to Stretch your Budget”

How to Maximize your Spending Plan (AKA Budget)

Maximize Spending Plan

Get the Most for the Least by Shopping Carefully

Budgeting can be like strong tasting medicine – it’s one of the most challenging remedies to take, but its effectiveness cannot be denied.  Whether you’ve got money troubles or not, a budget will help your finances.  You don’t make a budget just to fix problems – you have to do it all the time.

A spending plan is more than just a list with numbers.  It’s a willingness to do things that may seem inconvenient at the time, but add up to a considerable advantage when you’re looking to cut costs, without sacrificing quality.

Here are some everyday actions you can take that will make your bottom line look better:

Check Prices
Ok, so you’ve decided to make a purchase, and you’ve budgeted for it.  Before you expend precious funds, make sure you’re getting the best value for your dollar.  Ask yourself the following:

“Can I save money by buying used?”  A lot of times, a used item will serve just as well as a new one.  Appliances, for instance, are often available used, many from dealers who will offer a warranty.  Clothing, too. Many discount stores offer name brand clothing, gently worn, at a fraction of the original cost.  If you’re ok with previously enjoyed clothes, you’ll find that you can start dressing really well for really cheap.

“Is another store having a sale on this item?”  Is the sale good enough to justify the extra travel time and expense?  Try to avoid paying more just for convenience.

“Is it less expensive online?”  Sometimes it’s worth having to wait a few extra days for delivery.

Prepare your Own Meals
We can’t stress enough just how much impact this one simple act can have on your bottom line.  Take out or delivery costs several times as much as preparing a similar item at home, and when you make it yourself, it’s how you like it.  Compare the savings to the time spend preparing meals, and it’s like you’ve got another job that pays really well.

Continue reading “How to Maximize your Spending Plan (AKA Budget)”

How to Set Up an Emergency Fund for 2019

creditaid-blog-image

 

Another year has come and gone. For some, it’s been magical, and for others, a little less so. The new year is a time for retrospection, to look back at what’s happened, evaluate where we are, and make preparations for the coming year.

Let us offer you one piece of advice – a few simple steps can give you a whole lot of peace of mind when it comes to securing your financial future. Make 2019 the year that you prepare for unforeseen financial challenges with an emergency fund. The security you’ll feel when you know you’ve protected yourself from an urgent home or car repair, a “blip” in your employment, or any one of a million other unforeseen circumstances is one of the best goals to attain.

How Much is Enough?
The amount of money you need in your emergency fund is really up to you. We’d say, the more the better, but in the end you’ll have to make your own decisions. How much will get you over a rough patch – a month’s salary? Six month’s salary? A thousand dollars? Ten thousand dollars? It’s unpleasant to imagine all of the bad things that can happen to your finances, but it’s important to determine a worst-case scenario to help you set a savings goal.

Continue reading “How to Set Up an Emergency Fund for 2019”

Let’s Connect with Keith Macpherson

Creditaid’s Brian Denysuik share his financial wellness tips with Keith Macpherson, renowned motivational speaker and author of Making Sense of Mindfulness.

Listen to discover, connect and be inspired by Keith’s positive energy and open mind around finances.

Provincial Budget versus Household Budget

The Province of Manitoba just released Budget 2018. Listen to 680 CJOB, Winnipeg’s news talk radio, Hal Anderson and Creditaid’s, Brian Denysuik, discuss how the provincial budget can be managed like a family household budget.