Teach your Kids these 4 Things about Debt

If there’s one thing you should teach your kids, it’s how to manage their money. Unfortunately, this isn’t something they’ll learn much about in school, so it’s on you as parents to make sure they understand how to manage their money and more importantly, stay out of debt.

Tailor what and how you teach your child to their age, but here are 4 things every child should know about debt.

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Is Your Gas Tank Bigger Than Your Cheque?

Budgeting for Increased Gas Prices

Inflation has hit almost every aspect of our lives, especially at the gas pump. When gas prices are high, it can make it harder to afford other essential costs, such as housing, utilities, minimum credit card payments, and groceries.

Since gas is necessary unless you can take public transportation, it helps to understand how you can save money at the pump.

Here are 5 great ways.

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Back to School on a Budget

It’s that time again, can you hear the bells ringing? That’s right, it’s time to head back to school. This year more than most represents a return to the familiar after the last two years of uncertainty and continually changing requirements.

School brings with it the need for new in the form of supplies and clothing which can really add up and stretch your budget to the max. With the proper planning, going back to school doesn’t have to cost a fortune as retailers understand and offer some great deals to help you save. You’re probably wondering how you can possibly navigate all these sales and take advantage of savings without getting pulled into buying what you don’t need while wondering how you are going to afford it all.

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Non-Cash Financial Help Options – Helping your Family without Giving them Cash

Helping Your Family with Debt

If you have family members in trouble financially, you may want to help them, but giving them cash may not feel right. If you’re worried your family members will just squander away the money you give them, here are 5 non-cash ways to help family members with financial troubles.

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How to Stay Motivated when Getting out of Debt

Starting a plan to get out of debt and keeping that plan are often two different things. It’s a lot like starting a diet when the New Year starts. You start off good, but then a week or two into it, you quickly fizzle and go back to your old habits.

So how do you stop this from happening when you’re trying to get out of debt?

Here are many ways to stay motivated to get out of debt.

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How to Manage Debt with Inflation on the Rise

Debt Management with Inflation

You’ve likely felt the effects of inflation already. Your grocery and gas bill probably felt it first. Suddenly it costs a lot more to feed the family or fill your gas tank, but these are things we need so we have to adjust elsewhere, right?

One area many people struggle is managing debt during inflation. If your wages don’t keep pace with inflation (most don’t), then keeping up with your debts may feel impossible.

Here are a few ways to help you manage debt with inflation rising.

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Keeping your Financial Goals

Financial Goals

Setting financial goals sounds great when you say them, but what about achieving them? If you don’t know how to execute the steps to reach your goals, they are just words. Whether you’ve fallen into the ‘New Year’s Resolution’ trap, or you are turning over a new leaf, here are X simple ways to keep your financial goals.

Make your Goals Achievable

It doesn’t do any good to set goals you can’t achieve. Instead, set goals you know you can hit. Even if that means setting baby-step goals so you can see your progress, do it. Just make sure each goal can be measured.

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You can Conquer your Debt

Conquer Your Debt

If you’re sitting on a lot of debt right now, first know that you aren’t alone. The pandemic wreaked havoc on most people’s finances. Now that we’re seeing life get back to somewhat normal, you may wonder what you should do with your debt or if it will just hound you the rest of your life.

The good news is there are ways to conquer it. Here’s what you can do.

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Warning Signs you May Have too Much Debt

Warning Signs of Debt

How much debt is too much? It can feel impossible to tell, especially since any debt can feel burdensome. But there are a few ways to tell that you have too much debt and that it’s time to do something about it.

Before you use a credit card or take out a loan, it’s important to determine if you can afford the payment. If it will put you over the edge, it’s too much. Here are some other ways to tell if you have too much debt.

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Will I Owe Income Taxes and Have to Pay Back CERB?

Cerb and Income Taxes

If you received CERB during the pandemic, your tax liability may increase because you didn’t pay taxes at the time you received it – no one did.

Like any income, CERB is taxable, but there’s good news.

There aren’t special tax rates you must pay on any CERB you received. The tax rates are the same rates you pay on your employment income. This makes filing your taxes much less overwhelming than most people thought, but it’s still money you will owe.

How Much Tax will you Owe?

No two people will owe the same amount of taxes. Your tax rate depends on your total income and this year your total income includes all employment income plus any CERB you received. You can check your tax brackets here.

How do you Pay your CERB Tax Debt?

Like any tax debt, to figure out how much you owe, you must first file your taxes. It’s always important to file your taxes on time even if you think you can’t afford the tax debt. Get your taxes in and then take additional steps to manage the debt.

If you can’t pay your tax debt on time, contact the CRA. In most cases, they’ll offer a repayment plan or payment arrangement, but only if you ask. You must be proactive in your request, so you don’t fall behind.

Options if you can’t Pay your CERB Tax Debt

If you can’t pay your CERB tax debt, here are your options:

Apply for Taxpayer Relief

Taxpayer relief is available for those who have extenuating circumstances including unemployment, chronic illness, or a natural disaster. It has to be something outside of your control that stops you from paying the taxes.

File a Consumer Proposal

If you are in over your head in debt, you may consider a consumer proposal. This is a formal request for relief of your debts including your CERB tax debt. A proposal doesn’t eliminate the debt, but it may lower the amount you owe making it easier to afford.

Work with a Credit Counselor

If you’re in over your head in debt and now face tax debt too, get with a credit counsellor. If you free up some of your money by negotiating lower rates or consolidating debt, you may have more money available to pay your tax debt.

The key is not to ignore your debt. If you can’t pay it, work with professionals to find a way to make arrangements. Ignoring the debt only leads to more penalties and interest.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let the thought of tax debt put you over the edge. Yes, it’s another debt and if you’re already struggling it can feel like too much, but there are ways around it.

Contact our credit counselors today for your free consultation to find out how we can help make your tax debt more affordable. Sometimes it just means you need to free up some money by lowering your interest rates on other debts or negotiating other payment arrangements.