Congratulations! We all made it to 2019! Woohoo!
We hope your holidays were spent warm, safe and in the company of family and loved ones. We also hope that you're not drowning from all the holiday purchases such as the dinners, the appetizers, the gifts, the gift cards, the drinks, the party favours – shall I continue?
It is expected that most people will spend over their budget during the holiday season. In fact, Canadian consumers spent 3.7% higher than they did last year. According to PwC, Canadians spent, on average, $1,563 each on consumer products this holiday season.
Are you among that group who spent 3.7% higher than last year? Not too worry, we get your generosity and as always, we are here to help you during this NORMAL time period of financial anxiety and discomfort.
Once again, we're all in this together. You are not alone in your debt situation no matter how high or how low.
Our first suggestion is to put those credit cards on ice and leave them for awhile. Cut out the temptations completely and focus only on the necessary transactions including home utilities, car insurance, mortgage, etc.
This extra money can be put aside and stored in your savings for multiple reasons. It is important that you DO NOT SPEND this lump sum of cash on clothes, electronics, or big ticket items. Just because this money is readily available to you – doesn't mean it should be spent on materialistic items.
Don't know what to do with that extra cash and want to make good use of it? Direct this money towards credit card debit (this one is important!!) or perhaps a "nest egg" before a move across the country, retirement, whatever suits you best.
We highly suggest not letting that holiday debt get the best of you by addressing it first and foremost. Do not let this debt slide under the radar and come back mid-year with more debt racked on top of it. Trust us! Addressing your Christmas dues now will make the rest of your financial year reasonably better without having those regrettable thoughts about giving your gifts to your families.
Since it is the beginning of January and new year resolutions are [hopefully] still fresh in peoples minds, make it your 2019 goal to create a monthly spending plan. Setting up a budget will put an end to bad spending habits and increased debt if you take your budget seriously as well as make realistic changes that are suitable to your current lifestyle.
Having a financial plan will force you to look at the numbers and assess your spending. You may be very surprised by the amount of money you are currently using towards just a simple cup of coffee on the way to work.
If you have questions as to how to get started, here is a link to the 10 Basic Steps provided by Smart About Money that takes you through your motivations about your money, how you would like to utilize your money and how to put your budget into action.
Lastly, and this tip is easy, if you already have one or two credit cards that are racking up debt – do NOT apply for a new credit card. We assure you handling one monster at a time is better than taking on multiple beasts.
If you have any questions or concerns as to how you should be spending your money on your mortgage, you know who to call!