Debt Relief Advice: Get a Healthy Relationship with DebtFeb 21, 2019
Secrets are dangerous for relationships. Unfortunately, when it comes to their debt, Canadians are keeping secrets from one another, indicating that we don’t all have the best relationship with our finances. Many people have a hard time even admitting to themselves that they have debt problems.
Improving your relationship with debt — or breaking it off altogether — might be the fastest way to get the debt relief you’ve been looking for while setting yourself up for a brighter future.
In last year’s BDO Canada Debt Confessions Poll, 32 per cent of Canadians came clean about the fact that they were keeping credit card debt a secret from their partners. Another 11 per cent confessed that they were hiding pre-relationship debt from the ones they loved.
Being in debt can result in difficult emotions, like fear and shame. Naturally, it’s easier to avoid talking about it. But avoidance isn’t helpful to personal relationships, nor does it help you get out of debt.
Is it time to change your relationship with debt — and with money in general?
Getting comfortable talking about debt — bringing it into the light of day — will allow you to tackle it head on and get rid of it for good.
How a regular money date leads to debt relief
Dating keep long-term romantic relationships fresh and healthy. Your relationship with money is going to be lifelong, so you need to plan to spend time with your finances.
Getting comfortable takes time. On your first date, simply review all your financial information.
On your second date, start working with one of our worksheets or budgeting tools. You’ll discover that financial planning isn’t as hard as you might have thought.
Date three is when you’ll start getting comfortable with the other side of money: debt. Review our debt management tools and think about which options might be right for you. Work with the debt calculator to figure out a plan to start reducing your debt load.
Break up with debt for good — it will be a relief
If you come to the conclusion that there’s no way you can deal with your personal debt by yourself, or if you discover that you’re not eligible for consolidation loans, it may be time to get professional help to end your relationship with debt.
Schedule an appointment for a consultation with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). Meeting with an LIT is your opportunity to understand all your options so you can decide what’s right for you. Filing for bankruptcy is just one option — it isn’t always necessary, and it should always be a last resort.
Once you have a plan in place for dealing with debt, you will still have to work on improving your relationship with money. Otherwise, you risk falling back into the same patterns that got you into debt in the first place.
Learning to value your money
For many of us, money is a means to an end. We earn money so we can pay for the things we need as well as those we want. So, money comes in — and money goes out again.
Obviously, we need to spend our money. But we can also learn to value money more thoughtfully.
Start by committing to an emergency fund to prepare for unexpected and to help you avoid renewing your relationship with debt. Make this simple by:
- Calculating your living costs for six months
- Deciding how much of each paycheque you’re going to save
- Setting up automatic transfers so you don’t have to think about it
No matter what method you choose to kick debt to the curb, you can change your relationship with your money so you can enjoy it more (and worry about debt less) in the future. A new relationship will give you relief from your debt, and will also transform how you handle financial matters for a lifetime.
What’s your relationship with debt like? Tell us on Twitter. #LeaveDebtBehind #DebtConfessions #DebtSolutions