Are You Relying On Debt to Get By?Oct 17, 2018
Is there money left at the end of the month or month left at the end of the money? If it’s the latter, you are certainly not the only one. In fact, many individuals and families are finding it difficult to get by and are relying on personal debt to fill in the financial gaps.
This, and other findings, are part of our most recent Affordability Index poll focusing on just how affordable it is to live in Canada. The results may surprise you as almost 30 per cent of Canadians indicated that they could not meet their basic financial needs and must rely on things like credit cards or lines of credit in order to get by.
When it comes to personal debt, 74 per cent of Canadians indicated that they carry some form of debt, with most debt coming from credit cards, mortgages, car loans and lines of credit. The survey also revealed that the average amount of non-mortgage debt is just under $20,000.
Debt and affordability are not only causing Canadians stress now, it will also likely cause individuals and families future stress. In fact, many survey respondents reported putting off other important financial obligations, like saving money for emergencies or unexpected expenses, in order to afford the cost of living or to focus on debt relief.
Not all Canadians are feeling the financial squeeze in the same way. The Affordability Index also revealed that millennials and women tend to feel more overwhelmed by the cost of living and the amount of debt they carry. In fact, the majority of female survey respondents indicated that they are not financially prepared to buy a home or deal with unexpected costs.
Deal with debt and take control
For those feeling the financial squeeze, it’s a good idea to start focusing on debt relief now, even though it may not seem possible. By focusing on decreasing your debt, you’ll free up more money that you can allocate to your basic costs of living. You’ll also avoid getting trapped in the circle of relying on debt and adding more to your debt burden.
When dealing with debt, it can be tricky to know where to start. Luckily, there are quite a few great resources available that will help you find debt relief. Online resources focusing on dealing with your debt load can be a great tool, providing the tips, tricks, and knowledge you need in order to tackle your debt the right way.
Personal finance blogs also have a lot of great information, as well as providing the inspiration and motivation you need to help you tackle your debt head-on. Give Me Back My Five Bucks is a great example.
Don’t forget, there are also professionals that specialize in helping clients decrease their debt (and their debt-related stress). A credit counsellor or Licensed Insolvency Trustee can help you by reviewing the debt relief options that are available and provide you with the guidance and support you need to work towards decreasing your debt and getting back on track.