Be Free from Debt Stress with these Proven StrategiesJun 23, 2016
According to a new BDO Canada-Ipsos Reid poll, one quarter of Canadians think they will never be free of debt. That’s worrisome because the stress of being in debt can be overwhelming. It can affect all areas of your life, leaving you emotionally drained and even physically ill. If your money worries are keeping you up at night, preventing you from focusing during the day, know that you are not alone and there are proven solutions that will help erase your debt concerns.
The BDO poll also revealed that 13 per cent of Canadians believe it’s going to take at least 20 years to pay off their debt. How much stress this second group is under depends on how they are managing their debt. If they have a plan in place and are committed to paying down the debt, they will probably feel much less worried about the situation. On the other hand, if they are simply hoping they will be out of debt in a couple of decades, the stress may be significant, even if they are optimistic about the eventual outcome.
Cause of debt stress
Personal debt is a constant for Canadians—a way of life for many. The amount of debt per household is rising in what’s been called a consumer debt binge, and the amount the average Canadian owes on credit cards is the highest it’s been in the past three years. There are many factors contributing to this situation, including factors that are out of an individual’s control, such as rising housing prices in Ontario, employment instability for some, and the increasing costs of groceries and utilities.
The real cause of debt stress, however, isn’t the debt itself. A person can be in debt without experiencing any anxiety. The real cause is a lack of debt-life balance, where you have to spend so much of your income servicing debt that you don’t have the money to take care of your other financial needs, like establishing an emergency fund, saving for retirement, and achieving a sense of well-being from knowing you are economically secure.
Strategies for debt relief
There are a number of strategies you can use to free yourself from the stress debt causes. One idea is to change how you view money and credit. For many people, money is a symbol of something else, such as power or freedom, and adjusting their perspective to see money for what it really is—a means of exchange—can affect how they manage their finances. Similarly, people can view access to credit as being freeing. But available credit isn’t the same as having savings and won’t keep debt worries at bay for long.
If you need help with overwhelming debt, such as too much credit card debt, consider speaking to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, or seeking credit counselling services. The Trustee can talk to you about debt relief alternatives and help you decide on the best course of action for your situation.
Start a balanced repayment plan. If you’re tired of dealing with the stress of owing money, commit now to paying off your debt. Taking a balanced approach in which you build savings goals and fun into your budget while you’re reducing your debt will help you avoid debt repayment burnout and ensure success.
Being under constant stress isn’t good for you, mentally or physically. If debt stress is impacting your life, commit to implementing strategies that have been proven to work to reduce the amount you owe. Freeing yourself from debt will bring your financial life back into balance.
How are you reducing your money worries? Share your story of debt stress at #LetsTalkDebt, #BDOdebtrelief