Do you recognize the Debt Warning Signs?Jan 29, 2015
By completing tasks and projects, we gain a sense of accomplishment and self worth. Receiving a promotion, finalizing a deal, or even mastering a new recipe can all have a big impact on our overall mood and well-being. The same is true for negative feelings having the opposite effect. When we are late for assignments, earning less than we feel we are worth, or are struggling to keep up with bills, it can give us a very negative perspective on our reality. Debt stress is one of the most common forms of stress Canadians deal with on an on-going basis.
And it’s no wonder we are stressed out! Canadians’ individual debt loads have reached an all-time high, with average consumer debt sitting at $28,853 and household debt nearing $100,000. Total Canadian household debt, including mortgages has risen to 1.62 percent.
Households may incur debt for many different reasons; job loss, medical bills, caring for children, unexpected accidents and disability are common situations that can lead to debt and bankruptcy. These financial difficulties can also impact our relationships, health and other aspects of our lives negatively.
With debt accumulating at such a rapid rate, and incomes expanding slowly, many households may be in need of financial intervention.
Here are some signs your finances might be out of control:
- Paying only minimum payments on multiple credit cards.
- Paying bills late and accepting late fees.
- Using your credit card for everyday purchases or as an extension of your income.
- Phone calls from creditors demanding payment.
- Juggling bills each month in an attempt to stretch money.
- Finances have become an argument starter between you and your spouse.
- You continue to borrow money to pay for previous debts.
- You find yourself constantly worried and stressed about money.
These warning signs can signal that your debt load may be at, or heading toward a critical level. At this point, seeking debt help would be ideal to avoid further debt stress and financial strain.
Debt can also greatly impede our efforts to accomplish other financial goals; such as saving for retirement or child’s education. Consolidation options are a great way to pay off debt and save yourself from accruing multiple interest charges every month. Sit down with a debt relief professional who will work with you to determine the best debt resolution suited to your family, goals and lifestyle. Offering confidential advice, counselling and support through the debt repayment process, they will assess your financial situation and help you take the steps necessary to eliminate debt. By learning how to budget and manage debt, you can also decrease the chance of a “debt relapse” in the future.
Without the constant weight of debt dragging you down, you can reduce debt stress and increase overall well-being. As your finances begin to take shape, you can start setting aside more money to work on achieving the rest of the financial goals you have set for yourself. Every journey starts with a single step, resolving to deal puts you on the path to financial wellness and stability.