Everything You Need to Schedule a Debt Help Date NightFeb 26, 2019
Think debt help and date night can go together? Think again! This month, take some time out of your schedule to get back in touch with your finances by planning a debt help date night.
Why you need it
More than a third of Canadians find their debt balances are affecting their mental health in a negative way. The higher the debt balance, the more likely Canadians are to feel stressed, worried and depressed. This is why a debt date night might be the perfect prescription to help you deal with debt and reduce financial anxiety.
How it works
Carve out an evening without interruptions. You may want to sit in a coffee shop or simply stay in and stay comfortable. Grab some snacks and a cup of tea, then, gather your supplies. You’ll need your laptop or smartphone to check your bank transactions, recent bills, and income statements. Your first date doesn’t need to be super-long or intense. It’s a way to see where you’re at in your financial relationship and keep focused on your goals.
- Notice your transactions – Over the past month, did you spend more than you intended? Which purchases were outside of your regular expenses? Add them up to see how much you might be overspending.
- Go over your bills – Are you paying your utility bills on time or incurring interest charges? What about your credit card statements? How much interest are you paying each month?
- Tally up your debt balances plus interest – Is your overall debt load higher than you expected? Are you managing to pay just the minimum payments or are you making a dent in your credit card debt? Use this debt calculator to add them up.
- Compare your income to your expenses – Based on your income statements, are your monthly expenses over and above what you’re earning? Use this calculator to see your debt-to-income ratio.
Make a plan
Looking ahead to the upcoming months, what would you like to change financially, based on the above info? Here are a few suggestions that will enhance your financial health:
- Write out a budget – If you noticed you’re overspending in some areas, use this budget worksheet or download a budgeting app to track your spending and bills. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll become much more aware of your money and less likely to overspend.
- Reduce debt – Challenge yourself to pay off one credit card over the next few months. How much money will you need to put toward that card each month while maintaining minimum payments on the rest? Use the debt snowball or debt avalanche to keep this momentum going. You can also compare more debt relief options using this calculator.
- Set goals – Planning a summer vacation? Now is the time to start saving. The same is true for any major purchases or life events such as buying a home or planning for retirement. Start small by paying yourself first on each payday and build a solid emergency fund. Once you’ve done that, Use this goal calculator to start saving for those bigger goals.
Make debt help part of your daily routine by keeping an eye on spending, saving more money and refusing to add to existing debt. Schedule a debt date night every few months to keep checking in on your goals and maintain your motivation!
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