If you are like many Canadians, you are probably looking for ways to get your financial future in order. Summer often brings many Canadians face-to-face with harsh financial realities in their lives, as income tax refund cheques run out and costly expenses like summer vacations and back-to-school supplies take a big bite out of your budget. It may seem like there is nothing you can do to regain control over your financial future, but there are steps you can take to start getting your financial life back on track starting today.
Here are three things you can do for your finances that can help you start to get your finances back on track before the first leaves fall this autumn.
#1: Review your budget
Costs and expenses can change – especially during the summer when gas prices go up and kids have more time at home to find ways to spend your money. A thorough review of your household budget can help you cover any extra costs effectively. Otherwise, you can end up overspending and not even recognize there is a problem until your finances are already in a serious bind.
Reviewing your budget will also allow you to see if you can cut back on any monthly expenses to put towards paying off your credit cards. Credit card debt is the number one cause of consumer finance problems now in Canada, so there’s a good chance putting extra money to paying off your credit card debts can go a long way to improving your financial outlook.
#2: Check your credit report
Experts recommend you should check your credit report at least once each year to ensure the information it contains is correct and accurate. Errors and discrepancies can hurt your credit rating so you want to make sure your credit report is correct so your credit scores are as strong as possible. This is critical, since many financial solutions you may wish to use to get your finances under control require good credit in order to qualify for the interest rates you need. It will also ensure you can get approved if you wish to buy a new home or car.
#3: Contact a trained credit counsellor to evaluate your debts
A trained credit counsellor has the experience and know-how to assess your situation and provide recommendations on debt solutions that will work for you. Many credit counselling agencies are not-for-profit, so you can get an evaluation at no charge and with no obligation to sign up for anything. This allows you to get an expert opinion on how to regain financial control without incurring another bill or committing to anything.
Connie Solidad has been writing about finances and debt consolidation for years. She’s an expert in the industry and writes about debt management topics and credit counseling options and resources. When Connie is not working, she loves playing with her two dogs in Tampa, Florida. To learn more about debt management refer to ConsolidatedCredit.ca.