|By Marketwire .||
|January 18, 2013 06:00 AM EST||
CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/18/13 -- Knowing that you have to face your finances is a lot easier than actually doing it. However, it is possible, and can make a big difference in your life. Here are some tools and professional financial strategies to help make it easier for you.
How much are you spending?
Start looking at your day-to-day spending by creating a household budget. Record your fixed and fluctuating monthly expenses. Make sure that you include annual expenses and allocate a monthly amount for them. For example, if you spent $1,200 this Christmas, you should allocate $100 per month for this expense.
After you are done, hold your breath and add up the amounts. If you are like a lot of people, the total you spend is more than the total monthly income you receive.
If you are spending more than you are making, then, like most Canadians, you have debt. Now is the time to find the strength to tackle your debt. There are several financial calculators available online that can help you determine what it would cost you to get out of debt on your own. Look at your recent credit card statements as they now include a section that tells you how many years it would take you to pay off your credit card balance if you only paid the minimum monthly payment. The number of years can be startling and in fact could be longer than a lifetime.
Ask yourself the following questions:
-- Are you using credit to pay for normal household expenses like gas or groceries? -- Are you paying only the minimum payment on your credit cards? -- Is the amount you can afford to pay in your budget for debt lower than the cost of carrying that debt?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then managing your financial situation on your own may not be a possibility without debt consolidation. Consider contacting an expert. You may wish to make an appointment with your bank, or a credit counseling organization. Just be sure that you carefully consider the options that are being offered. Too many people consolidate their debts only to find they are still relying on credit to meet their monthly expenses. The credit card balances climb back up and they are still making loan payments.
Understand your options for dealing with your debt
Sometimes, only a professional can give you the help you need. A Trustee in Bankruptcy will assess your needs and help you understand your options for dealing with your debt. Trustees look at your unique situation and help you decide what is best for yourself and your family. There are alternatives to bankruptcy, and with a licensed Trustee in Bankruptcy you can explore those alternatives together.
Summoning the strength to deal with your finances is difficult and easy to put off until tomorrow. Contacting a trusted advisor, like those at MNP, is easy to do - today.