9 Ways to Get back on Your Feet

9 Ways to Get back on Your Feet

Even if you are knee-deep in debt and experiencing financial hardship, there are ways to get back on your feet financially and start your life anew.
1. Plan and Budget
Make a list of all income sources, everyday purchases, outstanding balances, and other expenses to see where your money is going. This will help you to redo your budget if necessary and cut some expenses. Plan ahead and start saving for a rainy day. You may want to reconsider your spending habits as well. If you have compulsive spending habits and tend to splurge, make sure you stick to your revised budget.
2. Avoid Bankruptcy
While bankruptcy is one solution to your financial worries, there are other ways to deal with debt. One option is to contact different lenders and ask whether debt consolidation is an option: https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/getting-out-of-debt-get-a-chance-with-debt-consolidation-loans/
. Other alternatives to bankruptcy include debt restructuring, formal proposal, settlement, and individual voluntary arrangement. If self-money management looks like a challenging task, contact a financial advisor for advice.
3. Reestablish Credit
This is a very important step to ensure that you have access to cheap credit. One way to do this is to apply for a secured or department store credit card and try to pay the balance in full each month. Apply here: https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/top-6-secured-credit-cards-for-canadians/ Obviously, you want to avoid piling debt so make small purchases and timely payments.
4. Pay All Bills
Make sure you pay all bills, including gas, phone, water, and electricity bills on time. Bank fees, overdrafts and bounced checks will also appear on your credit file.
5. Pay Cash
If you use multiple high-interest cards, think of paying cash whenever possible. Maxed out credit cards show on your report and will ruin your credit. Use your debit card instead of your credit card or pay cash when shopping.
6. Look at Your Credit Report
You are entitled to a free report once a year, and it pays to check for omissions and errors that may affect your credit score: https://www.creditandloans.ca/secured-credit-cards-for-canadians/. If you find any errors, report them to have them corrected so that all payments show up as they are.
7. Set Goals
Once you have dealt with debt, it is time to set long- and short-term financial goals. Keep goals realistic, whether it is going on vacation, saving for a car down payment or home improvement, or anything else.
8. Stay away from Scams
There are predatory lenders out there that prey on innocent victims and charge excessive fees and interest. Loan sharks usually pray on the working poor, immigrants, the elderly, and borrowers who are strapped for cash and need money for emergencies. While there are many legitimate and reputable payday lenders avoid loan sharks that use unethical and illegal practices.
9. Your Income
One way to deal with debt and improve your financial situation is to pad your income. You may want to get a well paid job or take on additional work.

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9 Reasons to Save Money

9 Reasons to Save Money

Saving money means investing for the future, whether you plan a vacation, purchase of a vehicle, or getting out of debt.

Saving to Get out of Debt

If you are stressed and struggling with debt, it is a good idea to develop a spending plan and create an emergency fund to pay more than the minimum or prepay your loan earlier – see here. A spending plan will help you to set priorities, cut down on some expenses, and make other changes. List expenses such as insurance premiums, car payments and repairs, cash advance fees, child care, bus fare, and property tax. This way you will see where your money goes. A mistake you should never make is take cash advance on credit cards.

Choice

Cash in your savings account gives you more choices, whether to go to a public or private hospital, to choose a public or private school for your children, and so on.

Saving for Your Kids’ Education

If your kids are studying at a Canadian college or university, what you need is deeper pockets. Tuition fees are on the rise, and you will pay about $7,500 per academic year. A degree in Medicine will cost you over $22,700 per year. It pays to save for your kids’ education, and one way to do this is to place money in a registered education savings plan. One alternative is to opt for a non-registered account. Other options are to purchase life insurance, set up a trust, or open a tax-free savings account.

Buying a House

Buying a house is a costly endeavor, and you will need money to cover the down payment. While prices vary by province and territory, a residential property costs $431,812 on average. To get a standard loan from a major bank, you need a down payment of about 20 percent. Make sure that your credit file looks good and you have control over your debts.

Safety Net

It pays to have an emergency fund as a safety net for a rainy day. If your source of income is limited or dries up, having an emergency fund helps meet daily and unexpected expenses such as groceries, fuel, and medical bills. You can use cash in your savings account in case of emergency such as vehicle and home repairs, electrical and plumbing problems, and others. A safety net is one way to deal with family emergencies.

Investment

There are two ways to secure money to make an investment, one being to apply for a bank loan. The other is to save money so that cash towards your investment vehicle is interest-free. There are different types of investments to consider depending on how much you can save and your risk profile. The market offers plenty of choice, from long-term and mid- to long-term solutions to short-term investments. There are low-risk options that are safe and offer moderate returns – certificates of deposit, money market funds, savings bonds, and others.

Short-Term Financial Goals

It is a good idea to save toward short-term goals such as planned vacations, minor home improvements and renovations, buying household appliances or furniture, and so on. Basically, a short-term financial goal is what you plan and can achieve in a period of 1 – 2 years. Long-term goals, on the other hand, take many years to save toward. It pays to prioritize goals based on your income, household size, debts, and other factors.

Saving toward Retirement

It is a wise idea to start saving toward retirement, and there are many ways to go about this. One is to go for a registered retirement savings plan that holds a pool of investment solutions and savings. There are other options to take into account, for example, opening a tax-free savings account or tax-deferred retirement savings account. Different types of investments can be held in TFSA, including:

• Depository receipts
• Shares
• Partnership units
• Debt securities
• Royalty units
• Installment receipts
• Registered investments
• Cash denominated in other currencies
• Rights and options
• Warranties
• Cash invested in real estate trusts and mutual funds
• Annuity contracts

There are maximum contribution limits for each calendar year.

Freedom

Obviously, cash in your savings account means financial freedom provided that you live within your means. Otherwise, splurging and buying on impulse will eat up your savings.

Resources provided by:
lifeoncredit.ca
creditcardfaq.ca

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