July 2nd 2020 - by Amanda Huinink
It is normal in a global crisis such as the one we are in, to worry about things in life other then our health and wellbeing. One additional common concern is financial stability. Many people have lost their jobs or are experiencing cuts to their hours, while others are able to work from home, saving money normally allocated to commuting costs. We want to help with your financial stress so you can better focus on your health and happiness.
1) Consolidate debt
Now is the perfect time to consider merging your debt payments into a monthly or bi-weekly payment, especially if you are an active credit card user. Credit cards often have 19.9% interest rates vs. a consolidation loan which are generally much lower. With a consolidation loan or line of credit you only have one lower interest payment to manage instead of multiple.
Especially for anyone who is experiencing a decrease or loss in salary/hourly wage, it is very important to keep track of your expenses. What are the expenses you can cancel or reduce now that your income is not consistent? Your budget may suddenly look very different when you include a reduction for gas, childcare or eating out together with a likely increase in your grocery bill. Spend some time listing your current expenses with any changes to your salary, making sure you are still able to cover all your monthly expenses.
3) Ask to skip a mortgage payment
Ask one of our mortgage specialists if you qualify for our Pandemic Extension. Many financial institutions offer mortgage or loan deferrals to help during a crisis. This allows you to skip a monthly payment to a mortgage or loan providing you with more cash flow for those months. The payments are deferred, therefore will have to be made eventually, but the additional time may be a good way to get back on your feet while employment or reduced hours, alter your income due to COVID-19.
4) Keep an eye on your credit card usage
It is very easy for large grocery bills and online shopping to add up over time especially while many Canadians are stuck at home. Remember to monitor your spending habits and continue to make payments on your credit card, even if you can only manage the minimum payment. The convenience of online shopping allows the ease of shopping with the click of a few buttons. Keep an eye on your credit card or line of credit usage and consider putting your card away for periods of time to deter yourself from using it.
Need help managing your spending or want to talk to someone about your debt? Talk to us!