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Are you Financially Stressed? Learn How Budgeting Can Help

Budgeting is something we have to learn to effectively reduce debt and manage money. For the three-quarters of Canadians carrying personal debt, learning new financial literacy skills, like budgeting, can make a big impact on the amount of debt they carry, as well as on the quality of their lives.

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada, so there’s no better time to talk about tools like budgeting.

If you’ve found it difficult to stick to a budget in the past, you’re not alone, but that doesn’t mean that budgeting can’t work for you. The key is finding the right budget that works for you and then defining your financial goals so you can celebrate when you achieve them.

Developing a budget that works for you

No one likes to feel deprived. That’s why it’s important to define your goals and develop a budget that allows you to have some freedom when it comes to spending, without having to stress about how you’ll pay your credit card bill afterwards.

If you’ve struggled with budgeting in the past, talking to a professional can help. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) is a professional trained in helping people get out of debt.

LITs are the only professional in Canada qualified to file a consumer proposal or bankruptcy, but there expertise go far beyond that.  They also have a wealth of knowledge about financial management, informal debt relief options, and tools like budgeting.

Contrary to popular thoughts, you don’t have to be carrying a lot of debt to meet with an LIT. Even those looking for debt relief under $5,000 can meet with an LIT at no cost and get valuable advice, including ideas for developing and sticking to a budget.

A meeting with an LIT offers a variety of benefits, including:

  • Getting to share your story in a non-judgmental atmosphere.
  • Receiving professional advice from someone with experience.
  • Knowing all options available to you and receiving guidance to help you choose the right one for you.

Getting help with credit counselling with an LIT is a service available to every Canadian. If you need help with budgeting and require some credit counselling, arrange to meet with one. If your LIT thinks that a bankruptcy or a consumer proposal is the right solution for you, he or she will explain exactly what that means and what the process will be like. He or she will also guide you through the process so you can reduce and ultimately eliminate debt.

Using budgeting and debt reduction tools

The Internet has a bounty of online tools that can help you with budgeting. You’ll find articles with great insights and ideas to implement as well as resources like Practical Money Skills Canada.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada also houses endless resources on financial literacy, including a useful credit card debt repayment calculator, and this budget calculator.

Use strategies like the Debt snowball and the debt avalanche to build paying off debt into your budget. That way you’ll be reducing the amount you owe ever month.

Talking to an LIT is a great way to start with budgeting. In addition to helping you set up a workable budget, your LIT can help you understand how to balance your efforts to reduce debt with saving so you can start building a stronger financial future.

What’s your favourite budgeting method? Tell us on Twitter. #LeaveDebtBehind #FLM2018 #Budgeting

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