Making Time to Deal With Your Debt

Allocating Time to Address your Financial Obligations

Dealing with financial obligations, especially debt, can feel as daunting as a trip to the dentist. However, with the right approach and time management, you can successfully navigate your way out of debt. The key here is making time to deal with your debt.

Time: The Ultimate Resource

Time is an invaluable resource we all have, yet we often complain that there isn’t enough of it. The real challenge is not the lack of time, but how we allocate and prioritize it. Can you spare a few minutes from your daily TV time to examine your financial situation?

Your Current Financial State: Point A

Understanding your current financial situation, or Point A, is the first step towards managing your debt. Without knowing where you stand, you cannot set a realistic goal (Point B) to achieve.

Identifying Point A

Begin by cataloguing all your debts. Key details to note for each debt include:

 

  • The type of debt (e.g., credit card, line of credit, payday loan, mortgage, car loan);
  • The current outstanding balance;
  • The minimum payment due each month;
  • The interest rate.

 

Organize the debts by their types. Most people are taken aback by the total amount they owe when they first compile their debts. The aggregate of the minimum monthly payments often comes as the second shock.

Visualizing Point B

While many might think that being entirely debt-free should be their Point B, this is not always practical or possible. For instance, once you clear off a car loan, the car might need replacement, or your mortgage might rise due to significant repairs or renovations.

However, you can aim for more achievable goals like paying off your credit card debt. The optimal scenario is to clear off your credit card balance every month to avoid interest charges. Here are a few possible goal suggestions for your Point B:

 

  • Once your car loan is paid off, aim to use the same car for another 1-2 years before replacing it.
  • Clear your credit card balance within six months and strive to pay off the balance each month.
  • Maintain a line of credit balance that can be paid off in 1-2 years.

 

Mapping Your Route from A to B

Planning your route from Point A to Point B might seem complex, but it’s your unique journey, and you should decide what works best for you. Some strategies you might consider include:

 

  • Pay more than the minimum payment on the debt with the highest interest rate first.
  • Clear the smallest debt first to experience the satisfaction of reducing your debt count.
  • Keep some buffer for unforeseen expenses that might disrupt your repayment plan (e.g., unexpected school trips, significant car repairs).
  • Projecting a timeline to get from Point A to Point B is a critical part of this planning. If it’s going to take 10-15 years based on your current budget, you might need to seek professional advice.

 

Seeking Expert Help: Licensed Insolvency Trustees

A Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) is a professional who can assess your financial situation and provide guidance. Signs that you may need to consult an LIT include:

 

  • Your minimum payments total $1,000 per month, but you only have $800 per month in the budget.
  • One or more of the debt payments is currently behind, and this is not the first time.
  • The interest rates for most of the debts are more than 20 percent.
  • An LIT can help you explore options like a Consumer Proposal to bring your debt payments down to an affordable level and get you back on track. An assessment with an LIT can help you decide the best course of action to reach your Point B, and it won’t cost you anything.

 

In conclusion, making time to deal with your debt is about prioritizing your time and resources effectively. With a clear understanding of your current financial state (Point A), setting realistic goals (Point B), and planning your journey, you can successfully navigate your way out of debt. Remember, seeking professional help, if required, is not a sign of failure but a step towards financial health.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.