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What Can Women Do to Tackle Their Consumer Debt?

Are you feeling less than financially confident when it comes to your consumer debt? Do you feel like you’ll never be rid of the debt you owe? According to our Affordability Index, many women report feeling the financial squeeze, as well as the pressure of carrying too much consumer debt.

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, and we’d like to stress that it’s not a feeling unique to Canadian women. Almost one-quarter of all Canadians admit they’re overwhelmed by their debt unsure what to do about it. For women especially, who tend to carry heavier debt than men, it’s important to understand that reducing your debt and regaining control is possible.

Here are five strategies that will empower women to tackle their consumer debt today.

Learn more about your consumer debt

One of the best ways to become more empowered and aware of your debt is to understand it at a deeper level. Understanding your debt means knowing how much you owe, how financially healthy you are and how long it will take to repay.

Knowing your consumer debt also involves understanding how debt works and the best ways to manage it. To help increase your financial know-how, the government of Canada provides an excellent collection of resources exploring various topics related to consumer debt and debt relief that you may want to check out.

Personal financial bloggers are another great resource. Not only do they provide information about reducing and managing their debt, they often provide this info in a real-world context, meaning it’s both accessible and inspiring.

Two personal finance bloggers worth checking out are Krystal Yee from Give Me Back My Five Bucks and Kerry K. Taylor from  Squawkfox.

Reach out to a debt relief professional

Don’t forget that you don’t need to deal with your consumer debt alone. For those who find themselves struggling and unsure of the next steps, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) can clarify the debt relief process and help you find a debt solution.

Create a realistic plan to reduce your consumer debt

Whether working with an LIT or tackling your debt solo, a plan designed to reduce your consumer debt is a must. Not only does a plan keep you on track and outline a clear debt relief path to navigate, it also keeps you motivated and accountable.

Although every plan may be different and individual, your plan should involve some type of debt relief strategy, such as debt consolidation or a do-it-yourself strategy such as the snowball or avalanche method. To determine which option is best for you, check out our debt options calculator.

Track your progress as you pay down your debt

Watch for milestones and be aware of how far you have come on your debt relief journey. Doing so will not only motivate you to continue, it will also help you to feel empowered to deal with and manage your money and debt in the future.

Celebrate your debt relief success

When you’ve repaid your consumer debt, it’s time to celebrate! You’ve worked hard to make it happen and to empower yourself with the knowledge, tools and determination to make it happen. Way to go!

After celebrating your success, don’t forget to think about the future and your next steps. How will you avoid debt moving forward? Will a budgeting app like Mint help you stick to your goals?

You also may also want to consider sharing your debt experiences with other women in order to inspire and encourage. Perhaps you can create your own personal finance blog or a Meetup group aimed at women who are struggling to find debt relief.

Are you a woman struggling with consumer debt? How will you become empowered to tackle it and regain your financial balance? Share your thoughts using the hashtags #LeaveDebtBehind #WomenAndMoney #DebtSolutions.

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