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BDO Thunder Bay

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Thunder Bay, Ontario
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Is Personal Debt Getting In The Way Of Your Financial Goals?

Whether it’s buying your first home, starting a family or enjoying your retirement, there are certain milestone that many Canadians look forward to and dream about. Achieving these milestones can be a bit of a challenge, however, particularly when your personal debt gets in the way.

According to our most recent Affordability Index poll, postponing important milestones is the case for many Canadians who are living with debt. Struggling to make ends meet, 30 per cent of Canadians admit that they do not have enough money to meet their basic financial needs and must rely on things like credit cards and lines of credit to make up the difference. Many Canadians also admit feeling overwhelmed by the debt they carry and are unsure of the best way to find debt relief.

The Affordability index also indicates that Canadians are placing other important financial priorities and future plans on the back burner in order to focus on getting by and getting out of debt. Over half of respondents indicated that they feel financially unprepared to purchase a home. Survey respondents also reported delaying having children and retiring because of financial concerns and the amount of debt they carry. Millennials and women, in particular, seemed to feel the burden of personal debt more than other demographics. Both groups reported that they carry heavier debt loads.

Dealing with personal debt

While the results tend to paint a bleak picture, there is hope when it comes to dealing with personal debt and finding debt relief. The key is to make focusing on your finances and your debt a priority.

One of the easiest ways to focus on your finances and get back on track is by creating a personal budget that works for you. By following a personal budget, you’ll be able to plan ahead and avoid overspending which can lead to even more personal debt.

Being aware of your financial goals is also a good idea. Not only will this help provide focus, it will also help to provide motivation to stay on track. Remember, when creating your financial goals, it’s a good idea to ensure that they are SMART goals, or also known as specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-specific goals. This goals worksheet will help you get started.

Finally, if your personal debt is very overwhelming, it’s also a good idea to consider seeking help from a professional who specializes in debt relief, such as a credit counsellor or Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Not only can a debt relief professional help you choose the right strategy to deal with your personal debt, they can also provide you with guidance and support as you complete the process.

What personal goals and milestones are on your list? Do you feel that your personal debt makes them more difficult to achieve? Join the conversation and share your thoughts using hashtags #DebtSolutions #PaychequeToPaycheque #Millennials.



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