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BDO Cranbrook

35 10th Ave South
Cranbrook, British Columbia
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Phone: (250) 426-4285

How to Boost Your Savings With Consumer Debt Help

Do you know how much you owe? Have you considered finding help with consumer debt in order to meet your financial goals? Married Canadian couples aren’t always on the same page when it comes to financial habits, which can lead to conflict and sometimes, financial trouble. However, by planning and saving for common goals, you’ll endure less financial stress and likely, less arguments.

Why it’s important to regularly discuss finances

According to recent data, only 35 per cent of couples talk about finances in detail before marriage, which means many couples may be surprised by their spouse’s financial habits once they are living together. The same study also shows that 59 per cent of divorced couples named financial conflict as a main factor in their decision to part ways. Communication about finances important. Being open and honest about money can allow couples to work out their differences and build healthy, common financial goals together. Instead of playing the blame game, carve out some time to discuss finances together in a relaxed environment. Ask important questions such as:

What are our combined debts?

Do we have enough income to pay them down efficiently?

Are we adding enough to savings?

What can we do to increase our contributions?

What are our options for debt help?

How to deal with debt to meet your goals

B.C. families’ consumer debt has grown exponentially in recent years and the evidence is present in many markets. With Vancouver’s housing boom driving up housing prices in all markets, many families have been driven out of the housing market entirely, or have had to take on debt to survive. In the auto market, some borrowers are stretching their car loans for up to 8 years in order to afford payments, even though they are paying huge interest rates on these loans. This can put couples at risk of serious financial trouble and overwhelming debt.

Seeking debt advice and learning how to develop better financial habits can save you from future debt and marital conflict. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) outlines seven money conversations that couples should have in order to get on the same page about their finances and move forward. If you are arguing about debts and are unsure how to manage them, you might benefit from meeting with a debt professional who can assess your individual situation and suggest options for debt relief. A credit counsellor can offer financial group workshops that can teach couples how to budget effectively, pay down debt and save for important goals such as retirement, travel or starting a family.

A Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) will provide professional debt and insolvency advice. An LIT with thoroughly review your finances with you and your spouse and explain your options. The LIT may suggest a consumer proposal to your creditors, which is a request to reduce your overall debts and pay them back over a specific time period. He or she can also answer questions regarding the process of filing for bankruptcy. To learn more about which method of debt repayment might be best for you, try this debt repayment options calculator.

Finding help with consumer debt can ideally free up cash each month, add more to savings and also help you realize more of your goals. To plan these goals and keep the lines of communication open, use this financial goal calculator provided by the FCAC.

How will you and your spouse increase your savings? Which method of debt relief suits your needs? Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #LetsTalkDebt #BDODebtRelief

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