How Can You Cut Your Debt Load? Fall in LoveFeb 21, 2019
Falling in love is the best feeling in the world, but can it really help you get out from under your personal debt load?
It can, but it’s not who you fall in love with that counts, it’s what you love that will make the difference.
The stats show us that Canadians don’t have the best relationship with money. Consider this: a full 43 per cent of Canadians would change their partner’s overspending or lack of a budget. Thirty per cent of us rarely discuss finances with our partners, and 35 per cent of us are hiding our own spending habits from those who love us most.
If you’re wondering if your personal debt load is a problem or not, ask yourself this: are you one of the 37 per cent of Canadians who are stressed, anxious or worried about debt all the time and wondering about their debt relief options? Are you anxious about debt even some of the time?
If the answer to either question is yes, it’s time to do something about it.
Do you have a dysfunctional relationship with money?
Debt has become such an issue that people are Googling “average millennial debt in Canada” to find out if they’re doing better or worse than other people!
Many people have a love/hate relationship with money. They love having it and hate that they need it to get the things they want.
Millennials can find themselves in a challenging relationship with money because their financial struggles are unique. They tend to have lower paying jobs (resulting in an emerging gig economy), more competition in the job market, and more expensive living costs, including housing. And since financial literacy is lacking across all age groups, many young Canadians find managing their money to be a struggle – something they’ve come to resent or fear.
The result can be unhealthy spending and credit habits, and putting off things you may really want to do, like purchase a home, go back to school, or have kids.
That unhealthy relationship with money can result in spending more than you earn, using credit when you have cash, and spending money you don’t have, all of which can lead to serious financial problems.
Build a better relationship with your money: learn to love having it, and holding onto it, instead of loving to spend it.
How changing your relationship with money helps with your debt load
Your relationship with money is really no different than any other relationship.
You can change it by doing things that you would do to improve your relationships with family and friends, such as:
- Communicate better. Do you know how much debt you’re carrying, how much interest you’re paying, and how much you’re spending every month? If not, it’s time to open up the lines of communication with your finances so you’re clear on where you stand. Check out your credit card statements, and look back over your months of spending receipts and payments.
- Schedule date nights. There are things you need to do: go over your budget (or set one up if you don’t have one), pay bills, review investments. Why not enjoy doing them? Schedule regular date nights with your finances, and learn to become friends, not foes.
- Play and have fun. Debt and money are serious topics. But what would happen if you lightened up? Why not take tools like the debt snowball and debt avalanche and turn them into games, constantly challenging yourself to hit new targets? Every relationship is improved when you freshen things up!
- Be flexible. You’re going to have a lifelong relationship with money and it will evolve over time. For now, you may need to focus on paying down debt and getting emergency savings in place. Later, you’ll have other goals. Let your relationship with money change as needed to help you achieve your goals.
Read about how the Cothern family’s relationship with money has changed over time on Lance Cothern’s blog, Money Manifesto, and get tips for paying off debt.
Building a better relationship with money can help you reduce overspending, get rid of your debt load, and increase your savings. That’s a relationship worth fighting for!
Tell us about your relationship with money and how you’re improving it on Twitter. #LeaveDebtBehind #RelationshipWithMoney #Millennials