Helpful Advice for Parents Feeling Squeezed by Their DebtMar 16, 2018
Gen-X parents are feeling the sting of heavy debt loads more than any other demographic. Raising kids, paying down debt and dealing with high mortgage debt can leave many families caught in a loop, especially here in the GTA where home prices are much higher than many parts of the country. Parents with young children are also coping with the high cost of childcare, which can be as much as $1,400 a month in Mississauga.
Since March break can add extra pressure to spend, it’s important for parents to review their expenses and take stock of their finances beforehand. That’s why this month, our podcast revolves around kids and money. Here’s some advice our Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LITs) offer for parents who are feeling the squeeze:
- Start with a financial checkup – Take our financial health quiz to see how you’re currently managing your debt load. Are you missing payments or juggling bills? These could be signs of financial trouble.
- Tally up your debts – Use a debt calculator to add up your consumer debts and interest rates. How have rising interest rates affected your payments? Are you keeping on top of your bills? Has your variable-rate mortgage payment gone up? It’s important to track how you’re managing these changes.
- Create or revise your budget – Use this budget calculator or our budget worksheet to add up all your monthly expenses. Your budget is the first place to look when you want to reduce your spending and pay down debt.
- Boost your emergency fund – To avoid relying on debt in a crisis, you should aim to save three to six months’ worth of expenses in your emergency account. Start by putting a small amount away each month.
- Seek help – If you’re caught in a debt cycle and seeing some of the financial warning signs mentioned in our quiz, don’t wait to find help. A debt professional, such as an LIT, can explain all the available debt options, to help figure out which one will work best for you. You can also use this debt repayment calculator to compare your debt relief options.