Signs of Financial Trouble
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By Bromwich+Smith Staff | 834 words | Reading Time: 4 minutes and 10 seconds | Date: 2022/11/15
With November being Financial Wellness Month, we explore the idea of what financial wellness is, and how our financial situation can take a toll on our overall health. Finances are often viewed as taboo with debt talk being unheard of. We generally don’t talk about our financial situations with our friends and family and when we do it’s either on a surface level and never out pitfalls. In the age of social media where everyone is only sharing their best moments, best selfies and best experiences, we don’t want to shed light on what we view as our dark moments. Let’s turn up the lights, and take away the stigma of talking about finances.
How do you know if you’re in financial trouble? What is the aha moment when it comes to knowing that we are in too deep? It is important to have an understanding of your financial health and know the early warning signs of financial distress.
Do you only make minimum payments on your credit cards? Have you borrowed money from friends, family, or a payday loan provider? Do you pay for monthly bills with your credit card, and carry balances forward? Have you had to refinance your house, or take money from your RRSP account? Do you find the stress of your finances taking a toll on your daily life- trouble sleeping, arguments with loved ones about money?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to consider how financial action to improve your situation.
You have already taken the first step by questioning where your financial health lies. Being able to admit to yourself that your financial situation is less than ideal is the first step - Congratulations! Next, take stock of your income, expenses, assets and liabilities. How much money do you bring home, after taxes every two weeks or each month? What are your fixed costs each month (rent/mortgage, car payment, loan payments, groceries, cell phone bill etc.)? List your variable costs each month (utilities, credit card and line of credit payments, eating out, clothing, entertainment etc.). Make a list of your assets (equity in your home, equity in your car, RRSPs, RESPs, Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, savings, gold etc.) Make a list of your liabilities (what you owe on credit cards, lines of credit, loans etc.)
Now that you know what your financial situation really is, its time to make a game plan. Review the facts and see where you can make changes. Do you need to increase your income? Do you need to lower some spending? Can you renegotiate interest rates or payment terms on your liabilities? This is a good time to chat with a professional like a Financial Planner, Credit Counselling Services or a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
We have all been there at some point. You are not the only one and you certainly will not be the last person who needs financial advice. Most people don’t talk about it, but if you ask around you will see that finances and debt are something that many Canadians struggle with. You are not the first person to be struggling, or to need help. It is important to know that you have options, on who to work with and how to get back on track. The number of options are as unique as each person. It may be to consolidate your debts into one payment, or it may be a formal, legally binding agreement between yourself and your creditors through a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. The plan is as unique as you and must work for you.
Now is the time to take action and execute the plan. Write your plan out and follow it, which may sound easier than it is. Have a plan in place for when you fall back into old habits, who will you talk to for guidance be it your financial team or a trusted friend. Break the cycle of debt, speak out and take back control of your own finances. You will be able to take back your life, and feel better financially and mentally.
No matter what your financial story is, Bromwich+Smith has a number of debt relief strategies to help you regain control of your finances and get your life back on track. Reach out today for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation. Bromwich+Smith’s Debt Relief Specialists are available by phone at 1.855.884.9243, or request a call back at contact us page. We want to see you flourish!
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