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TIPS TO CONSOLIDATE DEBT AFTER THE HOLIDAYS

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Though the economy has been going through challenges due to COVID-19 and many people during this time have lost their livelihood, Black Friday was still a success for retailers, and Christmas shopping is expected to have a strong performance as well. 

The money people would have spent on holidays this year and next year has been used now for;

PURCHASE

WHAT

SPEND LEVEL

1

Home Renovation 

Consumers spending more time at home, they are upgrading their living quarters

HIGH

2

Binge buying 

Purchasing luxury items, to reduce the feeling of being self-isolated

LOW/MEDIUM

3

Personal Fitness 

Purchasing equipment for a gym at home due to the lockdown gym closures

MEDIUM

4

New Car

Purchasing or leasing a new vehicle

MEDIUM

To make sure consumers are not hit by high levels of debt that keeps building after this high spending period, below are some tips to help you save during this period of spending. There are also some tips on available options to help control and pay off debts.

SAVING TIPS

Christmas Gifts

Everyone understands we are within a pandemic and in a situation where people are financially stretched and expenditure is low. Take the time to think about the following options when considering gifts;

• Make a photo album, which is quality but cost effective

• Reduce the number of people you give gifts to

• Bake something versus buying something

• Offer IOU’s for future help (e.g mowing the lawn, future dinner party on you, offer to babysit in the future so your friends can get away for a weekend without the kids)

• Make home made gifts

• Use a cashback site to optimize savings from these products

Family & Friends events

Avoid these events in person as there are still worries about the COVID-19. Instead, organise virtual parties and virtual game nights, which are cost effective and don’t require you to spend anything. 

If you can’t afford it and you don’t feel safe, stay home and don’t be afraid to say no to gatherings.

Holiday Cards

eCards are the way to optimize for holiday cards to close family and friends. Trends show that people are more open to such items or even set up family websites or Facebook pages that have special greetings. All these options are free and will only cost you, your time and will make it more special

Beverages and Food

This tip is for all year round and it will save you a lot of money. Use cashback sites such as www.caddle.ca and savings apps such as www.flipp.com or www.reebee.com. These sites will help you optimize your shopping experience, and you can take advantage of all the sales, coupons, discounts, and promotions that are happening. This can bring your weekly shopping bill down from $120 to $60, without compromising on quality. 

Secret Santa

An excellent way to save money is to set up a secret santa with your family and friends. You can agree to a spending limit and buy gifts for a small group of people.

DEBT MANAGEMENT TIPS

Personal loan

Take out a loan now and consolidate your debts (credit cards and outstanding debt) so that the interest rate you pay is lower and more money can go into paying down the principle of the debt

0% balance transfer offers

Have a look at 0% balance transfer deals offered by Credit Card providers. This will enable you to reduce your debt faster as you will be paying no interest.

Line of Credit

If you have the ability to take out a Line of Credit, whether it is secured or unsecured, this is a great option not only to merge your debts, but also to utilize when managing your debt, versus leaving any balances on credit cards and incurring interest rates as low as 10% and as high as 29%

Take out a Home Equity Loan (2nd mortgage)

If you are a home owner and you find yourself with a debt level about $10,000, then another option is taking out a home equity loan to help you consolidate your debt. Use the equity within your house to help you manage your finances better, instead of taking out another debt vehicle

Start a side hustle

Get another revenue stream to help you pay off your debt. An evening or weekend job can assist. Some roles you can think about are;

• Offer your services on Fiverr (provide blogger services, design/develop websites, produce music, etc..)

• Offer paid seminars or tutorials online 

• Offer tutoring lessons

• Babysitting

• Be a Uber or Lyft driver

• Write a book and sell it on amazon

• Start dropshipping

• Do odd jobs for people

• Start an affiliate site

Don’t wait until it’s too late to prepare. You know you will be spending, so act now. You can manage your financial position more responsibly and enable yourself to get a head start before 2021 starts by reducing your debts and saving. 

The tips within this blog are here to guide you to explore options to enhance your personal position. Nothing within this blog is to be considered advice in any shape or form. If you require tailored advice, it’s recommended to connect with a Financial Advisor.