Advice from a Thunder Bay-based debt counsellor on how to avoid financial troubles from unexpected bills.
Tanya Reynolds stresses the importance of having some kind of financial cushion.
“Always try to pick your biggest expense, whether it’s a car repair, what happens if your fridge goes,” she explains, “Try to always have something set aside for that type of an emergency so if it does happen […] you’re not relying on credit.”
The MNP representative acknowledges it’s tough to plan even six months ahead, but she voices concerns about rising interest rates in Canada and Thunder Bay.
She says that’s leading her to encourage greater aggression with tackling debt.
Reynolds adds there are many voices on a daily basis vying for your money–even family members, who she admits may be hard to turn down.
“If we have a family member in need, you want to be able to help them out, but in the end, if it’s putting you a worst-case scenario, it might be better to say no.”
Reynolds suggests finding other ways to help family members, to avoid falling deeper into debt.
She also points out it can be easy to put everyday purchases such as coffee and groceries on plastic, but it’s not a good plan.
“We like to tell ourselves we’re going to go home, put a payment right on that card, pay it off every month–but in reality, so many of us just don’t do that.”