Category Archives: Debt

How to Stop Expensive Friends Pushing You into Debt

Are friends with expensive tastes at your heart to spend more than you want? I have a girlfriend who always insists on going to expensive restaurants while she is visiting. Admittedly, she only visits once or twice a year and I have plenty of time to adjust my budget in preparation, but it is still money that I would not spend otherwise. Because I am someone who likes to spend as little money as possible, I still come to deny the costs, even though this is not always the case. For some people reading this message, the situation will be much worse. Accepting such an invitation can even be the difference between in red and in black. So how do you tackle the problem without losing friendship? Communicate, do not create a scene, be assertive and take charge of the plans!

Avoid confrontation at all costs


But even I realized that some assertiveness was needed after an incident in which a friend had arranged us to eat out in a fancy restaurant and then insisted that we split the bill straight in half. . Although my share was much larger than what I had ordered, I decided to suck it up on that occasion. The next day I took her apart and let her know that because I have to trust that my freelance payments come through on time (or in some cases even completely), these situations often make me very nervous about the state of my finances. Because she has a permanent job that pays well, I didn’t know exactly how she would respond. Fortunately she was surprisingly understanding and we agreed to downgrade the next time she is in town.

Your friend may not even realize that you are not happy with the situation, especially if you have fallen into routine over the years. If you have never objected to a meeting in a certain place before, he or she probably has no reason to suspect that you are not satisfied with the appointment. Give your friend a full disclosure on the subject and make it clear that you want to try some cheaper places and you will be surprised how easy it is to break the cycle.

Turn off invitations

Fortunately my problem worked well in the end, but this may not always be the case. What should you do if your friend takes offense or refuses to fall back? In this situation you may have no choice but to go back from the invitations you encounter. It is not an ideal solution, but it can sometimes be the only way to take the point home. If your friend realizes that a change of arrangement is the only way to get you away, he or she can agree to put their expensive flavors on hold while you socialize together.

Be the first to suggest what you should do

Take matters into your own hands and be the one who makes the plans. That way you can determine where you eat, which entertainment you choose and where you will do it. If your friends do it well, they may not be the best friends, because going out with friends should be about who you are and the quality time you spend together, instead of what you do or where you are “eat again.”

If you want to change the situation, communication will be crucial. At the moment, your friend probably has no idea that there is a problem, so you need to bring it to the attention. If you bring out the point tactfully and politely, there is no reason why your friendship would be damaged by the conversation. You may even notice that your friend can no longer pay the costs and has stopped because they do not want to admit it, especially if they mistakenly assume that this is not a problem for you.

By not being pampered with a few things that your friends always enjoy eating out in expensive restaurants, driving new cars or going out every weekend, your friends and family will start to think you’re weird. Which is good! Weird is good. Your “craziness” makes you rich, and probably many of your friends are broke, they just try to pretend they have money. If you master the art of not keeping up with the Joneses, you may be financially better in the future.

Going green is all frenzy now and for good reason

But if you look like me, the desire is there, but the know-how is lacking. An obvious way to protect our planet is to recycle and reuse household items. But when it comes to finding ways to reuse it, my brain seems to lack the creativity and innovation needed to come up with practical solutions.

How to Eliminate Credit Card Debt Without Paying a Fortune in Interest

Do you want to eliminate your credit card debt? Excellent! Here are 7 strategies that will allow you to get rid of your balances quickly and without paying unnecessary interest.

Target a map

Which credit card to refund first?

One of the strategies to eliminate your credit card debt is to target a single card. How to choose this card? It depends on your goal.

To stay motivated

If you want to get rid of your credit card debt, but you are afraid of discouraging yourself, first pay the card with the lowest balance . Once it has been paid in full, move on to the next. Remember to make the minimum payment on your other cards to avoid affecting your credit report and that interest becomes out of control.

To improve your credit

If you want to increase your credit score, in this case, target the card with the highest usage rate . The utilization rate is the balance of the card divided by the limit of the card. For example, if you have a card with a limit of $ 10,000 and you have a balance of $ 7,500, the rate of use of the card is 75%. This strategy works because the high usage of a credit card is viewed negatively by the credit agencies, even if you pay on time!

To pay the least interest

If you want to pay less interest, put the most money possible towards the card that has the highest interest rate . Focusing on the highest interest rate card will save you a lot in the long run. If you have a card with a balance of $ 500 and a 15% interest rate and a card with a balance of $ 5,000 and a 20% interest rate, it is better to start by paying the card back to 20% ( yes, this is counterintuitive). Of course, always make the minimum payment on the card at $ 500, but do not pay a dollar more before you have fully repaid the card at 20%.

Reduce your interest rate

If you want your interest rate to be lower, it is often possible to call your creditors to get a reduced rate. However, be aware that your chances of getting a lower rate are better if your credit is good and you have been a customer for a long time. This can be helpful because if you have been offered a lower interest rate, you can mention it at the competition to receive a better offer.

Transfer your balance

Many credit cards or lines of credit offer you to transfer your balance at a promotional rate (often 0 to 3%) that will be applied for a certain period of time (rarely more than 6 to 12 months). You can transfer your balance to save interest, but do it very carefully. When you transfer a balance, you will have at your disposal a window of opportunity for low interest rates (between 12 and 18 months). This is the window of opportunity in which you should repay your debt. Otherwise, you could end up with a much higher rate than you had before.

Some disadvantages of this option: you should avoid making purchases with your new card because low interest rates will not apply and you will probably have a balance transfer fee of 3 to 4% of your total amount transferred .

Refinance your home

If you own a house, condo, or other property and have equity available, it can be very beneficial to refinance (remortgage). To find out how much equity you have available, you need to take the market value of your property and subtract the balance from your mortgage. If your equity represents more than 30% of the market value of your property, you are most likely eligible for refinancing.

The advantage of refinancing is that you will get a low interest rate and a longer period to pay off your debts. If you choose this option, however, avoid using your credit cards and find yourself in the same situation again. It is recommended to cut all but one credit card with a low credit limit (no more than your monthly salary).

Make two minimum payments per month

Here is a very simple solution: you agree to deposit two minimum payments per month. In doing so, your average daily balance will be reduced, which means you will pay less interest in the long run. In addition, you will repay your debt in less time.

Make a consumer proposal

A consumer proposal could allow you to greatly reduce your credit card debt

The consumer proposal may also be a valid option for you. A consumer proposal is a negotiation with your creditors to reduce your debts (sometimes up to 70%) and extend your payment period over a greater number of years while completely eliminating interest. You will only need to make a monthly payment and this payment will be calculated based on your personal financial situation and your budget. The proposal will prevent your creditors from harassing you, but will affect your credit rating. In order to file a consumer proposal, you must contact an authorized insolvency trustee (SAI) who will evaluate your situation and write the proposal for you. We can help you with this solution.

Report bankruptcy

If you are not able to implement these strategies, you may have to go bankrupt. The trustee will personally take care of your creditors and he will also have some of your assets (you will not lose everything). During your bankruptcy, you will have to attend budget consultation sessions that will give you tools to better manage your personal finances. A bankruptcy usually lasts 9 months (for a first bankruptcy with low incomes), but it can also last up to 36 months (for a second bankruptcy with high incomes). Once your bankruptcy is complete, you will be free from all your debts (except for some non-forgivable debts, such as fines, late alimony and other).

Whatever the case may be, you can always count on Frances Yout & Associates Sendic to help you overcome your financial difficulties. Contact us for a free consultation where we can analyze your financial situation and present your options.