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Debt Advice: Own Your Money for a Bright Financial Future

In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we’re encouraging Gen X women to take ownership of their money so they become more financially confident. Feeling financially confident helps women get out of debt and amass more wealth over their lifetime. If you think you need some help in this area, read on to get practical debt advice you can start applying today.

In its 2018 study, The Economic Well-Being of Women in Canada, Statistics Canada learned that women are still scoring lower than men when it comes to financial literacy. Women are also more likely than men to think of themselves as knowledgeable and confident when it comes to money.

Here’s the thing: people with less financial knowledge and confidence tend to accumulate more debt than financially confident people.

As a Gen X woman, it’s possible you’re already carrying consumer debt — that’s why you’re looking for debt advice. The key now is to strengthen your financial literacy so you can pay off that debt as quickly as possible and avoid taking on more.

4 steps to help you take ownership of your finances

Owning your finances requires you to step up and learn what you need to do to create a healthy financial situation. Do the following to develop more knowledge, skills and confidence:

  1. Gain control over where your money is going

Do you have a budget? If so, do you stick to it, or is it just a loose guide that your household doesn’t really follow?

In order to help you achieve your financial goals, you and your family have to respect your budget. If you’re not following it (or don’t have one) create a new budget. Here’s an online budgeting tool that can help you out with that.

Do you have trouble sticking to a budget? Try using cash only for at least a few months. By using cash instead of your credit cards, you can see at a glance how much money you have in each spending category on any given day.

Personal finance writer Miriam Caldwell talks about how to switch to a cash-only budget over at The Balance.

  1. Make it a priority to learn more about money management

Spend some of your surfing time focusing on increasing your money management skill set. Read blogs and books, join Facebook communities and visit personal finance websites.

You can also talk to your employer about improving financial literacy in the workplace. BDO Canada delivers financial literacy workshops for employees in the workplace. They benefit employers because they improve employee health and wellbeing as well as attraction and retention.

  1. Create a plan for eliminating debt

If you’re worrying about debt, putting a plan in place for tackling it can relieve the anxiety. Learn about debt reduction strategies and discuss them with your partner. If you don’t have any idea how to proceed.

  1. Understand your debt relief options

About one-quarter of Generation X Canadians feel overwhelmed by debt and don’t know what to do about it. If you can’t identify a debt reduction strategy that will allow you to eliminate your debt, take control by finding out your options.

Talk to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) to learn the best way to eliminate debt. Ask questions and explore how the some common debt solutions will affect you and your family in the short and long term. Chances are good that just talking to an LIT will alleviate your anxiety and make you feel more in control of your finances.

Financial confidence can help you take ownership of your money, reducing anxiety and helping you reach your debt and savings goals. If there’s one piece of debt advice you should take, it’s the suggestion to boost your financial literacy and get into the financial driver’s seat.

Are you working on your financial literacy? What’s helped you the most? Tell us your story on Twitter. #LeaveDebtBehind #IWD2019 #GenXers

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