Are you scared to open your bills?
Like many, you may have overspent this holiday season which is causing worry when it’s time to open those bills. Welcome to Debtmas…
Rather than let looming bill payments ruin your new year, there are a few tips you can use to alleviate your holiday debt.
Gain a clear picture of your finances
“The first step in reducing your debt and keeping your 2020 on track is to start with a plan,” says Clinton Wilkins, Senior Mortgage Advisor, Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team.
“You should take a look at your total debt and monthly expenses and understand your cash flow (your cash flow is the amount coming in and going out each month). This can be as easy as writing fixed and variable expenses out by hand or by tracking these details on a spreadsheet.”
Once you get a handle on how much you owe, your monthly payments, and what you have leftover, you can start to explore ways to reduce your debt.
The solution might be your mortgage
Did you know that your home can help you save thousands of dollars this year?
“Because your house is an asset it’s considered good debt,” explains Wilkins. “This contrasts with unsecured debt such as credit cards, lines of credit, and loans.” In many cases, unsecured debt is considered bad debt, especially if you are carrying balances at high-interest rates.
Did you know? When you refinance your home, you can roll higher-interest debt into your mortgage at a much lower rate. In reducing the amount of interest you’re paying on unsecured debt, more money can be applied to the principal balance and become debt-free sooner, says Wilkins. “For example, we can help you finance your unsecured debt by leveraging up to 80 per cent of the market value of your home.”
Learn more about how refinancing works here.
It’s time to get back to 2020
“There are a few other things that you can do to help alleviate the stress of post-holiday Debtmas,” says Wilkins. “Once you have your cash flow written down you can start to create a budget. By creating, and sticking to, a budget you can start to chip away at your debt and reduce the amount of interest you will end up paying in the process. Saving a few dollars each day by making a coffee at home can help you become debt-free sooner.”
For more information on your Mortgage 101 tips, click here to listen to Clinton Wilkins on the January 25th,10am episode, of the Todd Veinotte Show.