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3 Bold Moves to Get Relief from Debt Now

The new year is here, and for many Canadians in their 20s and early 30s, that means an opportunity to build a better financial situation. Sometimes, though, debt relief isn’t as simple as cutting small chunks out of your budget. For millennials, it could take a bold move.

Making these kinds of moves can have an impact beyond your future finances. According to a Manulife survey from this year, 40 per cent of Canadians say that debt is taking a negative toll on their mental health. Thirty per cent say it’s causing relationship issues.

If you’re experiencing this, it’s time to think about a bigger move that you can make to reduce your red and work your way towards the black. Here are three bold moves to reduce your debt load.

  1. Sell a car or other possessions

For those looking for debt relief, there are rewards to adopting a minimalist lifestyle. This can start small — selling unused furniture or electronics on Kijiji, moving into a smaller apartment — or it can be as daring as selling your car.

The American finance blog Money Crashers gets into what you should evaluate before selling your car. If you live in a big city, it might not be a huge change if you have access to public transit, or you’re an active transport fan (go bikes!). As the blog points out, adding up all the costs that go into a vehicle is eye-opening. Cutting those costs can create a lot of savings in your budget to make bigger debt payments.

  1. Make a side hustle out of your passions

Converting from a full-time job lifestyle to one that includes a side hustle is a big adjustment for some people. Finding an extra source of income has obvious advantages, though. It can help you prioritize debt relief and prepare for your future — plugging funds into an RRSP, future kids’ education, and more.

This blog from our Huntsville site talks about how you can use your passions to make a side hustle that feels less like work. It also links to tips for how to put yourself out there, including advice from financial writer Jordann Brown, who increased her income by 44 per cent in three years through the gig economy.

  1. Change your travel plans

While debt relief is one form of stress relief, it doesn’t have to come at the expense of another: vacation and travel. Last summer, our national site blogged about the four things to think about before adding debt through summer vacation. These considerations are important before booking travel.

If your original plans are out of your ballpark, there are plenty of resources for travelling frugally. Many can be found on The Wallet Diet, including:

These bold moves can help you make changes to your lifestyle that positively affect your bottom line. With more money freed up to make debt payments, there’s a good chance you’ll feel less stress around debt and more relief by the end of the year.

Have another bold move someone can make to impact their debt relief this year? Share it on social media with the hashtags #LeaveDebtBehind, #NewYearMotivation, and #Millennials.

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