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Gen-Xers: Here’s How to Deal With Your Debt

Although it’s a common misconception that millennials are the most indebted generation, you may be surprised to know that Canadians between the ages of 35 to 54, aka Gen-Xers, are also feeling the financial squeeze and struggling to deal with personal debt.

Our recent BDO Canada Affordability Index, focusing on Canadians’ debt levels, financial awareness and financial health, revealed some very interesting facts. According to the results, 84 per cent of Gen-Xers carry some form of debt, with 58 per cent reporting that they carry a balance on their credit card. As a result, many Gen-Xers are not saving as much as they would like for other financial priorities, such as retirement, and many feel that they are not prepared for financial emergencies.

There is some good news when it comes to Canadians and debt. According to the survey, over half of Canadians have recognized the importance of finding debt relief and have made dealing with their debt a top priority.

If you’re a Gen-Xer who has made the same commitment, here are a few tips to help get you started:

Check your debt

Before you make a plan to deal with your debt, it’s important to know just how much you actually owe. Make a list of all those debts and use a debt calculator to find out how long it will take to repay the amounts you owe and how much interest you will need to pay as a result.

Review your budget

A personal budget is a great way to track and control spending, but are you updating your budget on a regular basis?  Life often changes and, as a result, our financial situation may change as well. As such, checking in with your budget to make sure your expenses are all accounted for is not a bad idea.

It’s also not a bad idea to check how closely you are able to follow the budget you’ve created. If you find you are constantly spending more than the amount you allocated, it may be time to create a budget that is a little more realistic.

Look for warning signs

Being constantly stressed out or anxious about your debt, missing or skipping payments or having to borrow money to make a payment are all warning signs that your debt has become a problem. It’s important to be mindful of these and other warning signs to ensure your debt doesn’t get out of control.

Seek help before it’s too late

If you’ve noticed a few debt warning signs and are not sure how to deal with the amount of debt you owe, seeking help before it’s too late is an important step to take. Debt relief professionals, such as a credit counsellor or Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) are here to provide the right advice and strategies to help you create a debt relief plan that works.

Gen-Xers – do you feel that your personal debt has become a struggle to deal with? What strategies do you use in order to manage your debt and find debt relief?

Join the conversation and share your thoughts with us using hashtags #FinancialWellness, #LeaveDebtBehind and #BDODebtSolutions.

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