Your Debt Solutions Experts
BDO Ottawa

200 Elgin Street Suite 903,
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 1L5

(613) 235-5225

How to Get Started on Your Debt Relief Journey

Although men are certainly not savvier than women when it comes to managing their money and dealing with debt, a difference between the sexes does exist. Woman, on average, are more burdened by debt and affordability challenges. Women (more than men) tend to report carrying a higher amount of debt. And women are also more likely to admit that their personal debt has them feeling overwhelmed and unsure how to find relief.

In the spirit of International Women’s Day this month, we want to do our part helping women feel more financially empowered to effectively deal with their debt and manage their money. We’ve compiled a list of great resources — here’s just a sample of what’s available for women to help them manage their consumer debt:

  1. Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

When it comes to finding debt relief, knowledge is power. Unfortunately, a recent Statistics Canada report shows that many women feel that they are lacking when it comes to their financial knowledge. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides one of the best financial literacy websites out there. Women will find an entire section devoted to managing debt, which includes strategies for creating your own debt repayment plan, links to information on debt relief options and online tools to help you create and achieve your financial goals.

  1. Financial Health Test

It’s difficult to solve money problems if you’re not sure what the problem is. Believe it or not, financial confidence comes from knowing what you may not be doing right. This simple 10-question Financial Health test can help you identify your challenges, which will help you decide on the right debt solution for your unique circumstances.

  1. Female Personal Finance Bloggers

Financial blogs are another great resource when it comes to finding debt relief, especially blogs written by women that discuss their experiences and successes when dealing with debt. Krystal Yee, from Give Me Back My Five Bucks is a great example. Yee chronicles her experience paying down over $20,000 in debt, sharing helpful tips and tricks she learned along the way. Squawkfox and Golden Girl Finance are also great sources for information and inspiration.

  1. Personal Finance Apps

Tracking your spending and sticking to your budget can be tricky, especially when you are always on the go. One of these budgeting apps from the Canadian lifestyle blog Yummy Mummy club can make the process a lot easier by allowing you to easily record your spending and increase your confidence that you will be able to stick to your financial goals.

For women who have never created a personal budget (or for those who prefer the low-tech version), the paper and pencil approach using a budget worksheet also works well, allowing you to plan your spending and encouraging you to spend your money in more mindful ways.

  1. Community resources

Finally, don’t forget about those local Ottawa resources that are available to help you learn more about debt relief and accomplish your financial goals. The Ottawa Public Library, for example, regularly holds workshops focusing on financial literacy skills and money management. Check out this link for more information on future workshops.

Feeling inspired? You could also create your own Meetup group for women focused on debt reduction. Share your strategies, resources, successes and challenges. The support you give and receive can definitely help you on your journey to debt freedom.

What resources or advice would you recommend to help women feel financially knowledgeable and confident?. Join the conversation and share your thoughts. Don’t forget to include the hashtags #LeaveDebtBehind #WomenAndMoney #DebtSolutions.

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