Category Archives: Debt Management

Why Is Credit So Easily Accessible?

CTV-video-screenshotDoug chatted with CTV’s Morning Live to discuss a growing problem with students and credit being so accessible. Students particularly are graduating with more debt and have no idea how to deal with it. Institutions are focusing on future earning potential. Learn how a Financial Planner can help secure that.


A painless way to cut back on expenses

Buying a new carWith the current economic uncertainty, many people are looking for ways to reduce expenses. A relatively painless way to reduce your monthly expenses is to have a second look at the way you’re managing your debt.

Over time, most of us take out a variety of loans for different purposes. These can include things like credit card debt, car loans, home renovation loans and, of course, the mortgage. And if you have more than one loan, you’re most likely paying a different interest rate on each loan. One of the easiest ways to reduce your monthly interest costs is to consolidate your debt at the lowest rate. Typically, your lowest-rate debt will be a loan that is secured by an asset, such as your home.

If you have sufficient equity built up in your home, consider switching to a product that allows you to access your equity, such as a home-equity line-of-credit. Then, use this line of credit to repay your higher-interest loans. In this way, you’ll be bringing all of your debts together into a single account, at a single rate. Some line-of-credit products even allow you to track debts separately within the account so you can continue to keep track of interest costs and repayment separately. Not only will debt-consolidation save you interest but it will make it easier for you to keep track of what you owe and how you’re progressing in paying it down.

Reducing your monthly expenses is one way to deal with economic uncertainty – and it doesn’t have to be painful. By borrowing smarter you can reduce your interest costs and increase your cash flow each month.

If you’d like to learn how to reduce your monthly interest costs, give me a call and I can discuss some options with you.

Women need to take an active role in financial planning

Women usually have a lot of priorities they need to deal with and unfortunately financial planning does not always appear at the top of the list. Finding the time to focus on finances is often a challenge in a woman’s busy life.  According to a recent Fidelity Investments survey, if women were given one additional hour to devote their time just on finances, they would work on their budget and learn more about investing.

LischeWhen it comes to money, women’s main concern is working on a budget to lower debt and save more money. The second concern is to develop better skills in investing, and third is to create a financial plan and investment strategy.
It’s imperative for women to take an active role in financial planning.  There is a very high probability of women being solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lifetime due to divorce or outliving a spouse. Nearly one-quarter of women say they don’t partake in financial decision making.

“Women can make changes to their finances such as lower debt, save money and become good investors.  Making changes to your financial plan doesn’t have to be as difficult as it is perceived to be,” says Doug Buss, President, YourStyle Financial.

Don’t Let Debt Weigh You Down

It’s often said that the effects of debt are more than just on the wallet – that when one focuses too much on debtload it can have other negative effects.

Sleepless nights, anxiety, depression can all be caused by stress, and there’s no question that debt can be one of, if not the biggest stress inducers in one’s life. It can make us feel limited in what we can do and isolate us.

As difficult as it may sound, it is of extreme importance to keep one’s attitude buoyant when encountering any major stresser, be it debt or other. Finding those escapes are important. If you love biking, take off for an hour to burn off concern. If TV is your vice, plunk down with a loved one and a recorded movie. If getting out of the city helps, remember that this is Winnipeg and a beach is less than a quarter a tank of gas away.

Sanity and debt recovery go hand in hand. Ensuring your wellness is up to snuff will help you be more open rather than closing off when it comes to the topic of financial planning.

Enjoy the Winnipeg summer.

Is there Such a Thing as “Good Debt”?

One of the common topics that comes up for debate when talking about personal financing is that seeming urban legend about “good debt”.

The reality is most of us are carrying one debt or another but may not think of it as such. For example, your mortgage and car payments are actually considered debt.

Ultimately, there are times when debt makes good financial sense. Let’s go back to the car payment for example.

As we see from time to time, dealers and manufacturers will offer as much as 0% interest over a given period. You don’t outright own your car at this point, but you’re also not “losing” money by paying out the additional fee associated with an interest rate.

Thus, the final cost for your car will be $30,000, whether you pay a lump sum now or spread it out over the payment cycle, say of 60 months (or 5 years).

While you pay this down, meanwhile, your set-aside $30,000 for the car can be making money for you. Putting the money into a monthly or annual payout situation means that at the end of those five years you’ll have made some extra cash on your investment.

Ultimately, debt in some circumstances can work for you rather than against you, but it’s knowing all the parameters in advance and being prepared. If, as in the scenario above, you aren’t a big car person and aren’t loyal to a particular make or model and a 0% offer comes up, you may want to look a little deeper at taking advantage of this situation.

For more tips from Doug Buss and the experts at YourStyle Financial, check out our newsletter archive.