How To Be A Consumer Debt DivaMar 17, 2019
Is there a gender gap when it comes to consumer debt?
Our 2018 Affordability Index shows this may be the case, with more women than men reporting that they are struggling to manage their consumer debt load. We also found that women tend to carry a heavier debt load when compared to men.
While there are many complex reasons why this may be the case, there are also a multitude of ways for women who are feeling financially drained to reclaim their power. If you’re a woman with consumer debt and you’re struggling financially, a good place to start is by dealing with that debt.
Here are just a few ideas to get you started on your journey:
Do your debt homework
Before you can tackle with your consumer debt, you need to understand the different options available for dealing with it.
According to a 2018 Statistics Canada report, women are less likely to consider themselves financially knowledgeable and are less financially confident when compared to men. Women also tend to have lower financial literacy scores. As such, it’s a good idea to check out resources that can help you boost your knowledge and your confidence.
Financial literacy websites like the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and Practical Money Skills Canada have all kinds of helpful resources focused on helping Canadians understand different forms of debt and how to manage them.
Finally, for those really feeling the financial squeeze, scheduling a one-on-one consultation with a debt relief professional, such as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee(LIT) or a non-profit credit counsellor may also make sense.
Avoid unnecessary consumer debt
Avoiding unnecessary consumer debt is essential, but it’s not always easy. One of the simplest ways to deter debt is to use a budget. A budget allows you to plan ahead and approach your spending in a more mindful way. It also provides an opportunity for you to add debt repayment as a line item so that you can consistently work towards paying off the consumer debt you owe. To get started, check out our budgeting worksheet.
Reading personal finance blogs can also help you stay motivated to stay away from unnecessary debt. Give Me Back My Five Bucks is a great example as the author, Krystal Yee, tells her story of tackling debt and provides helpful tips and tricks to keep you inspired and on track.
Partner up with a debt accountability buddy
Whether it’s a friend or family member, think about partnering up with another woman who is also seeking to gain more control over her money and consumer debt. Be accountable to each other and support each other as you each work through your own debt relief journey.
You could even take the idea of an accountability buddy one step further by creating a Facebook group or Meetup group for women wanting to tackle debt and support each other throughout the journey!
Are you a woman dealing with consumer debt? Tell us about some of your challenges. #LeaveDebtBehind #WomenAndMoney #DebtSolutions.