As any parent can tell you, raising kids is expensive. There’s always something: they’ve outgrown their clothes, there’s a new school fee or field trip expense, and their appetite only gets bigger as they do. Those everyday expenses don’t even begin to account for the fact that parents tend to spend more on housing as they seek out more space.
Life can be unpredictable and there are many ways that families fall into debt. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to climb out and get back on track. Whatever your financial goals, whether it’s saving for your own retirement, putting money aside for your kid’s education, or paying off your mortgage sooner, with a smart repayment strategy, you can make it happen.
#1 Negotiate with Your Creditors
Did you know that you can talk to your creditors about reducing your interest rates? That’s what a certified Credit Counsellor from a non-profit credit counselling agency will do for you – and more.
Credit counsellors can offer you a Debt Consolidation Program, in which all of your debts will be wrapped into a single monthly payment. The Credit Counsellor negotiates reduced or zero interest rates with credit card companies and other lenders to give you some breathing room to pay it all back.
If you want to know where to get credit counselling, look no further than a non-profit credit counselling agency that offers DCPs.
#2 Discount Groceries
It’s hard to save money on necessities like groceries, but there are discount supermarkets where you can save on all the essentials. Finding ways to spend less on the things you can’t cut out of your budget will put more money in your wallet that can go toward debt repayment.
#3 Put More Money Toward Debt
Saving is important, but if you’re paying high-interest balances, you may not be making the most of your money. If the interest rates you’re paying are higher than the returns from your savings, you should focus on debt repayment until you’ve cleared that balance. Otherwise it’s an uphill battle.
#4 Stop Relying on Credit Cards
As you start paying down balances on your credit cards, it can always be tempting to put them to good use again. Don’t fall for the temptation!
Once you start climbing out of that hole, it’s important that you stick to your guns and keep making progress. Focus on keeping your spending down so that you don’t have to reach for your credit card when basic expenses come up.
#5 Learn to Say “No”
Kids can ask for a lot. Especially when they’re younger, they don’t really understand money or your household finances. They see something they want, so they ask for it. It’s okay to say “no” when they ask for McDonald’s or that name-brand snack at the grocery store.
Controlling your spending is one of the most important parts of getting out of debt. Don’t be afraid to tell your kids “no,” and as they get older, you can start teaching them about the importance of saving.
You can get out of debt when you’re raising a family. Parents carry more debt than their childless counterparts, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Develop a spending plan and start putting more money toward your repayment plan.