DIY solutions for your financial wellness!

By Leah Drewcock, LIT, CIRP

If you live in British Columbia, we can see grey skies heading into 2020, as there’s a 50/50 chance you’re only $200 away from being insolvent, according to the latest MNP Consumer Debt Index conducted by Ipsos.

As scary as this sounds, you’re clearly not alone; in fact, half of the people around you are likely in the same boat. The good news is, like everything else in the 21st century, there’s a Do-It-Yourself solution! So, if you’re up for the challenge, roll up your sleeves and keep reading.

At MNP we have created DIY Debt Solutions: Your road to debt-free is just a couple clicks away!

  • Debt Calculator – by providing a little information about your province of residence, income, assets and debts you can create your plan of action for becoming debt-free.
  • Debt Scale – We all love quizzes, don’t we? The MNP Debt Scale will help measure your debt health and give you insight into where you can focus your efforts to reaching your financial goals.
  • MNP Budget Tracker Spreadsheet – Budgeting is the first step to improving and maintaining good financial health. Every financial plan starts with a budget. If you don’t already have a budgeting method that works for you, try our budget tracker spreadsheet. The key to every good budget starts with recording your income and expenses. This tool helps you record where you are now and plan for where you want to be.
  • Interactive Explainer Video – Sometimes even a combination of budgeting and debt repayment plans aren’t enough. If your financial future is looking bleak and you don’t see any way out, there are legal options for reducing your debt once and for all. Watch this video to learn about bankruptcy and consumer proposals.

A plan of action

Once you’ve completed your budget, it’s time to nail down a plan of action. There are many DIY debt-repayment plans, but the two most common and effective are the Snowball Method and the Avalanche Method.

Avalanche (pay off the highest interest rate first) * – Determine how much you can contribute toward debt repayment each month. Pay only the minimum payments on all the debts, except the debt with the highest interest rate (where you want to focus most of your debt repayment budget). Once you’ve paid it off, move onto the debt with the next highest interest rate, and so on.

*This is by far the most cost-effective approach over the lifetime of your debt.

Snowball (pay off the smallest debt first) ** — Determine how much you can contribute toward debt repayment each month. Pay only the minimum payment on all the debts, except the debt with the smallest balance (where you’ll focus most of your debt repayment budget). Once you’ve paid it off, move onto the debt with the next smallest balance, and so on.

**A study at Boston University found this method had the greatest success rate of the various debt repayment strategies. It may not make sense from a financial point of view, but the psychology of small wins helps build the momentum, motivation and consistency required to keep moving forward.

Know when to ask for help – not all problems are solely fixed by a DIY solution. Learn to recognize when you are ‘in too deep’ and need to get the help of a professional. If you’ve done the budget and tried the different self-directed repayment plans but you are still struggling to get ahead, it is probably time to call in the pros. Licensed insolvency Trustees can provide you with a free confidential consultation. Visit MNPdebt.ca to find the closest office to you!

Based out of Prince George, Leah Drewcock, CIRP, LIT, is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and Vice President at MNP Ltd. Contact Leah toll-free at 310-DEBT or 877-898-2580 for a free, no obligation, confidential consultation to find a Life-Changing Debt Solution that fits your unique situation.

Just Posted

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Schools ramp up contact efforts with students

Efforts of school district employees called “extraordinary”

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read