I will often tell my clients, or anyone who will listen for that matter, that we are all one or two events away from bankruptcy. What do I mean by that? I mean that all it takes is one or two major events, such as an illness, a layoff or a divorce, to turn our financial world upside down. The reason is simple. We live too close to, or above, our means. As a result our credit is maxed out, our savings minimal, or worse, non-existent, and we have absolutely no breathing room. When a major event happens you quickly get behind to the point where catching up is a challenge. And that’s IF your situation improves. If it does not, you dig a deeper, darker hole.
The solution is so simple. Ok, I say that recognizing that once you are in trouble financially, it takes time, patience and hard work to get back on track. Generally speaking though, you need either savings or available credit to get you through the tough times. Obviously savings is best. But having unused credit can help bridge the gap if savings are unavailable. I do offer a word of caution – “if you are going to use credit, you need to be very, very organized and have a well thought out plan”. Otherwise, the risk is great that you will get in over your head.
If your credit is maxed and you have no savings, you need to start a debt reduction strategy immediately. Beginning a savings account while reducing your debt makes the most sense, as this will eliminate or reduce your dependency on your credit to get through those expenses that pop up both expectedly and unexpectedly. There are many options for reducing your debt, from establishing a budgeting plan, to refinancing, to offering creditors a settlement on the amount you owe. The following link will provide you with some information on specific services designed to help you reduce or eliminate your debt. http://www.haleytrustee.ca/solutions.php