How to Boost Your Debt Management Strategy in OntarioDec 06, 2016
Have you may have kept an eye on your debt management goals this summer? Shoppers in Ontario and across Canada were expected to spend an average of $461 on back-to-school shopping compared to last year’s average of $329. Perhaps this could be due, in part, to the introduction of a higher Canada Child Benefit, leaving Ontarians with more spending money. Low loonie prices may also be encouraging more Canadians to shop locally or at least keep their shopping within Canada to avoid steep exchange rates, which also will boost the Canadian economy.
Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on spending, especially prior to the holiday season. Digital technology — in the form of easy-to-use personal finance apps — might be just the thing to help you realize your budget and stay true to your debt goals.
The changing face of financial literacy
Millennials and boomers alike are embracing technology and using it for convenience and simplicity, made evident by the decline in cash purchases. In 2015, cash transactions accounted for only 25 per cent, yet debit, credit and digital payments made up the rest. Another MasterCard report stated that when “tap and go” credit cards were introduced, credit card spending increased by 30 per cent compared to traditional credit cards.
With digital payments here to stay, it is wise to keep debt in check by using apps and technology that can benefit your budget instead of burdening it. Here are a few well-reviewed personal finance apps:
- Wally — Enter your income and goals into the Wally app and it will make budgeting a breeze. You can even take a picture of your receipts and the app will catalogue the price and the type of items you purchased. If you’re concerned about cyber safety, an added bonus is that there’s no need to give your banking info to a third party with this app.
- com by Intuit — Mint is the highest rated app for good reason. It offers a beautiful interface, keeps all your banking and investment data at your fingertips and helps you find more money for savings within your budget.
- Wealthsimple — The Wealthsimple app is made strictly for Canadians who want to learn how to invest in RRSPs TFSAs or create a globally diversified portfolio. The first $5,000 is monitored for free and the app is rated 5 stars.
- Bobby — If you have trouble managing your online subscription costs, Bobby is here to help you keep track of them in one place. You’ll be notified when your bills are due and be sure you’re subscriptions are paid on time.
- Flipp — Do you like saving money but hate rooting through flyers each week? Flipp eliminates stacks of junk mail by combining all the best deals in your area. Need chicken for dinner? Type in “chicken” and you’ll find the grocery store with the best price. You’ll save time, money, and paper, especially when planning back-to-school or holiday shopping.
Getting ahead of debt
If debt concerns are holding you back from going forward with your financial planning, there is help available. Students attending university in Guelph can take advantage of financial literacy counselling on the U of Guelph campus with a focus on budgeting and personal finance. Guelph residents can also find credit counselling services through Family Counselling and Support Services to help manage debt and get back on track. Licensed Insolvency Trustees are also available to confidentially discuss your debt concerns and explain the different debt solutions available in Ontario, including budget advice, debt consolidation, debt management plans, consumer proposals and, as a last resort, bankruptcy.
Have you considered using a personal finance app to reduce spending and budget for your goals? Learn more about how to reduce debt by joining the conversation on Twitter. Search the hashtags #LetsTalkDebt #BDODebtRelief