Time to tackle your overspending

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Are you feeling depressed about financial issues in this first month of the new year? If so, you are not alone.

A survey conducted by FP Canada (formerly known as the Financial Planning Standards Council) and Credit Canada asked Canadians what makes this time of year particularly uncomfortable when it comes to finances.

One in five Canadians says their credit card balances are larger than their savings account.

By Blue Monday, which is usually the third Monday of January and reported as the most depressing day of the year, 6 per cent of Canadians have already broken their financial New Year’s resolutions.

As we all know, many overspend during the holidays. This was stated by 21 per cent of those surveyed.

It is interesting to see how age affects those surveyed.

Younger adults under the age of 45 are feeling the financial blues at an alarming rate of 68 per cent versus only 41 per cent for those age 45 and older.

Ongoing worries about finances are not pleasant. Unfortunately, more and more Canadians are caught up in the dilemma of overspending encouraged by easy credit.

The October 2019 data compiled by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy showed that Canadians are filing the highest number of personal insolvencies in a decade. This is a real problem.

And real problems deserve real solutions.

For those who consider this the ideal time to tackle overspending, here are a few suggestions.

First decide if this is important enough for you to change your habits, taking into account that most resolutions are often abandoned.

Then, start with some easily achievable goals. Something as simple as controlling your spending for the next 24 hours.

Try doing this for seven days in a row and celebrate your success after week one.

After a week or two of achieving your financial responsibility goal, start paying down credit card debt.

Taking control of your finances is key. You will be surprised at how even small steps in the right direction can make a difference in your outlook, and hopefully banish your financial blues.