Four Financial Tools to Help Relieve Generation Squeeze

You’re financially stressed out, concerned about the amount of debt you carry and worried about the amount of debt you anticipate adding in the future. If you are of a certain age, this may be due to a phenomenon being called ‘Generation Squeeze’. Not sure if you are a part of the ‘squeeze’ generation? If you fall between the ages of 25 and 45 and are struggling with the high costs of housing, student loan repayments, the high costs associated with childcare, stagnate wages and lack of access to full-time, permanent employment, you definitely are. Here are four tools you can use to help you cope with the stresses due to GenSqueeze:

1.) Budget Worksheet

A budget is really the key to staying financially on track and coping with all types of financial pressures, including those described as GenSqueeze. Remember – it’s important to create a realistic budget that works for you and to stick to it! It will help you monitor and track any incoming money as well as the money you spend. By being aware of all incoming and outgoing money, you’ll be able to avoid overspending that could lead to unnecessary debt.  Of course, there are costs you cannot control, such as housing pricing and the cost of living. A budget will help you track the spending and expenses you can control.

2.) Budget app

If the old paper and pencil method doesn’t work for you, you may, instead, opt to use a budgeting app such as Mint in order to track your expenses and avoid debt. Using a budgeting app makes it simple  to keep track of your spending on the go. It can even help you manage and automate your bill payments.

3.) Debt repayment options calculator

You are likely focused on debt reduction, but are unsure of the best way to accomplish this goal. A debt repayment options calculator can show you the debt reduction options available, as well as the amount of time each option will take in order to pay off your debt.

4.) Credit score

Knowing your credit score is an important indicator of your financial health and stability. It’s a good idea to find out what your credit score is. Not exactly optimal? That just means that it’s time to create a new financial plan, focus more on debt reduction and work towards increasing your financial stability.

If the debt you currently carry is overwhelming and you are already feeling financially ‘maxed out’, a consumer proposal or, as a last resort, bankruptcy may represent another financial tool that you can utilize. If you are not sure which one makes the most sense in your circumstance, a trustee in bankruptcy can explain the differences between a consumer proposal vs. bankruptcy and can help you decide. They can also provide you with information regarding debt management in Ontario, as well as other strategies you can employ to keep your debt on track.

Feeling the effects of GenSqueeze isn’t easy. If you feel overwhelmed, consider using the tools outlined to help you deal with financial challenges and manage your debt. Your debt reduction strategy may also include a visit with a trustee in bankruptcy in order to find out more about consumer proposals vs. bankruptcy. Whatever the case, there are options available to help lessen the financial squeeze.

Are you part of Generation Squeeze? Which tools do you use to cope with the financial challenges you face? Share your thoughts with BDO by joining the conversation on Twitter using #GenSqueeze #LetsTalkDebt