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Finances Tips

November 19, 2009

Three steps to becoming debt-free in 2010

New Year's has long since past, but you may still be dealing with your financial hangover from the recent holidays. Perhaps you spent too much even though you had a budget. Here are some helpful tips to get you back in control before the next holiday season.

Step 1: Assess how do you spend money

Are you an emotional spender who needs to spend all the time? Or are you a careless spender, who doesn't know or care where your money goes? Or are you in the middle? Identifying your spending style and taking positive steps to make a change will put you on the right financial path this year.

Step 2: Watch where the money goes

Do you have a personal and/or family budget? If yes, then go through it very carefully. You may be able to find extra money by cutting expenses in less important categories.

Step 3: Pay off the debt and start saving

Apply the new found money to pay off the debt and to start a savings program.

"It's not impossible to change bad financial habits," said Michael Aziz, regional vice-president of sales and business development of individual savings products at Desjardins Financial Security. "People just need to make a concerted effort to simplify their lives. Change your consuming mindset now to enrich your life later."

Aziz suggests making spending harder:

  • Set up a pre-authorized payment program every payday to force yourself to save and pay down your debt.
  • Limit your ATM withdrawals and bank fees. Plan your spending and always use cash. You may want to consider leaving your debit card at home, too.
  • Put your plan in place and then meet with a financial advisor for added guidance.

"The key to financial success in 2010 is discipline," says Aziz. "Keep your eye on your goal. It may hurt at first but after a while your program will feel very natural."

More information and useful financial calculators are available online at

Source:News Canada

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