According to the September RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index, Canadian confidence has dropped significantly, reflecting the concerns over the pace of the global economic recovery. Since December 2009, the Index has hovered around the same mark, however in the recent outlook, it has dropped 14 points from 108, making it 94 points. The decline was driven by all 3 sub-indexes that comprise the Consumer Outlook Index, which are the following:
- Current Conditions
- Personal investments
What are the facts?
60% of Canadians believe that the overall economic outlook is good, however it is still not up to par with the last quarter, as it is down 7 points. Job anxiety has gone up by 2 points, reaching 22%, however it is still below its high of 27% seen November 2009.
The biggest news is that fewer Canadians feel that the national economy will improve. In all honesty, I do not see why people are so gloomy about the economy. We have done quite well considering we recently came out of a recession, and honestly we are doing much better than most countries. We may not be performing at the point that was expected, however it may just be a small bump in he road to recovery. The positive I see here is that we are at the point where the recession hit, so I think it is only up from here.
Is there any good news?
Despite confidence dropping, one thing I can say for certain is that debt management is continuing to weigh on people’s minds. Right now, 51% of Canadians have said they are not focusing on reducing their debt over the next year or so, while 39% have said they are planning to spend less.
Despite how people feel about the economy, the fact is, you are still responsible for your own finances. Take the proper steps to get your personal finances in order; whether you have a mountain of debt that you want to decrease, or want to start saving more.
To help you lower your debt, I have come up with a few tips:
By setting goals, you have a bit of motivation to help push you along the path of freedom. You can start small at first, such as putting away $10 more on your credit card than you would normally do. You can only go up from there, and sooner or later your debt will be gone.
1. Set Goals
2. Set Automatic Payments
The worst thing that can happen to you is that you miss a payment because it simply slipped your mind. Set up automatic payments to avoid the hassle of having to log onto your bank account online to pay. Once you know your payment has been withdrawn, you can always put more down if you find yourself with a bit of extra money laying about.
3. Create a Budget and Stick to it
Believe it or not, a lot of people underestimate the value a budget can have on your personal finances. Creating a budget can take anywhere from 10 minutes to hours, depending on how detailed you want it to be. In fact, the more detailed your budget is, the better breakdown you will have of where your money is going. Once your budget is created, be sure to follow it, or you would have just wasted your time creating it. Once you begin to follow it you will see the effect it has on your personal finances, and you will begin to wonder how you managed without it.
It will not be easy to decrease your debt. You will likely have to give up several luxuries in life, however, the end result will be worth it. You will be able to get rid of your bad debt and look towards acquiring debt for a far more positive reason.Tackle one problem at a time
Sometimes, you need a bit of motivation to get rolling with lowering your debt. With that said, tackle the smallest of your debts first, once that is taken care of move onto the next one and so on. You will find yourself clearing through your debt in no time.
5. When you are using credit, you have to completely understand the consequences of it. By managing your finances well, and living within you means, you should find yourself enjoying a comfortable life.
Regardless, do not use debt as a means to live. In the end, you have to pay all of it back, and then some.