How to get rid of the holiday financial blues

Read the fine print on your financial services agreements

After the holidays, many people are looking to undo some of their bad spending habits of the previous year and tidy up their debt.

Knowing what to pay off first can seem like a daunting task but with this six-step plan from Wendy Kraft, branch manager at the Kitimat branch of Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, you’ll be well on your way.

Pay off high-interest debt first

I recommend paying off your most expensive debt first – typically your high-interest rate credit cards—as those can quickly get out of hand. Making two smaller payments per month instead of one, will eliminate your debt much faster and save yourself a lot of interest. You can then take that money and focus on paying down the next most expensive debt.

Take advantage of free banking

Read the fine print on your financial services agreements to scout out what has service charges. Shop around for services that are free, such as no-fee day-to-day banking, e-transfers or online bill payments. Those costs add up if you aren’t aware of them. You can reallocate that saved cash to your debt repayment plan instead.

Set up automatic payments

Automatic payments will ensure you don’t miss any payments and incur penalties—which can also inflict serious damage on credit ratings and impact future borrowing such as getting a mortgage or loan.

Get free rewards and use points for household expenses

It also makes sense to take advantage of reward programs on credit cards—but only if you immediately pay the balance off in full. You’ll rack up reward points that you can in turn use to buy free groceries every few months.

Renegotiate your car loan

Cars have become a necessity, but as a depreciating asset, you need to be mindful of the potential consequences of having a term that’s too long. If you have a 10 -year term, the car might not even be running by the time you pay it off.

Talk to an expert

Lastly, visit your local Envision Financial branch.

Our financial professionals are here to help you establish a budget or manage your debt repayment plan—and our advice is always free.

Just Posted

Virus wipes out half the chum fry at hatchery

The number of chum in the river this year won’t be affected

Fundraiser kicks off in honour of missing Terrace man presumed dead

David Kim, 45, went missing April 7 between Terrace and Prince Rupert

DoK wants to have more say in SO2 monitoring

“The EEM is not static and was always designed for periodic review”

Kitimat RCMP ready to test for drivers under the influence of pot

“Like standardized field sobriety tests, drug recognition is observation-based.”

Winter road maintenance standards boosted

Quicker response times to be implemented

Shania Twain visits Canadian Armed Forces base in B.C.

Canadian country icon thanks members of CFB Esquimalt for their service

Case of teacher secretly filming teens reaches top court

Acquittal of teacher, Ryan Jarvis, who secretly videoed teens ‘dangerous,’ top court told

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

B.C. communities await marine spill compensation years after incidents

The government maintains a Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund to compensate Canadians

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Conservative MP wants feds to close loophole for illegal border crossers

Immigration advocates call on government to suspend Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement

Alberta university criticized for honouring David Suzuki

University of Alberta plans to bestow environmentalist with honourary degree

B.C. First Nations get clarity on fishing rights from top court

Nations call federal government to settle fishing rights ‘within the true meaning of reconciliation’

Complaint filed against B.C. naturopath who treated boy with rabid dog saliva

BC Naturopathic Association questions Dr. Anke Zimmermann’s conduct on recent treatments

Most Read