Holiday debt: your spending wake-up call

Getting a little overwhelmed over all the things you have to buy over the holidays? Didn’t remember to save ahead of time for those presents? Well, good news(ish), you’re not the only one. In fact, many Canadians might be in even deeper debt than you… but that doesn’t mean you should finance your holidays—here’s your holiday spending wake-up call:

Debtcember by the numbers

Whether this sounds like a large amount or not, if you’re just making your minimum payments, it could take you decades to pay off… so think twice before swiping over the holidays.

That’s a lot of debt, bro

A maxed out credit card is one of the main reasons why people get their first payday loan, because they need to make the credit card’s minimum payment.

Don’t get sucked into retail credit card offers

Time to wake the F up

Let’s face it. Some things are especially hard to do when it comes to the holidays. (Yeah. We feel you.) Need some tips? Glad you asked…

  1. Before you go out shopping and swipe your credit card like the Victoria’s Secret Angels just joined Tinder, scare yourself and run some numbers in this calculator before you hit the stores.

  2. Considering maxing out your credit card? Don’t do it. This can lower your credit score—never go over 35% of your credit card limit if you carry a balance and 70% if you pay it off that month!

  3. Time is money. Try DIY, check out these 41 ideas instead of trying to be a Christmas baller.

  4. If you rack up debt, figure out a plan to pay it off, like using a personal loan that you can pay off in a few years vs. a credit card that will take forever.

†Based on calculations from stats on: www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/Eng/resources/researchSurveys/Pages/GeneralS-Sondageg-6.aspx and Canadian Consumer Credit Trends Equifax Q2 2015

††www.bnn.ca/News/2015/11/30/Personal-Investor-A-sobering-look-at-holiday-debt.aspx

Chantel Chapman is Mogo’s Financial Fitness Coach. She teaches you how to be an adult, and is also the host of our Adulting 101 events. With over a decade’s experience as a mortgage broker, Chantel recognized a need for financial education with many of her first-time homebuyers, so she began creating custom content to help guide them. Chantel is the founder of Holler For Your Dollar, a consulting firm that jump-starts anyone who’s ready to dive into the world of Adulting or entrepreneurship. Her role at Mogo puts her skills to use creating and teaching digestible, yet educational financial literacy content geared to millennials and daring entrepreneurs.


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