How to Reduce Your Debt with a Financial DateMay 08, 2017
You and your partner are committed to reducing your debt and building financial stability. However, despite the fact that you feel like you’ve tried everything, your plan to get out of debt doesn’t seem to be progressing as quickly as you’d like. Why not? Perhaps you aren’t discussing your debt openly and honestly with each other. There is one simple step you can take to ensure you and your partner communicate and work together more effectively in order to reduce debt.
Schedule a financial date night.
Most couples may agree that discussing financial matters and debt with their partners is paramount, but the reality is that many couples avoid the subject altogether. In large part, this may be an attempt to avoid the stress that often accompanies talking about money and dealing with debt. The problem, however, is that avoiding the topic often exacerbates the issue, leading to miscommunication, misunderstanding and even more debt-related stress. What exactly is a financial date? It’s a time that you and your spouse or partner set aside to talk openly and honestly about your finances.
Start with your family budget
The first thing you can do with your partner is to review your family budget and make any necessary adjustments. If you don’t have a budget, spend your first financial date night creating one. A family budget is one of the easiest ways to effectively manage money, avoid unnecessary debt and stay on track. Unfortunately, many Canadians don’t currently use one.
Creating a realistic budget that can help guide spending and saving behaviours may not be as difficult as most might think. Online tools — such as an online budget calculator — can help you create a budget based on your financial needs and priorities. Additionally, online budget trackers like Mint and Wally can make it easier for you and your partner to stick to the budget you create.
Talk about your financial goals and discuss your debt
Another important area to focus on during your financial date night is your financial goals and priorities. In order to successfully accomplish these goals, it’s important that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to which priorities top your list. Your financial date night provides the perfect opportunity to determine your top priorities as a couple and work together to map out the steps you will need to take in order to make your financial goals a reality.
Finally, have a frank discussion about your debt. Open up with your partner about any concerns you have and be open to your partner’s concerns as well. If debt is an issue, it’s a good idea to work together to hash out a strategy that will allow you to effectively reduce your debt. There are a number of online resources that offer advice, tools and information to help you choose a plan to get out of debt. Remember to make your debt repayment plan an integral part of your budget. You can spend some time during future financial date nights assessing your progress and adjusting your debt relief strategy.
Do you have financial date nights with your partner? Do they help you reduce debt and build financial stability? Join the conversation and share your thoughts with BDO Niagara Falls using the hashtags #BDOdebtRelief and #LetsTalkDebt.