How to get out of debt

Debt is the stealth bomb that erodes financial stability and even relationships

Debt is the stealth bomb that erodes financial stability and even relationships.

Debt piles up a little bit at a time and one day you wake up to find that most of your money is going to servicing debt instead of funding an enjoyable life today and a comfortable retirement tomorrow.

To get control of your debt, you need to uncover the real reasons for your debt issues by identifying the behaviour that sunk you deep in debt and take the steps that will keep you from sinking even deeper.

The first two steps to debt-elimination are these: Stop helplessly watching your debt mount and get proactive; stop spending too much. Here are more basic debt-elimination strategies:

• Complete a detailed financial review

Agree on financial life goals that both of you share, understand. Get serious about reducing your debt load by targeting bad debt like high interest credit or retail cards and setting up a debt consolidation/monthly debt reduction plan.

• Look long-term

Establish a realistic financial strategy for realizing the things that matter to you: saving for your kids’ education and your retirement; paying down your mortgage; and other important life goals.

• Apply your financial plan

Your strategies could include:

— Establishing an emergency reserve using investments held within a Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs);

— Protecting your family with life, critical illness and disability insurance;

— Funding your children’s education with Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) eligible investments;

— Funding your retirement (and/or your partner’s retirement) with Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) eligible investments.

These are general debt-reduction and money-saving strategies but your situation is unique to you and there will be others that can help relieve your debt burden and enhance your financial security.

So here’s one more strategy that will work for you: talk to your professional adviser, who has the expertise and perspective to develop the perfect plan for you.

J. Kevin Dobbelsteyn is a certified financial planner with Investors Group Financial Services Inc. His column appears every Wednesday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town of Comox council (from left) Alex Bissinger, Ken Grant, Nicole Minions, Mayor Russ Arnott, Stephanie McGowan, Maureen Swift and Pat McKenna. Photo by Kim Stallknecht
Comox council calls on B.C. to defer old-growth logging, decriminalize illicit drugs

The motion is similar to a resolution passed by Courtenay council

A Hyundai Tucson caught fire around 11 a.m. Tuesday at 17th and Willemar. The occupants were not hurt. Scott Stanfield photo
Car catches fire in Courtenay

The occupants of a Hyundai Tucson were not injured when their car… Continue reading

A mother duck leads her brood of ducklings past some benches in the courtyard at Mark R Isfeld School in Courtenay. Photo by Kailena Krutzmann
Ducklings bring joy to students at Courtenay school

Brood of duckings in the courtyard at Mark R Isfeld School

The current location of Comox Valley Search and Rescue on Moray Avenue in Courtenay. Google Maps photo
Comox Valley Search and Rescue aiming to purchase a roof for their rescuers

Their goal is to raise between $1.2 and $1.5 million, approximately the purchase price of a facility

A bear is seen walking down Alderwood Place in east Courtenay Sunday (May 9) morning. Video screenshot/Kristie Cave
Video: Bears spotted throughout Comox Valley

Hide food sources, keep garbage away: conservation

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Most Read