Keep the January blues at bay

January 26, 2018

By Jane Rooney, Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader

It’s that time of year when the excitement of the holidays is over and finances can be stressful. January can be a tough month for many families.

It’s called the January blues – and it’s not just the lack of sunshine or winter cold that can be challenging.

If you’re like millions of Canadians, you’re still recovering from holiday bills. You might also be planning on getting away, whether it’s during the school break or summer. That usually involves planning and saving for those costs.

There’s no doubt finances at this time of year can be tricky. But, if we look at it from another perspective, January is a perfect month to take control of your finances. You’re likely spending more of your time indoors, so what better time to sit down and review your budget - or make a budget if you don’t have one already. 

Having a budget that lays out sources of income and monthly expenses can help you: 

  • commit to a spending plan
  • determine your needs versus your wants
  • set priorities for making purchases
  • establish a plan to pay down debt and save for the future.  

As part of your plan to pay down debt and save, commit to paying off your credit card bill in full when it’s due. If you can’t pay off your credit card in full, make sure to pay as much as you can as often as you can. Going forward, try to have the money saved to pay for the things you put on your credit card so that interest doesn’t add to your costs. 

At the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), we have financial tools and calculators to help you manage your money. Our Budget Calculator can help you set up a budget and stay in control of your finances, whereas our Financial Goal Calculator can help you calculate how to pay down debt or reach your savings goals. We also have a Credit Card Comparison Tool to help you choose a credit card that will suit your needs, along with a Credit Card Payment Calculator to help you know how long it will take to pay off your credit card and explore options to pay it back faster.

Managing money is always challenging. But you can take control of your finances starting now!

To find out more, visit canada.ca/money.  

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