The post Christmas blues – dealing with debt in Sarnia

by Joel Sandwith on December 27, 2011

Well, I hate to say it, but this is the time of year when many people get a cold hard reminder of spending that’s already in the past.  Perhaps it’s fortunate that there is no mail delivery today – you know the only thing coming in that mail box for the next little while will be bills!

Between working at Hoyes, Michalos and my previous work in non profit credit counselling I’ve met with about 5000 people, seen a boom and a recession, had meetings in Sarnia, London, St Thomas, Chatham, Windsor, Strathroy and Woodstock and one common thread is that in January, the calls start coming in.  In some cases it’s ‘random’ that January just happens to be the time that some folks realize they need help but for many, there is a direct link between Christmas spending and the stress of debt.  I’d almost describe it as a debt hangover – too much spending followed by regret, withdrawal, and a general sense that changes need to be made.

So, here’s the good news – there are solutions.  Priority number one is to tighten the budget belt (see next weeks Fresh Start blog for some ideas there).  Step two is to meet with someone qualified to go over your options – not some fly by night ‘Debt Consultant’ who will just take more money out of your pocket, but a legitimate registered non profit credit counselling agency, or a licenced trustee in Bankruptcy.  Both credit counsellors and trustees are obligated to provide a range of information and options and will give you information so that YOU can decide the best route for you.

My advice for today:  enjoy the warmer than seasonal tempuratures, curb the desire to take advantage of one last boxing week special, go for a walk, take a deep breath, drink some orange juice, and call us in the morning, at 519-344-1058 or toll free at 1-866-747-0660.  We’ll help cure that debt hangover.

 

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