Don’t stick your head in the sand!
Hiding from the reality of your financial situation will do nothing to improve it. People have a pre-disposition to hide from the truth, particularly when the truth is ugly. We see this everyday, as Licensed Insolvency Trustees.
Debtors come into our offices and we review their financial affairs. In many cases, it is clear that a dire financial situation has existed for as long as a few years. Early on, if the situation had been identified and addressed, they might not be meeting with us but in these cases, it was not addressed, things festered and now they need our services. This is not the case for everyone we meet. Some have suffered misfortune that has simply created a dire financial situation even though they actually had excellent money management skills. Separation/divorce, loss of a high paying job, and illness can be reasons that people are unable to manage or repay their debts but, in this article, we are focusing on the ‘ostriches’ (those that stick their head in the sand so they can’t see the financial ugliness).
The most obvious way people avoid looking at the reality of their situation is by NOT sitting down, putting pencil to paper and seeing where they are. List all of your debt payments and monthly obligations. Compile your monthly living and other expenses. How does this all compare to your monthly income? Do you actually know where your money is going every week, month, year? Fully understanding your situation will help you make rational decisions about your future, identify and address a current problem, and help to motivate you to avoid making an existing problem worse.
You can’t prepare a budget if you don’t know where your money is going in the first place. And, if you don’t do a budget and start planning for your financial well-being, you could be looking forward to a meeting with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee before or after retirement. It’s best to take control of your world now as no one else is going to control it for you.
Budgeting and managing your financial world is something you need to do actively. Initially it will take some work but, over time, you will get it down to a routine and be able to quickly identify when something is going off-track and deal with it before it becomes too big.
Thankfully, Canadians have access to an efficient insolvency system that lets people in financial difficulty reset their financial worlds so that they can move forward. So, don’t be an ostrich, don’t stick your head in the sand and ignore your financial situation. Look up, take notice of where your money is going so you can control and manage your hard-earned money
The following article by Matthew J. Munro, CPA CGA CIRP LIT, was published in the April 2017 issue of the District News.
Powell Associates Ltd. is a licensed insolvency trustee focused on providing debt settlement, proposal and bankruptcy solutions for individuals and businesses. We offer free consultations to review your personal financial situation and practical debt resolution options. Contact us to discuss your situation over the phone or book an appointment to meet us face-to-face in Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton, Charlottetown or Dartmouth – it’s your choice.