Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada, Inc.
Credit Counselling Education Services of Atlantic Canada, Inc.

The Real Cost of Living

Getting credit is easy.  Paying the debt back isn’t. Many of us carry at least one, if not two or three credit cards or lines of credit and worry how it we will ever manage to pay it all back.

Nowadays we are accustomed to getting what we want when we want it.  Saving before we buy it is almost a thing of the past.  But did you know that this may actually stop you from having the life you want?

North Americans are drowning in debt.  Credit cards, or credit lines, are often maxed out with the minimum payment barely being made. 

Before you take out the plastic to buy something make sure you think about what your purchase is really costing. By carrying a balance, or being behind on payments, interest charges will be added. If you make a $100 purchase using a credit card you then need to add 16 to 19 per cent more for interest. By not paying the minimum rate, or by missing a payment, you could see your monthly payments double.

Not paying for a year for that 42 inch HDTV flat screen television may sound like a good deal at the time, and it is if you actually pay it within the year but many simply sink themselves further in debt.

This is just the financial side of what real life costs. Now factor in the emotional side.  Consider the strain on relationships; poor work performance due to worry and undue family pressure. 

You may bring the anxiety of what you owe home to your family by being stressed, cranky or becoming depressed.  Sometimes a financial situation gets so bad that the ability to pay for a college education is impossible.  This will mean that children will not be able to get a higher education or they will rack up their own debt which sets them behind even before they graduate.

Even kids fortunate enough to have college paid for them can easily throw their educations away unless they've learned how to budget and handle credit properly - much of which they learn from their parents.

A bad credit record may prevent a Dean’s list student from landing their dream job.  This score is hard to shake, but incredibly easy to gain.  Employers routinely check credit scores along with work history and personal references before hiring.  A low credit score can also cost when borrowing money for car loans, mortgages or higher insurance premiums.

The real cost of living is more than just how much you earn. It is also how much you spend and how you spend it.


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