Well it’s official – according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Canada is not out of the woods when it comes to dodging the big bullet that is the global economic crisis. The folks at the IMF are now warning Canada’s economy is at risk – and they’re pointing to our “increasingly stretched household balance sheets ” one factor that could push us off the road to recovery.
It’s clear – Canada needs to go on a debt diet. After all, when the IMF calls you out on your spending, it’s time to cut back and pay off debt, right?
My husband and I are starting our own debt diet. The goal? To cut spending and save a pile of cash to put down on our mortgage when it comes due for renewal next summer. It’s an opportunity that only comes around every five years so why not jump at it?
To get started, we are writing down everything we spend this week to see where our money goes day in and day out. It’s really hard to do – but it’s the only tried and true way to find out what you spend. From there, we’ll work on making a realistic budget and sticking to it (with as little marital conflict as possible!).
A big first step for us will be meal planning so that we avoid overspending on groceries or, worse, resorting to expensive takeout meals on nights when the cupboard is bare. I’ll keep you posted in the coming weeks with any tips we learn or dilemmas we face as we work to tackle our own debt.