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How Dealing With Your Debt Load Can Boost Your Confidence

Is your debt load weighing you down?

If you’re a woman, there are a number of reasons why your answer to that question is “yes”. Women are more likely than men to admit to having a lot of debt. And that debt can be a major hurdle, making it more difficult for women to buy a home, save for retirement or prepare for unexpected expenses. The problem is, carrying too much debt doesn’t just negatively impact your financial health. It can wear you down emotionally too.

Women in Canada face their own unique financial challenges.

  • Women are more likely than men to struggle to afford basic necessities.
  • The majority of Canada student loans go to women.
  • The income gender gap is real: women, on average, earn less than men for the same job with the same years of experience.
  • Women are more likely to take time away from work to care for children and parents.
  • Women scored lower on financial literacy tests and reported feeling less confident about their financial decisions than men.

Any of these challenges can impact your financial and emotional well-being. Debt stress is real. And if you’re finding it difficult to manage your finances or pay down your debt, your confidence can take a real hit.

How does expanding your financial knowledge boost your financial confidence?

As the saying goes, knowledge is key. You can begin by clearly identifying your debt challenges. A good way to do this is to take a Financial Health Test. Your answers to these 10 simple questions will give you a better idea of any debt problems you’re facing.

If you feel you can handle your debt load on your own, you’ll find some debt repayment strategies — and even inspiration — by reading about other women’s debt relief journeys.

We’ve put together a list of female bloggers who share their experiences with paying off large debt loads:

The Wallet Diet: Christine was $35,000 in debt, but with hard work she was able to pay it off and now shares her story, debt advice, tips and other financial related resources to help others do the same.

Give Me Back My Five Bucks: Krystal Yee was able to pay off $20,000 in debt in only a matter of twelve months. Using her experience in dealing with her own debt load she now offers tips and debt advice to help others do the same.

Broke Girl Rich: Melissa is fortunate to not have significant credit card debt and is close to paying off her student debt. Working full-time she’s now sharing her story towards living a financially sustainable lifestyle and diving into the world of investing to grow her wealth.

Working towards becoming debt free will boost your financial confidence

Reducing your debt can free up funds in your monthly budget. Once you have some wiggle room in your budget, try to make extra debt payments to speed up the process. Or you can add to your savings. Both options may motivate you to learn about financial topics you never would’ve consider before.

Paying off your debt load starts with setting goals and making a plan to achieve them.

  1. 1. Set realistic, achievable debt reduction goals.
  2. 2. Build a monthly budget that fits your income and focuses on debt repayment.
  3. 3. Track your spending with a financial app. You’ll quickly find out if there are areas where you can cut back or change spending habits to allow for more money to go towards your debt reduction goals. The more you can put towards debt the less interest you will pay in the long run.
  4. 4. Review your budget every few months to ensure it’s still doing what you need it to do.
  5. 5. Consider creating smaller debt goals (pay off a credit card balance or a line-of-credit). When you reach one goal, focus on the next.

Your debt load might be the source of much of the financial stress you face, but by choosing to prioritize paying it off, it might just be the much-needed boost you need to increase your financial confidence.

Is there a personal finance writer whose blog helped boost your financial confidence and #LeaveDebtBehind? #WomenAndMoney #FinancialLiteracy.

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