Financial Health: Quebecers’ Priority During the Economic Recovery
In a May 21st article in the Le Journal de Montréal (french version), Éric Lebel, our expert and Licensed Insolvency Trustee, provided recommendations for ensuring that the economic recovery goes as smoothly as possible.
Preparing a budget: A preventive measure
The COVID-19 crisis has led to financial vulnerability affecting thousands of Quebecers. Government financial assistance measures, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB ), will soon end. “It’s like a life-support system with an expiration date,” says Eric Lebel. The end of CERB is likely to be a major setback for many people, especially those who have not planned their finances.
In order to deal with the economic uncertainties of the coming months, Eric Lebel recommends that individuals prepare a comprehensive budget adapted to their financial situation. “The authorities are asking us to wash our hands and maintain a distance of two metres to stay physically healthy. To stay financially healthy, preparing and monitoring a budget is a preventive measure,” he adds.
Evaluating your financial situation is the first step: start now!
Adapt your situation
During this pandemic, we changed how we do groceries, how we work and how we manage time with our children at home. We also have to change how we manage our money.
You need to prepare a budget that takes different scenarios into account. Eric Lebel cites a few examples, “If you start sending your children back to daycare, you have to add that expense. If your employer asks you to continue working remotely, you have to deduct travel expenses. If you no longer receive the CERB, take the amount out of the equation.” It’s important to monitor your budget closely and adapt it as the situation changes. Update it regularly and review your strategy accordingly.
Your budget will help you live within your means, because it reflects the funds you actually have at your disposal. On the other hand, easy access to credit tends to cloud the issue by making us think we have more money than we really do.
The crisis could have long-lasting economic repercussions. “The secret of getting through it is to ensure that your finances are as sound as possible. You need to reconsider your spending habits. Think before making unnecessary purchases and minimize your use of credit,” Eric Lebel recommends.
Several creditors have been lenient and agreed to defer certain payments during the crisis. This is just a stopgap measure. If you have the means to pay your bills without impacting your essential needs, don’t postpone these obligations to a later date. That way, you won’t find yourself with a mountain of debt in a few months.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
If the economic recovery is to be a success, Quebec consumers must also be on board.
Take care of yourself and your financial health.
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