3 tips to get financial stress under control

(NC) Mental, physical and financial wellness are three pillars of good health. For many Canadians, money worries are the greatest source of stress. Many of us may be feeling a financial pinch even more in January after holiday stress on the wallet.

While managing your money may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Whether it’s student debt, a mortgage, education or retirement savings that’s weighing on your mind, there are resources to help.

Take advantage of new technology
An abundance of tools exist online to help you budget and save these days. But not all apps and online tools are secure to use. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada offers a variety of free online tools to help you manage your money that are unbiased and safe to use. For example, it offers a budget planner, a financial goal calculator and a mortgage calculator that can all help you find ways to save and pay down debt.

Protect yourself from fraud
Becoming a victim of fraud is a stressful situation. While fraudsters are always looking for new ways to prey on victims, there are some things you can do to minimize the risks. For example, when banking or shopping online, look for websites with addresses starting with “https” or ones that have a padlock image on the address bar. Also, avoid giving credit card information over email as it isn't secure.

Avoid payday loans as much as possible
A payday loan is a short-term loan with high fees that make it a very expensive way to borrow money. You must pay the loan back from your next paycheque and if you can’t pay it back on time, you’ll face more fees and high interest charges. This will increase your debt and cause more stress.

Consider other options before getting a payday loan such as cashing in vacation days or asking for a pay advance from your employer.

Learn more about ways to improve your financial well-being at canada.ca/money.

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