March Break, the school holiday that almost always catches parents by surprise. How many times have your kids caught you off guard when they told you March Break was only a week away, and you hadn’t even figured out where you’re going to get childcare for the week without school. In Canada, 20 percent of families will be adding debt for March Break. While that’s considerably lower than the percentage of people who regularly take on Christmas debt (in 2016, 58% of Gen-Xers and 50% of Millennials took on holiday debt for Christmas), it’s still an alarming statistic.
Debts get out of control because of too many unexpected costs. March Break vacations are an easy way to slide into credit card debt. Big getaways to Caribbean resorts are an obvious source of debt, but all-inclusive trips may actually make it easier to stay on budget. Day trips or unplanned weekend escapes can be worse for adding debt if they aren’t carefully budgeted. It’s easy to forget about gas or meals when you’re headed to your destination by car.
Vacation debt may not seem like it’s going to get you into trouble, but extra spending adds up. Ongoing credit card debt eats into your income and interest rates rise fast. Credit card debt on top of car loans, mortgage payments, or business loans can leave things tight at the end of the month. If you don’t have money to pay your credit card debts, you may need help with a consumer proposal to prevent legal action. A consumer proposal is an agreement with your creditors to restructure your debt, halt interest, and make small monthly payments to your creditors.
Credit card debt can spiral out of control for many reasons, whether it’s job loss, a medical crisis like personal injury, unexpected expenses, or other causes. In Ontario, Licensed Insolvency Trustees are regulated by the government to provide debt help like consumer proposals. Consumer proposals in Toronto are filed by firms like David Sklar & Associates. The consumer proposal process also involves credit counselling, which can help you rein in spending and manage your expenses. Getting a consumer proposal in Toronto doesn’t come with judgement. Licensed Insolvency Trustees like David Sklar & Associates help their clients get out of debt with consumer proposals.
Adding debt is always a risk to your financial stability. Don’t let surprise expenses or runaway vacation spending jeopardize your financial future. The average family budget for Canadian families on March Break is nearly $600, including vacations and/or childcare. That doesn’t take into account time parents have to take off to look after kids who aren’t in school. As the average credit card debt Canadians carry reaches $4,000 per person, any increase to your debt is cause for concern, especially for predictable, annual events like March Break. Rein in your spending and start saving for next year. Don’t let March Break catch you off guard next time around.