There are several reasons people get into debt. It could be unplanned expenses, changing interest rates, loss of work, car repairs, life events or other losses. It’s not uncommon for new business owners to struggle with managing their books even when they are great at their trade. Not all debt is caused by people living beyond their means. When you’re in a bind, there are resources available that you can tap into to get you and your family back on your feet.
Managing your income and expenses is the first step to getting out of debt, and many free tools are available. Microsoft has that are free to use; if you don’t have Microsoft Office, they have a free web version. Similar to Google Workspace, it’s free. If you prefer Google sheets, there are templates on the Google Marketplace page. If you have an apple device, the Numbers app is free, and it has some built-in templates, or you can download templates from iworkcommunity.com
Booklets and guides
If you prefer to do things more hands-on with paper, there are budget templates available online that you can print. You can shop on amazon for budget books, and some are available at retail stores like Staples or Walmart or check your local office supply retailer.
See our collection of self-help books dealing with debt available on amazon.ca or view their entire library.
Services like Mint and Quicken can organize your credit cards and bank accounts into one place, making it easier to keep track of your expenses and get insights. Small businesses that need dual-entry accounts might benefit by using QuickBooks or Sage.
Helpseeker has a list of community resources and services that might be able to help. Benefits finder will show you any available government services, both federal and provincial, after filling out a short questionnaire. In addition to services, the government of Canada has resources for budgeting, planning, and calculating mortgages at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) Financial tools site.
Get your credit report and monitoring tools for a fee from Equifax or TransUnion. You can also request a free Equifax report or a free TransUnion consumer disclosure. Check for errors, fraud, and outstanding debts.
If you need a bankruptcy trustee, search all licensed trustees in your area using the government of Canada’s listings here.
Please get in touch with us if you have any resources that you would like to see here, if you know of agencies that can help people struggling with debt, or if you would like to donate resources that we can distribute. In addition, you can phone or email us if you want additional guidance with free resources to help you get out of debt. Our consultations are always free. We also have paid services if you have an issue requiring extensive attention.