Advice Taken

Louise Dyck, Qualified Insolvency CounsellorInsolvency

Counseling is a mandatory part of the insolvency process for the majority of personal insolvency debtors. The sessions are designed to provide financial tracking/management skills, to identify the cause/root of the problems, and to discover ways to safeguard oneself or avoid repeating the same mistakes.

But how much can get accomplished in two 30- to 45-minute sessions? As counselors, we offer tips and tools, suggestions and resources. We listen and tell stories from personal and professional experiences. And, every now and then, we hear back about how some of the things we talked about resonated in the lives of the people we see and what changes they’ve made. Here are a few examples:

• instead of buying multiple coffees on the way to/during work, bringing 3 thermoses of homemade coffee daily;
• no longer bringing young children to the grocery store;
• keeping receipts;
• making their own banana bread weekly for their daily breakfast;
• making muffins for weekly daycare lunches;
• cancelling cable, using Netflix only;
• : using this website to find recipe ideas for ingredients already on hand;
• living on a boat in Vancouver instead of paying for apartment rent – saving hundreds of dollars a month;
• creating a personal buffer zone when tempted to smoke a cigarette (this person is happy to report they have saved a significant amount of money just with this delay method).

Don’t underestimate the power of sharing your experiences, it is so important. You can plant a seed in someone’s mind or spur on other creative ways to be thrifty, spend less, or increase income. After all, we are faced with 3 options in a tight cash flow situation: spend less, make more, or a combination of the two. We invite you to share your tricks/tips with us. We’ll be happy to pass them on.