As Ramsay pointed out, many factors are of course beyond people’s control, and surviving difficult times means focusing on what is in their hands. For the majority of stressed Canadians, this is not natural or easy, which is why they would need a finance professional in their corner. With that in mind, BMO offers its assistance with financial planners to help people make real financial progress no matter what their financial picture may be.
“One way financial planners can help clients is to make sure they re-evaluate their budgets to see if there is any opportunity to cut costs,” said Ramsay. “They can also help ensure customers have actually verified the state of their debt: are they owing more than they should, or do they have a plan to actually get out of debt?”
Healthy financial habits and practices could help reduce customer anxiety in the long run. For example, having an annual financial health review with a planner can help them get a better sense of their financial situation and see if they are making progress. The discipline of looking at credit reports and building savings and emergency funds are other things that planners can help with.
“I think that with the budget, you actually feel that things are not as bad as they seem,” said Ramsay. “When you have an overview of your finances and a plan for how you will actually make financial progress, you will have a better sense of what is under your control.”
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