42% of Quebecers may have to borrow to meet the bills in coming year

A new survey about household debt shows that 42% of Quebecers aren't sure whether they'll be able to meet their bills without borrowing more money in the coming year.  

The IPSOS survey for insolvency practice MNP shows six of every ten Quebecers have debt regret, admitting they'd overspent on random purchases on their credit cards, their cars, travel or clothing.  

MNP senior vice president Frederic Lachance says fewer would have regrets if they'd just draw up a budget.

"If you do a budget and you follow it through, then most people could put money aside for tough times or pay off debts," he says.. 

Lachance says the self-examination involved in budgeting will turn up avoidable expenses. 

As examples, he cites cigarette smoking, a second car for the household, restaurant meals and vacations. 

He also notes that many people spend more money than they strictly need to on clothing, daily coffee runs, and items for the home. 

"It means looking at where you're spending and making tough decisions, and sticking with it.  And it's not always easy," Lachance says.

To the 42% of Quebecers lurching toward insolvency, Lachance says don't wait to get professional help because there are options other than bankruptcy, including refinancing. 

He says in his practice as a licensed insolvency trustee, he often sees people who have ignored the problem until it is too late to take action to avoid bankruptcy.