Concerns over debt levels across the northeast

As prices rise for groceries and gas, are there concerns about debt levels also increasing here in northern Ontario?

The costs are rising, and a Timmins financial advisor said people are concerned that it's putting current and future finances at risk.

"Inflation is at its highest, year-over-year, since the early 1980s, so it's definitely a concern. It will affect people negatively and we've seen that throughout the year, so far. The markets have been down," said Darcy Larouche, IG Wealth Management.

A southern Ontario credit counsellor said people around the country in lower income brackets are feeling the pain of higher prices all around.

And, he said it's forcing people to go further into debt and even to go "without necessities" to stay afloat.

"Constants that have always led people to get in financial trouble are still there. The addition of the high interest rates and inflation is the icing on the cake and a nightmare. It's reducing people's ability to support some of their other basic living expenses because rent's going up, food's going up," said Randolph Taylor of Credit Canada.

Industry surveys show a growing number of people who have debts are worried that current economic challenges will hurt their chances of making ends meet.

Experts said that often means people will turn to credit cards, loans and lines of credit to make up for the shortfall.

Their advice, look for areas to cut back or put off major purchases.

"Cut the cost of going out to dinner, maybe you have subscription plans that you're not utilizing, either,” said Larouche.

He said putting off buying a car would be a good idea right now, since prices are severely inflated.

Taylor said to write down all of the expenses, then compare them to income to see if they are above water or not."