Local help is available for people struggling to pay the bills

A new report out of the Fraser Institute shows that the average earner loses 41 per cent of their income to paying taxes and spends another 36 per cent on the necessities.

That's in contrast to the average earner in 1961 who spent 34 per cent of their income on taxes and 57 per cent on basic necessities.

The flip in what takes precedent has created new pressures that are steering middle income earners toward support services that historically were only accessed by those with a low income.

Some examples include the Ottawa Food Bank, the Caring and Sharing Exchange, and the Snowsuit Fund, all of which have seen an increase in demand from mid-income families.

There has also been an increase in the number of people accessing free services at K3C Credit Counselling in Ottawa, according to manager Jeri Bittorf who said part of the reason for that is an increase in people's awareness that they have somewhere to turn for help.

Bittorf says their financial management and debt reduction assistance is available to all people of all income levels.

"Really, it's individualized as to what they might need. You know, stress for everybody is a bit different. So, somebody who might be on more fixed income might be really good at budgeting whereas somebody who might have a little bit more free flowing income might have more expenses that they need to manage," she said.

There are also services to repay your debts through K3C Credit Counselling at stopped or reduced interest and with that the collection calls stop as well. That service does come with a small fee but all individual counselling is free.

If you or someone you know needs assistance learning to manage their income or through other social services programs you can find information access to important services by calling 2-1-1.

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