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Keeping credit card debt under control

Credit cards are a convenient method of making purchases, especially when one is short on cash. However, it is estimated that the average family in Tennessee and across the country carries almost $16,000 in credit card debt. That adds up to a total of $733 billion nationwide. Because credit card debt can be so costly with its high interest and fees, many people take painful steps to eliminate it, only to turn around and build it back up.

Spending with credit can become a habit that may lead to overwhelming debt. Financial advisors recommend making new habits to prevent debt from taking over one's life. Cutting up the credit cards may be the drastic step a person needs to take to make sure those bills do not begin to mount again. By using a bank debit card, a consumer spends only money he or she actually has available.

Another way people can remain on track with their finances is to schedule regular checkups with someone who will hold them accountable, such as a spouse, friend or financial advisor. Meeting once a year expressly to review one's financial progress may be motivating enough to prevent someone from slipping back into old spending habits. People also find it helpful to take advantage of the many virtual tools for tracking spending. Many of these sites are free and mobile, making it easier to use them consistently.

Of course, if a person has credit card debt that is a burden, he or she may need help to get it under control before beginning these steps to maintain the zero balance. People in Tennessee who are facing overwhelming debt have many options available. They may consult an attorney to discuss financial counseling, debt consolidation or bankruptcy to ease their financial frustrations.

Source: sandiegodowntownnews.com, "Three tips for keeping credit card debt at bay", Taylor Schulte, Aug. 5, 2016

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