Jim Asks… I have accumulated a fairly significant amount of credit card debt over the past year. Unfortunately, I have some bad money habits. What can I do?

You are not alone when it comes to credit card debt, according to a survey done by Card Hub, Americans accumulated over $18.4 billion in credit card debt in the second quarter of 2011 alone. As credit card debt in the United States continues to grow, it has established itself as one of the most significant issues facing today’s economy. In order to curb your spending habits and help reduce that ever-growing credit card debt, take into consideration the following habits which may be fueling your problems.

    • Do you constantly find yourself borrowing? Those that always find themselves indebted to others and have trouble repaying these debts are headed towards larger issues, such as credit card debt. Figure out how to make your own ends meet and don’t rely on others.
    • Is retail therapy all too common for you? If find yourself going on random shopping sprees every time you’re down or need a little pick me up, leave the credit card at home. When you feel the need for some retail therapy make sure you only use cash for this, it’s an easy way to prevent those huge credit card bills.
    • Are you an impulsive spender? For those of you who wouldn’t find it too crazy to make a spur of the moment purchase on a LivingSocial trip or when you see an incredible sale available, you’ll likely use a credit card. Try your best to avoid this because impulse purchases often times are not part of your budget.
    • Do reward-cards entice you? We’ve all seen them, a credit card that offers you cash-back on every purchase, and yes for many credit card users this is a good idea. But if this fact makes you feel more comfortable with spending money then you should probably consider staying away from them, you’ll never earn back as much as you spend.
    • Do you compare yourself to others? Trying to one-up your friends, family or peers with material or luxury goods can become a costly habit. Do your best to live within your means and purchase items that truly make sense to your well-being.

Bottom line is that credit card debt can add up quicker than you would have ever imagined, so do your best to live within your means and make sound financial decisions for a debt free future.

Meet Cheryl!

About Cheryl

As a successful business owner and community leader, Cheryl Braunschweiger is known and respected for getting things done with a degree of skill and enthusiasm that bring out the best in those around her - colleagues, clients and friends. The name of her business, ALMC Mortgage, reflects Cheryl's philosophy and personality. She says it stands for All Loans Must Close –a reflection of her determination to do whatever it takes to serve her clients. Cheryl has been in the mortgage lending business for 20 years. Read More About Cheryl
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