Drowning in debt: Tips to slow down spending | Features

Christel Deskins

Most of us know the sticker shock of opening a credit card bill that’s much higher than we think it’s going to be. With more people looking to save money right now, here are some tips on how to pay off your debt. Financial experts say the first thing you […]

Most of us know the sticker shock of opening a credit card bill that’s much higher than we think it’s going to be.

With more people looking to save money right now, here are some tips on how to pay off your debt.

Financial experts say the first thing you should do is make a budget and track exactly where all of your money is going. Then they say make a plan to pay off your debt and start by seeing if you can negotiate a lower interest rate.

And in the meantime, resist the temptation to spend more. 

Financial experts say credit card holders carry an average revolving balance of more than $6,500 on their credit cards. So how can you stop the spending before it gets out of control?

One way is to make online shopping inconvenient. Opt out of saving your credit card information for online stores. The extra step of putting your card info in every time can slow you down just enough to question whether you really need the item.

Also, think of cash as king. Carry a certain amount of cash so you know exactly how much you’re spending.

Questioning yourself before you make a purchase can ensure that you are not spending money frivolously. Ask yourself if the item will add value to your life. And how long will it take you to pay it off?

Experts say most people have too many credit cards, so a little spending here and a little there doesn’t seem like so much, but they say if you consolidate and put everything on only one card, that adds up and you can really see how much you’re spending each month.

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