Millions of Americans are managing credit card debt that was incurred due to circumstances beyond their control. This may include job losses, medical bills, divorce and rising living costs. However, a large percentage of the population may be battling the same scenario due to overspending or mismanagement of their income. When individuals are trying to pare back their balances, it’s crucial to know what caused them in the first place to try to avoid similar behaviors.
There are several ways for consumers to reassess their spending habits and determine if certain purchases are contributing to their debt issues. The simplest action individuals can take before swiping their credit cards is to ask themselves if they can truly afford to make the purchase.
Being more cognizant about how purchases will truly impact their wallets can be a strong first step toward changing harmful spending habits that are making it more difficult to chip away at existing bills and save money. While consumers may have the available funds on their credit cards to make the purchase, how much will it contribute to their current balance and how long may it take to pay off? Understanding these factors before making a purchase may force adults to think harder about the benefits of an item.
Another important question for individuals to consider is whether they truly need the item. For example, will the purchase bring something positive to their lives that will help them accomplish a goal? In addition, consumers might also consider whether they can acquire the product at a more affordable price if they purchase it at another location, buy it online or wait until it goes on sale. Most credit counselors encourage individuals to institute a three-day rule before buying something. Waiting for this period of time may help curb impulse buys, which can save individuals a great deal of money in the long-run.
If consumers have assessed their potential purchases and decided that it is affordable and necessary to their goals, they may save by paying for the item in cash or saving up for the product. This ensures that they don’t rack up additional credit card debt and put themselves further into a hole.