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7 Causes People Get Into Debt

7 Causes People Get Into Debt
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    Have you ever thought of why you are in debt? Have you ever scrutinized the reasons behind your debt problems? We know that debt can lead us to disastrous consequences in our lives. It can consume our assets, bring on mental stress and even hurt our relationships. There are multiple factors that compel people into debt, this is because many are not aware of the causes behind it. Although there are effective debt elimination programs like debt consolidation, debt settlement etc, we must be aware of the causes that leads to great financial errors  so we can avoid be consumed by debt.

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    Understand the causes of debt below to make sure that it doesn’t take over your life in the future.

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    1. Reduced Income: Often your expenses exceed your income. If you delay in taking care of handling your life with a lower income then you are sure to start to take on debt. Make sure that you understand your changed income and create a budget and a plan as soon as possible.
    2. Divorce: More than half of American marriages end up in divorce and with it comes strain on personal finances. The laws in America govern what should be done with a couple’s money during a divorce settlement. When one party demands too much, the other will be forced to go into debt to pay for attorneys as well as what their partner deems necessary as part of the settlement.
    3. Poor Money Management: Most of the time, poor budgeting invokes debt. You must have a monthly budget. Without a proper budget, you will not be able to track your expenses. If you write down your spending for an entire month you can see exactly where you money ends up. This is the best way to learn where you can cut some unnecessary expenses and help yourself avoid debt.
    4. Underemployment: People often feel that underemployment is temporary, but it can have a lasting effect on your life, especially if you have to go into debt to make ends meet. If you are underemployed, calculate your expenses and start looking for a second job. This might eliminate your chances of falling in debt.
    5. Gambling: Is one of the most beloved forms of entertainment for Americans. However in reality, it is just a guaranteed exchange of money from you to “the house”. As loans are easily available today, one becomes easily addicted to the idea of “winning big” and striking it rich. In fact, gambling can easily lead to you effortlessly mortgaging your future to “the house” as you try to win back what you have lost.
    6. Medical Expenses: Lapsed policies and expensive medical treatments make this one of the easiest ways to fall into debt. Everything to do in the medical realm costs money and usually a lot of it. On top of that doctors and hospitals are becoming more and more impatient with people that don’t pay their bills on time. Because of this they tend to turn in patients that don’t have the money to collection agencies. When you don’t have the money to pay for your doctor visit it can be easy to put the bill on a credit card or even to take a loan out to avoid collections.
    7. Little Savings: If you want to avoid unwanted debt, try to be prepared for unexpected expenditures by saving some money. If you have decent savings in place you can use it for emergencies like severe illness, a job-loss or divorce without increasing your debt. Believe me, no one ever regrets saving money for emergencies.

    The above mentioned causes of debt are very common for Americans and can be easy to fall into. However, if you develop good money management and budgeting skills, you can avoid them. Another thing to remember is that it is important to spend within your means, which will further prevent the reduction of your wealth. By taking prudent steps toward financial responsibility you will can greatly reduce the probability of sinking into and accruing more and more debt.

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    Last Updated on March 4, 2019

    How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

    How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

    Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

    I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

    Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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    Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

    Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

    Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

    I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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    I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

    If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

    Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

    The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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    Using Credit Cards with Rewards

    Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

    You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

    I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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    So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

    What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

    Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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