The average American family carries more than $8,000 in credit card debt, (up from about $3,000 in 1990) and spends about $1.22 for every dollar they earn. (Sources: CardWeb.com and MyVesta.org)
For many people--maybe even you--this path means living under the constant burden of debt. You may feel as though you'll never be able to retire, and that you certainly won't be able to live comfortably when you do. If that's where you are right now, you know it's time for a change.
Experts recommend taking a hard look at your financial position. If you're ready to get your financial house in order start with the easiest steps listed below today, and build on them over the coming months.
Getting your finances in order can be hard work, but it's worth it to know that you won’t be living beyond your means any more.
- The first step suggested by many financial planners is to pay cash for your purchases instead of using credit cards and debit cards for at least one month. This way, you'll see exactly where all of your hard earned money is going.
- Use what you've learned about your spending habits to create a budget.
- Create financial goals.
- Set up an automatic savings plan. If you have too much debt to do this, set up an automatic payment plan.
- Reduce your debt. See a debt counselor or debt management consultant if needed.
- Plan for your retirement. See a financial planner if needed.