According to a report from Northwestern Mutual, in 2018, the average American had $38,000 in personal debt. That signifies people are likely failing to identify and change the underlying behaviors and emotions that keep them in debt. So, we’ve put together a list of some of the more common reasons you could still be struggling with debt — and how to remedy them.
Spend First, Pay Later
The key to digging out of debt is to have the money to do so. If you’re spending your paychecks and then setting aside cash to put toward your debts, you’re doing things backward. Reverse this behavior by setting up auto payments to your credit card. That way, the debt gets addressed first.
Doing Only The Minimum
If you’re only paying the minimum due on your credit card, you’re going to have a hard time erasing debt. When you have a balance, every new purchase gets hit with interest. Make an effort to pay off your cards in full every month so that you stay ahead of this game.
Overspending on Your Kids
A recent study found that 62 percent of parents have been in debt because of their kids’ extracurricular activities. It’s hard to tell your kids no, but sometimes you must. Narrow down the list of activities and then look for ways to make them cheaper. Perhaps start buying used sporting equipment instead of new items for every season. Then sell your old equipment as well.
You Spend With Emotions
As US News reports, one all too often reason we accumulate debt is by spending emotionally. Maybe you shop when you’re feeling down or buy excessive gifts for a loved one. The key is identifying when you spend and then making it harder to do so. For example, if you tend to be an impulsive spender, try disconnecting your credit cards from your phone and computer.