Personal income in the U.S. fell $7.3 billion, or 0.1 percent, to $13.028 trillion in August from the previous month, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. During the same period, personal consumption expenditures rose 0.2 percent, or $22.7 billion. The upshot is that Americans are earning less and spending more, something that could lead to increased levels of credit card debt.
If you find yourself juggling more credit card debt these days because your income isn't stretching very far, you are not alone. A recent survey from Absolute Strategy Research found that 45 percent of those polled felt their level of debt was excessive relative to their income. The poll also found that 23 percent were having trouble making monthly payments on their debt.
Find the right debt solutions
You don't have to settle for having a lot of credit card debt. With the right debt reduction strategy, you can put a stop to money problems before things get worse.
First, get help with debt if necessary. Look for a nonprofit debt counseling agency that will help you learn to manage money better. A comprehensive debt counseling plan should include information on budgeting and prioritizing which debts need to be paid first. Avoid working with debt counselors who make a lot of big promises and ask for a lot of fees.
Debt consolidation programs
There are many debt consolidators out there who claim they can help you erase your debts. They offer you a loan to combine all of your credit card debt and other bills into a single payment. While some of these programs are reputable, it is best to be cautious about signing up for any program that requires paying extensive fees or exorbitant rates of interest.
With some organizations you can set up your own debt reduction strategy without paying someone to help you. But if you are the type of person who has a tendency not to follow through on tasks, getting help from a professional may be the right move.
About the Author:
Francine Huff is a freelance journalist and the author of The 25-Day Money Makeover for Women. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows. Visit her Web sites www.Huffwrites.com and http://supersavvyspender.blogspot.com/.