This is a guest article by Nathan Brown.  If you are interested in contributing to Debt RoundUp, please follow our guidelines.

The credit card is a brilliant little object. It allows you to shop without having to carry wads of cash around. That’s a good thing, right? Not always.

Plastic money can tempt people to spend much more than they should, because they’re not actually paying cash up front. This provides a false sense of security and in a few months you realize you’re knee deep in debt – a problem that escalates within a short period of time and causes a lot of other problems.

With the fluctuations that take place in today’s economy, you surely need to work towards financial security. This will help you keep the debt demon at bay. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.

  • Prepaid cards: Try using a prepaid card whenever you go shopping. As the name suggests, you get a particular amount of money to spend and you don’t have to worry about overreaching your credit limit. The danger with credit cards is that it has made Americans owe $852 billion in debt to financial institutions.
  • Good offers: Always be on the lookout for the best deals on products and services. No matter what you need, there will always be a number of companies offering you different options. Use these choices cleverly and you could save a lot of money. Keep an eye out for discounts and sales so that you can save on purchases whenever possible.
  • Timely payments: You might not give this a lot of thought, but paying your bills on time is a great way to budget your spending. Paying them off at the beginning of the month, via online banking or direct debit, is a smart idea. Many institutions recognize such customers and offer them slashed rates from time to time.
  • Go easy on too many luxuries: Just because you earn a fat income doesn’t mean you splurge on everything that catches your fancy. A little restraint could go a long way in keeping you far from debt. A few luxuries never hurt anyone, but don’t go overboard with the spending just because you can. You don’t know when disaster might strike.
  • Emergency fund: This could be in the form of a fixed deposit or even a high interest saving. Having a sum of money stashed away for emergency situations is the best thing you could ever do. This way when you’re in urgent need of cash, you won’t need to turn to your credit card.
  • Will power: Last but not the least; you need to have the will to save. There are a number of people who haven’t inculcated such a habit and end up finding themselves in a huge financial rut.

Unnecessary spending is one of the main reasons why a lot of people find themselves in debt. Mortgages and student loan repayments are other situations where you could find yourself short of cash. Always try to have an emergency financial plan should you realize that everyday funds are running out.

Author Bio: NATHAN BROWN of buyatt.com,  a site that offers savings and current information on att bundle and att uverse availability .

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