Do you know how much is the average American household credit card debt? It is $5,700. If that didn’t worry you then this surely will: the average debt for households that don’t make regular credit card payments is over $15,000. For many households, paying off their credit card debt is a challenge. Nonetheless, debt is a financial reality and something households will have to deal with. You don’t have a choice: you have to manage your credit card debt just like you manage your other financial expenses and obligations.

Most Americans and Canadaian struggle to manage their credit card debt. However, before you start losing hope, determine whether your credit card debt is even a problem. After you’ve determined that, you need to develop a plan to manage and ultimately pay off your credit card debt. Depending on how you use them, credit cards can be a good or a bad thing.

A truly helpful financial tool, a credit card is a good way to meet your immediate financial needs such as performing car repairs, paying medical bills, and dealing with unforeseen disasters. However, if you use them inappropriately, credit cards can lead to financial problems in the long-term. Basically, you need to use your credit card (s) sensibly and develop smart strategies for managing your credit card debt. So what are the appropriate ways of managing credit card debt? Here are 3 smart strategies for managing credit card debt that credit counselors recommend.

Change the lifestyle causing debt

The first and foremost thing that you need to do to manage your credit card debt is moving away from the lifestyle that causes debt. Often, debt is caused by immoderate spending and lack of checks and balances. One of the best thing you can do control your credit card debt is avoid impulse buying.

Stop the use of credit card

If you’re among the American households with over $15,000 credit card debt then stop using your credit card right away. You will only add to your credit card debt if you continue buying things on credit. If you continue buying things on credit, there will eventually come a time when pay off your credit card debt is no longer possible. Surely, you don’t want that! If you’re buying grocery or other ‘important’ things for your house then use cash to pay for them. Also, avoid buying something you don’t have the cash for.

Re-adjust your budget

If you don’t have a household budget then develop one right away. On the other hand, if you have a budget but still find it difficult to manage your expenses then consider re-adjusting your budget. Basically, you need to re-adjust your budget to get rid of unnecessary expenses such as the evening coffee at Starbucks until you’ve paid off your credit card debt.