Managing money includes dealing with debts

Most people nationwide, including those in Hartford, Connecticut, deal with debts of some kind from time to time. Correspondingly, most people can gain value from good debt management practices. That includes controlling credit card debt.

One tip is to keep careful track of your income and your expenses. Credit cards should not be used casually, as though they are an infinite source of spending money. They are not. When credit cards are used casually, without tracking income and expenses, balances due increase and with them, the interest that you have to pay.

It may seem time-consuming, but it is best to write down all of your expenses and all of your income in a ledger, along with the amount of interest that you need to pay. That way, you will always know how much you have and what you can afford to pay for. Both amounts may be less than you would like, but at least they’ll be realistic.

Additionally, you’ll want to put together a budget. First, list your income from all sources for each month. After that, list your necessary expenses, like your home, utilities, groceries and health care.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to look at what is left of your income for each month and determine how much you want to save and how much you will spend on unnecessary items, like entertainment. When planning to do some spending with a credit card, you’ll also need to figure out how much interest you’ll be paying and include that in your budget.

You’ll also want to include payment of debts in your budget. Some people like to pay off the highest-interest debt first, because that is the one that will keep draining your resources the most until it is paid off. Others may choose to pay off a small debt first, perhaps one associated with a necessary service, like phone or internet. Once you decide on an approach, stick with it, and enjoy seeing your debt get smaller and smaller as you pay it off.