A healthy financial habit can help you avoid the common consumer debt traps that have caught millions of people. Credit cards have made it all too easy to overspend and live beyond your means instead of within your budget. Some families are forced into deeper debts to fund festive occasions and this year is no exception.

But you can be prudent about your spending habits and focus on purchases that are really necessarily but will still guarantee the fun of the holidays. While it may be tempting to go on a spending spree and think you will just face the ­consequences later on, it is not worth the months, years or even a lifetime of debt that you will have to pay with interest. You can always do something about it to avoid falling into a debt trap that could be difficult to handle.

Whether you are already in debt and want to get out of it or you want to develop better financial habits, these financial ideas can help you take charge of your finances again.

1. What you can do about how you borrow

Th rising cost of living sometimes makes it inevitable to borrow. People borrow for their daily living expenses, to pay monthly bills and yet others reply on borrowed money to help with the mortgage. The most important thing to remember is that it is imperative to borrow as cheaply as possible.

Make sure your other finances are also working efficiently to pay off your borrowings as soon as you can. You don’t want those interests to accrue month after month. Don’t ignore your debts, they won’t go away.

They get worse with time because of how much you have to pay in addition the amount itself. You should figure out what to do about your debt and when you plan on paying them. You need to know exactly how much you owe, how much interest you are paying, and to whom.

Work out how much you can reasonably afford to pay off each month. The earlier you deal with it, the better.  You may want to get support with your debt or money worries in desperate situations where you really have to talk to someone for advice.

2. Credit Card debts can be overwhelming

Most people are used to credit cards and live above their means hence higher debts month after month. If you already have a credit card or loan with a financial institution, it is unlikely to allow you to take out a further loan or credit card to consolidate your debts. The worst could happen: you may end up with a rejection “footprint” on your credit record  and that will deter other lenders from offering you financial assistance in the future.

Don’t ignore interaction with your creditors. It makes things worse. Talk to them. Let them know your present financial situation and discuss your payment plan and how you intend to offset your debts. The best thing you should be doing is to avoid buying unnecessary items on credit.

And when you do use your credit card, have a clear plan for paying back the loan in a timely manner to avoid huge interest payments. You should also consider opting for a card with a long zero interest deal for purchases. Compare your options and choose the best option possible that has the lowest interest rate over the period within which you want to pay.

3. Be careful about your choice of Mortgage.

For many people this is the biggest outlay every month, so it’s vital to discuss your options with a mortgage adviser if you are considering a mortgage. Your mortgage payments take a bigger portion of your income for a very a long time. Don’t take on an over-sized mortgage. You don’t want to be stuck in debt for the rest of your life.

If you are house hunting, don’t take that mortgage which stretches your purse strings and makes it more likely you’ll fall behind on other bills. If you fall short of your payments to that financial institution which helped you out with that mortgage, there will be financial consequences. Don’t pour all your cash into paying off a mortgage if you have other debt. Mortgages tend to have lower interest rates than other debts. Other debts are as equally important to deal with as your mortgage.

Don’t get caught in the cycle of debt!

If you have more debt than you can manage, get help before your debt breaks your back. You will be better off limiting your borrowing and working out how much you can afford to spend before you start spending. Live within your means and by all means do your best to stay out of financial crisis. Write down everything you spend for a month. Cut back on things you don’t need and start saving the money left over or use it to reduce your debt more quickly.