Multiple credit card hocus-pocus
Credit cards are best used as a convenient way to make purchases without having to carry cash and to earn rewards, Cecere says.
"If you're a savvy consumer and you can use credit cards and you can get points for them ... then you're charging groceries and gas, but you're paying for them at the end of the month," she says.
If your credit card debt is consistently rising and you're unable to make more than the minimum payments, your balance will continue to rise. And if you fail to make the minimum payment for more than 60 days, your rate could jump, making your financial condition even worse.
While cardholders can stave off trouble temporarily by making the minimum payments or shifting balances to new cards, any kind of sudden change in your finances, such as a rise in gas prices, can destabilize your finances, Cecere says.