debt

Sound money management advice from Grandma

Be wary of credit cards
Be wary of credit cards © Sonia Sorbi/Shutterstock.com

If you're constantly making credit card purchases that you can't pay off each month, learning the lesson your credit-averse auntie tried to teach you will be quite expensive.

It's not that buying on credit itself is evil, as your aunt may have believed. The accumulation of debt, aided by that devilish compounded interest, is the problem.

"Understand that if you use credit, you're probably going to have to put off buying something else until you pay off that debt," Griffin says.

If it's hard for you resist swiping the plastic even as your debt grows, New York attorney and consumer debt resolution specialist Leslie Tayne suggests leaving your credit cards at home when you go shopping.

"It will reduce the impulsiveness in spending," Tayne says, adding that she practices what she preaches. "When I can't readily purchase something, I don't buy it."

If you have a newfangled mobile credit card app on your smartphone, that might present a whole other temptation to conquer.

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