Three Tips for Personal Debt Management

It takes both short- and long-term planning to stay on top of your finances. Adopt good debt management habits now, and you’ll be much happier in the long run.

An older woman looks over paperwork at the kitchen table with a pensive look on her face.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With April designated as Financial Literacy Month, we are reminded not to take any personal financial knowledge we have for granted. According to FINRA, as of last year only one-third of Americans have a working understanding of interest rates, mortgage rates and financial risk. That staggering number unfortunately helps drive Americans deeper into debt — and puts them in need of debt management.

According to Bankrate, 35% of American adults carry credit card debt from month to month. This type of debt can hold people back from achieving both their financial goals and enjoying a life well-lived. So how do we work to create a healthy nation of financially stable adults?

Keeping active tabs on your personal financial situation requires both short-term and long-term planning.  When economic times are healthy, there’s a natural propensity to loosen the reins on one’s spending. However, to avoid having to make possibly difficult decisions when (not if) economic times become tough, there are good behaviors you can maintain regardless of the current economic environment to protect yourself from financial harm. 

Here are three tips on how to do just that:

Vincent Birardi, CFP®, AIF®, MBA
Wealth Adviser, Halbert Hargrove

Vincent Birardi is based in Halbert Hargrove’s Long Beach headquarters and brings more than 20 years of experience in financial services to his wealth advisory relationships with clients — along with a passion for identifying solutions that will enable them to fulfill their life goals. What he values most about his role is helping to bring clarity and peace of mind to clients and their families. Prior to joining the firm in 2018, Vincent held management roles with PIMCO and Morgan Stanley. He was awarded the ACCREDITED INVESTMENT FIDUCIARY™ designation by the University of Pittsburgh-affiliated Center for Fiduciary Studies and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.