If you find yourself saddled with more debt than you can bear, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. Regarding credit card debt alone, the average household with credit card debt owes more than $8,000 on plastic -- and that's just the average.
Here are a few ideas to help you dig yourself out.
Stop borrowing. It might seem obvious, but if you're just charging a little more than you can pay here and there, those expenses add up. If you're having trouble managing your credit card spending, consider cutting up your cards and only paying for things with cash or by check. Some Fools suggest putting your cards in a bag of water and popping them in the freezer. When you're tempted to use them, you'll have to wait until they thaw, giving you time to rethink your urge.
Consolidate your debt under a more-favorable interest rate. Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to get a bank loan to pay off your credit cards and other debt. Or, you might roll your credit card debt from various cards onto a single, more-favorable card.
Allocate as much money as you can to paying down your debt. You could raise some extra funds by holding a garage sale. Or, in these online times, you might sell your old lunch boxes, woks, books, and CDs at sites such as eBay
Concentrate on paying down the higher-rate debt first. If you have debts at several different interest rates, focus first on the debt that is draining your resources the most.
Remind yourself that credit cards are not mere conveniences. Accumulating charges on many credit cards is like taking out a 16% to 21% loan.