A lot of people these days have bloated credit card debts. According to studies, about 1 in 20 American household has about $8000 in credit card debt. Credit card debt management is something that everybody needs to know, whether you are in debt or not. The first step to effective management and reduction of your credit card debt is to know exactly how much money you owe. Many people carry more than one credit card with them all the time, and not everyone know exactly how much money he or she owes the credit card company. Track how much money you spend. You’ll be surprised at how much money goes into the little things that you buy everyday. Try writing down the items that you buy as soon as the money leaves your pocket. Seeing everything in writing will help you plan your budget better. Decrease your consumption. Do you take a cab everyday to work? Try riding a bus for a change. It’ll save you a lot of money at the end of the month, not to mention that it’s also environment-friendly. Stop buying expensive lattes and settle with plain coffee. Take the time to bring your lunch to work instead of eating out everyday. All these little things siphon money out of your pocket without you noticing it. Once you track your spending and identify things that you can do without, you effectively decrease your consumption. Increase your productivity. A more realistic approach to dealing with debts is to increase your income while you decrease your spending. How many times have you tried to sit down and calculate how much you really need to save every month to pay off your debts in x numbers of years? It wouldn’t be a surprise if you find out that you’ll end up needing more money than you make monthly to cover your expenses plus debt payments. Find a freelance job that you can do from home or in your spare time. If possible, you may also want to consider adding overtime hours at work. Make a monthly spending plan. In order to free up as much money as possible to put into your debts payment, create a spending plan where you estimate how much money you will need to spend every month, and how much money you probably will be able to save if you follow the plan. Take note of special events (like holidays and birthdays) where you will probably need to spend more money than usual and factor this into your monthly spending plan. Prioritize your spending. Put your necessities first, taxes second, and other debts third. Define clearly the things that you consider to be necessities in life. Things like mortgage or rent, transportation expenses, child support (if applicable), food, and some money kept in a safe place for bills in an emergency situation, such as hospital bills. Identify and understand your spending issues. Most problematic debt situations build up because spending issues are not identified or addressed. Do you spend to make yourself feel better about something? Take the time to sit down and really think this over. Get rid of the clutter around the house and make the money work for you. If you have accumulated a lot of things that you do not use anymore, consider starting a garage sale and put the proceeds towards debt payment. Taking steps towards credit card debt management is not something that you can perfect overnight. It takes a lot of dedication and the proper attitude to make it work. It’s difficult, but it’s far from being impossible.