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When you feel you may have dug yourself deep into a pit, the only way to get out is to stop digging. The same rules apply to avoid financial pitfalls. This month, make your focus to stop racking up more debt. Stop using your credit cards. Skip your weekly trips that usually have you buying too many non-essentials.

focus on not racking up more debt.

Sure, you could start with the obvious, like brown-bagging your work lunch and brewing your own coffee, but dig a little deeper into the daily tasks that ultimately cost you money. These could be fun tasks, like apps that require you to purchase coins or credits. Or, they could be a lifestyle change, like getting more sleep. For many, greater and better sleep means not having to conjure up a few bills at a local convenience store every day to kick that 2:30 feeling. Get into the habit of spending only on essentials so you can make real progress toward paying down that debt.

Don’t forget to make at least the minimum payments on every line of credit and loan you have open. Neglecting your debt will only pull you deeper into the pit.

Your Turn: Have you tried spending money only on essential things this month? What was the hardest expense to cut back on? Tell us about it in the comments.