PITTSBURGH - A popular resolution in the new year involves reducing credit card debt and a new study from researchers at the University of Pittsburgh might help more people do that. Channel 11 sat down with University of Pittsburgh associate marketing professor Cait Lamberton, who acknowledges that working on reducing credit card debt can be difficult.
"Paying back credit card debt is not in any way rewarding," Lamberton said. "It's really depressing. Because the minute you write the check you don't get anything for it. You are just sending money after a bill."
The new Pitt study found that paying off specific purchases each month could lead to less debt.
"Instead of saying, 'I'm just sending in $50,' (say) 'I'm paying for the shoes I bought last month," Lamberton said "Then you reconnect the object they bought with the payment they are making."
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She suggested setting goals like paying for all your Starbucks purchases on the bill, rather than getting caught in the cycle of paying the monthly minimum. Lamberton compared it to going on a diet.
"If you start counting calories, you are more likely to maybe decide you are going to have the salad instead of the hamburger," she started. "With money, it’s the same thing. Once you start paying attention to what you spend, you tend to change a little bit."
Lamberton said watching your bill this way could also lead to the realization that some things you bought, weren't really worth it.
"Honestly, if you find that your entire bill is unsatisfying, then you probably should adjust your spending," Lamberton said. "You're incurring debt for things that don't mean anything to you three weeks later."
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