Having a credit card is convenient and can even help your financial standing when used correctly. Responsible use of a credit card improves your credit score and increases your chances of securing favorable loans. Unfortunately, it is also easy to fall into credit card debt.

If you struggle with credit card debt, you are not alone. According to an annual study by Nerdwallet, the average American household has nearly $7,000 in credit card debt. How does this happen? Here are some habits and circumstances that cause debt to pile up.

Failure to budget

Overspending is a major danger when using a credit card. Your credit card does not penalize you or stop transactions when your balance reaches zero. This makes it easy for you to go into debt, unless you adhere to a budget. Thankfully, creating a budget is easy. Simply determine your income and expenses, then create spending goals.

Sudden expenses

Anticipating expenses that occur on a regular basis is easy. You can plan and account for rent, mortgage payments, transportation and groceries. However, not every expense is one you expect. Unexpected costs that may cause you to fall into credit card debt include car repairs, home repairs or medical bills. If you do not have savings, major life events can drive you into the hole.

Buying things impulsively

Impulsive purchases may give you an immediate feeling of satisfaction, but they could also leave you with regret and debt. Buying items on impulse not only increases your balance, but doing so also causes you to you end up with “stuff” you do not really need or want.

Consumer culture

Our world makes us believe you need to have the latest and greatest gadgets, fashion, cars and the like. If you feel the pressure to keep up your appearance by splurging on luxury purchases, you may find yourself with too much debt to handle.