BBC Capital

90-Second Financial Fix

How to avoid your own personal debt ceiling crisis

About the author

Kelsey Hubbard is a freelance broadcast journalist based in Connecticut. She is a former host of ABC News’ Money Matters and was a longtime host and reporter for The Wall Street Journal’s daily video business news shows.

The US recently narrowly missed defaulting on its debt, but the nation is not alone in its debt problems. Greece, Spain, Portugal and other countries have also struggled to avoid fiscal crisis. These global woes provide a cautionary tale for all of us. Can we learn some lessons from these countries about avoiding our own personal debt ceiling crisis?

Absolutely, says Mark Martiak, a senior wealth strategist for Premier Wealth Advisors LLC/First Allied Securities in New York. For starters, pay close attention to your personal balance sheet, he advises. Also, don’t let credit card debt overtake your savings.

Click play for other tips on avoiding a personal debt crisis — in 90 seconds.