Financial trouble can be difficult to get out of.

That’s why you’re better off avoiding it altogether.

Take a look at these three tips that can help you stay far, far away from it…

1. Have a Safety Net

Sometimes, a small emergency can up-end your financial routine. The cost of an urgent trip to the dentist, vet or mechanic can throw your entire budget out of whack. That’s why you need an emergency fund.

An emergency fund is a safety net that you can rely on whenever your monthly budget can’t realistically cover small, urgent expenses. Using these savings will make sure that you can handle the problem quickly without making a risky financial decision. If you want to stay out of trouble, you should look up ways to build an emergency fund so that you can have a solid safety net to count on in the near future.

Emergency funds take time to grow. While you’re making your fund, you should have a back-up plan available. A personal line of credit is a useful back-up plan. If you’re dealing with a small emergency, you can draw funds from the account and manage repayments later on. Go to the website to see how does a personal line of credit work and how you can apply for one online. You can get all of your answers there.

2. Stay Below the Limit

While your credit cards and lines of credit give you lots of room to work with, your credit limits are boundaries that you should stay far away from. Why? There are a few reasons why getting too close to your credit limit is a problem.

The first is that taking up all of your available credit eliminates a safety net. What if an unexpected expense crops up? Normally, you could turn to your account when you don’t have the savings to deal with the emergency. But without any credit available, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

The second problem is that you’ve given yourself a high debt load to take down. If you’re not careful, the repayments could be unmanageable, especially when interest rates or additional fees are taken into account. It’s easier to conquer a molehill than a mountain. Keep your balance on the lower end so that you can handle the repayments.

3. Track Your Spending

Spending your money blindly is an easy way to fall into financial trouble. If you’re not keeping a close eye on your funds, you’re likely to spend well beyond your means and struggle with high debt loads, missed bill payments and overdraft fees. Tracking your spending can help you avoid all of this.

How can you track your spending? There are a few things that you can do:

  • Use a monthly budget to get a clear vision of your income and essential expenses. Knowing your limits will stop you from going overboard.
  • Use online banking apps to check your balance. This is essential if you’re using autopay for your monthly bills. One of the problems with using autopay is that users often “set it and forget it” — this leaves them vulnerable to accidental overdrafts and other mishaps.
  • Make a habit of checking. It’s true that a lot of people experience financial anxiety whenever they think of looking at their bank accounts or tracking their spending too closely. But the best way to move past this anxiety is to practice checking. It will get easier the more that you do it.

These three tips will be your best bet for protecting yourself from major financial problems. A little bit of effort can save you from a lot of trouble.