Don’t forget recession's lessons

Hand erasing the word debt on blackboard

In March, revolving credit balances increased for just the second time in almost three years.

Federal Reserve data released earlier this month showed credit card debt rose by about $2 billion in March. The only other monthly increase since late 2008 came last December, during the holiday shopping season.

This suggests Americans are feeling more confident in the economy -- and more inclined to swipe.

While a stronger economy and improved consumer confidence is a good thing, I worry some of us will quickly forget lessons learned from the recession as we return to discretionary spending.

Many households suffered serious financial hardships as a result of job loss and overwhelming debt. As the job outlook improves, it is important remember how quickly things can change.

Here are 3 things you can do to stay out of debt: