Personal debt levels rose to a record 164 per cent in 2012, according to Statistics Canada.

That means people are spending $1.64 for every dollar they’re earning.

That has experts warning people to pay down debt levels, before costs go up.

“We have to make sure that our consumer debt and spending habits are kept under control,” said Greg Anderson, a financial planner with RBC.

He said it’s only a matter of time before interest rates rise. Anderson said that means Canadians holding debts will have a harder time paying them off.

“They need to budget themselves to adjust for those higher costs,” said Anderson.

Shopper Jeffrey McIntosh said he always sets a budget and sticks to it.

“Only use on the credit card what you know you can pay off. I don’t like high interest debt so if it’s high interest, I try and get rid of it right away,” said McIntosh.

The Bank of Canada is expected to keep interesting rates down for now, giving Canadians some time to start reducing their debts before costs climb.