2010 Let the New Year Resolutions Begin

Tips from Consolidated Credit on How to Stick to “Get Out Of Debt” Plan This Year

Many people make a money resolution to get out of debt once they see the damage of their holiday shopping on their credit card bills. They create a plan to get out of debt, and for a while it goes pretty well. But then something happens: a personal emergency, unexpected expense or the next holiday rolls around. The credit card gets pulled out and the charging begins.

This concerns the experts at Consolidated Credit, who believe Americans are getting to a point of being overloaded with credit card debt. The average American household with at least one credit card has nearly $10,700 in credit card debt, and the average interest rate runs in the mid- to high teens at any given time. Each time credit cards are used, it becomes harder and harder to keep resolutions to pay off debt and live free of credit card charges.

Best 2010 Money Resolutions:

  • Put away all credit cards. Try to pay with cash or checks until balances are paid.
  • Investigate any opportunities to transfer existing balances to a card with a lower interest rate. Be aware of the time limitations associated with promotional cards offering an “introductory” low interest rate.
  • Reduce spending. Set a realistic budget. Tighten your belt and say no to some of those extras for a brief time period.
  • Set goals. Once achieved, reward yourself.
  • When debt is eliminated, revise the budget and stick to it.
  • In 2010, remember to spread holiday shopping and spending throughout the year to take advantage of sales and to avoid debt next holiday.

At Consolidated Credit, counselors urge people to get help as soon as they need it. If a person has more debt than they can manage, they need to get help before their debt breaks their back. There are reputable debt-counseling agencies that may be able to consolidate debt and assist in managing finances. Consolidated Credit conducts free budgeting analyses and dispenses free advice on a daily basis. If someone needs help they can speak with a counselor with no obligation or visit ConsolidatedCredit.org.