2011 New Year’s Resolution: Get Out Of Credit Card Debt

Getting out of debt, typically credit card debt or unsecured debt, is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year.  With 2011 literally around the corner, we want to help you get closer to that goal by reinforcing positive financial decisions.  Here are some tips and ideas for getting out of debt in 2011.

Talk with a professional credit counselor. If you have tried in the past to pay off all your debt and have been unsuccessful, speak with an expert.  If you feel overwhelmed with your credit card balances and want to find a solution but are not sure how to accomplish that goal, speak with a certified credit counselor.  Consolidated Credit is a national credit counseling agency that has been helping people get out of credit for more than 17 years.  They have professional debt counselors that will go over a budget analysis with you to see what your current financial situation is and what method would be best for you.  Talking with a professional would be the best first step in becoming debt free.

Change bad spending habits. Excessive shopping is a bad spending habit that has gotten a lot of people in financial problems. Many compulsive shoppers who go into debt do so because shopping helps them deal with their emotions – but I promise you, in the long run, that temporary excitement will make you feel even worse and more stressed because it comes with a price tag. Instead of going to the mall or shopping online during your free time, pick up a new hobby.  Running or any form of exercising produces endorphins, which is a natural mood-altering chemical that your body releases that makes you feel happy. After your workout, you’ll feel amazing without adding a extra few hundred dollars to your credit card bill.  Exercising will also help you get to that other popular New Year’s resolution of dropping a few pounds.

Track your debt reduction. If you decide to enroll in a debt management program like the one Consolidated Credit offers, you will easily be able to see the finish line for paying off your debt. But, if you opt to go another route, like paying down the debt on your own, you will need to keep track of your personal payment plan.   By creating a budget or countdown of your personal payment plan, you can keep track of your finances on your own. I would post it on my bedroom wall, somewhere in my home where I always walk past, as a positive reminder to your long term goal.  This helps reinforce that even though you may be sacrificing other things to pay down your debt, it will be worth it in the end.  If you do this periodically throughout the year, you will feel much better about the whole process.

Budget, budget, budget! If you create a budget, write it down on a piece of paper and keep it in your wallet or car. If you are ever unsure or forget about what funds you have allocated for what expenses, pull out your quick little budget. This will allow you to reach your goal of paying your debt off MUCH sooner.

If you want to change something about your life, you can’t just hope or wish for the change to occur.  You have to be proactive and make small changes to your life.  If you follow these rules, by the end of 2011, I bet you will have come close to paying off if not all, most of that depressing debt! 😉

About the Author

Samantha Savory is a 20-something-year-old recent communications graduate whose mission is to financially succeed and thrive in this economy. She writes about personal finance and anything related to shopping and saving money.