The First Do’s for Eliminating Debt

Every year we promise ourselves to be financially savvier and smarter than the previous. We’ve all had the hard talk with ourselves “I’m going to be good, I’m going to stop using my credit card or debit card so much”, ¬†or in my case, “I’ll stop with all the online shopping and retail therapy”. Well enough is enough folks!

Let’s stop making excuses and make a REAL dent on debt this year. Heck, why not eliminate all or most of it? After all, we are the only ones stopping ourselves right?

Don’t worry, be smart
First, mentality prepare yourself. Clear your mind and set a date and time to gather all your bills and take charge. No need to start analyzing outstanding balances right away. Again, the point here is to assign a day and time to start taking control.

Do you really need it?
Second, be honest with yourself – this is the hardest part for most people. Do you really need that Netflix account, magazine subscription or every cable channel available? $60 a month in subscriptions adds up to $720 in one year alone – yikes! Go through your bank account(s) and list every month-to-month subscription you currently have. Which ones can you do without? I recently cancelled my Netflix account because honestly, I was hardly using it. The simple act will save me close to $100 a year.

Decide what you can do without and cancel, or curb the habit. This includes less downloads on iTunes, fewer visits to fast food restaurants or the nail salon. Small sacrifices pay off in the end.

Make the holidays merry, now
Last but not least, don’t forget about the ILWUCU Christmas Club. We have 354 days until Christmas 2012, so why not start planning now? Look at what you spent last year and divide that amount by the number of months left until next December. In a matter of minutes, you know how much to deposit into your Christmas Club every month.

Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, stay tuned for the second post of this blog series. We will provide specific step-by-step instructions on how to eliminate your credit card debt.

Will you be ready?

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About the Author

Alejandra Gutierrez Alex is the new Social Media Specialist for the ILWU Credit Union. She's a 'nerd' at heart who enjoys community building. Her obsessions: baked goods and old mariachi ballads.