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You’re determined that this will be the year you finally pay down (or pay off) that debt. Get ready, because every month, our Do It Today plan will have you taking another step on your journey toward living a debt-free life.

And the best part? It’s attainable and it’s simple. When broken down into steps with plenty of time between each step, not only will you have the know-how, but you won’t feel rushed into making drastic, hasty decisions which could leave you feeling overwhelmed.

…take stock of all your debts. Don’t let the numbers scare you

First, sit down and take stock of all your debts. Don’t let the numbers scare you; you need to do this to move forward. Get out every single credit card bill, personal loan, student loan and any other debt you’re carrying (except your car and mortgage payments). Tally up the numbers to give yourself an idea of what you’re dealing with.

Next, organize your debt into different categories, such as credit card debt, student debt, personal loans, etc. Use a spreadsheet to list your debt, the remaining term of each loan (if applicable), the minimum payment and the interest rate. Typically, you can find payoff information by logging into your account on your credit union, bank or lender’s website.

Finally, designate one hour each week for working on your finances and take note of any surprising or interesting spending patterns.

Your Turn: Did you take stock of all your debt? Did the numbers surprise you?