Pay Off Your Debt for Good This Time

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This is the Year

There is an enemy amongst us, my friends. Its name? Revolving Debt. You might know it by other names: Plastic fantastic, Charge! or “passport to debt slavery.” Whatever you call it, credit card debt has the power to take over your personal finances, holding you hostage and making it feel like it’s impossible to get ahead and truly achieve financial freedom.

But no longer: This is your year to make a plan to get rid of your debt for good. You will start chipping away at that balance, making sure it shrinks instead of stagnates, or worse, grows. Here’s how to start — and keep going until it’s gone.

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Double Your Savings this Year — Really

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dailyworth2Forget about losing that last 10 pounds. Want to really make a difference in your life? Start saving 10 percent of your income.

As New Year’s Resolutions go, this one isn’t all that different than the ever-popular “I will fit into my skinny jeans!”: It involves sticking to a budget (money in this case, not calories), resisting urges (the call of the shoe department, not the whiff of a fresh Danish) and making lifestyle changes that ensure you’ll not only save that money, but not touch it once you do.

The average personal savings rate in the United States is about 5 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Armed with the right strategies, however, you can find a way to save 10 percent. Here are eight strategies to help you.

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How to Unleash Your Inner Creative Genius

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Find Your Inner Muse (She’s in There!)

Years ago, while working in a busy, loud and cramped newsroom, I learned music was the key to my productivity. Part of it was that I needed a way to limit stimuli, and a set of earbuds did the trick. I’m naturally nosy, after all. If there’s gossip going on I want to hear it; funny banter, I want to be a part of it. But when you’re trying to weave together a seamless narrative or write a perfectly enticing lead sentence, you need to be one with your inner muse — not with the coffee talk around you.

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