I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. I'm not against setting goals, but I struggle sticking with them if I don't see results right away.
I lose patience with an exercise routine or diet if I don't see any results within a week. My clothes either need to fit better or the scale needs to be nicer. A week probably isn't long enough, but that's probably because after 7 days I'm probably sore from working out and really hungry.
The same is true with money. If I'm trying to save for a goal, or pay off something, I've got to see progress. I need to see things adding up - or balances coming down - to confirm I'm on the right path.
If I see no progress, I see no point in continuing. What I'm doing obviously isn't working.
So, if you wanted to put a dent in your credit card debt or student loans in 2011, but didn't make the progress you wanted, here's an incentive to give it another shot in 2012.
Starting on Jan. 2, AARP is hosting the Pay Down Your Debt Challenge. Over the next 30 days, you will find:
- The best way to set a realistic debt repayment schedule
- Strategies to negotiate with your credit card companies
- Ideas to earn/find extra money to pay down debt
- Support from an online community of over 300 people who share your goal
And most importantly, you'll be getting tips from Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, who paid off over $100K - yes, ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS - of personal debt.
Stick with us - and the Pay Down Your Debt Challenge- for a month. Set a goal of how much you want to put towards your bills on the red debt tracker starting Jan. 2. If you opt in to the contest rules, and participate in our weekly challenges in the online community group, you might be eligible to win a cash prize to help pay down your debt.