Credit Counseling Agencies Help Consumers Fulfill New Year's Resolutions

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Providers of CareOne Credit Counseling Services (http://www.CareOneCredit.com) offer free tips and resources to help Americans succeed in reaching their financial goals and New Year's resolutions.

The end of the year is a natural time for most people to think about their financial situation

According to the U.S. Government's official Web portal (USA.gov), two of the most popular New Year's resolutions shared by Americans are goals to manage debt and save money. On top of that normal end-of-year financial planning, the current economic atmosphere has the financial woes of the average consumer front and center in many people's minds. Providers of CareOne Credit Counseling Services have released free tips and resources to help Americans reach their goals in 2009.

"The end of the year is a natural time for most people to think about their financial situation," says CareOne Credit Counseling Services Spokesperson Clarky Davis. "They're often already starting to think about taxes - gathering financial records like bank statements so they'll be ready to file. Those same types of records can help consumers determine their financial health during the current year, so they can make goals for the New Year such as setting up a budget or better managing debt."

Agencies providing CareOne Credit Counseling Services offer the following free tips and resources to those working towards financial New Year's resolutions:

1. Evaluate Current Finances - Before setting monetary goals, it's vital that consumers take a thorough look at the previous year's finances. What were their biggest expenses? How much went into retirement accounts, educational funds, or other savings (and was it enough)? What expenses could potentially be trimmed or cut out altogether? How much debt has been incurred, and at what interest rates? Once they know what they have to work with, it's possible to set realistic goals.

2. Plan for Known Changes - A lot can change from one year to the next that can affect a family's budget. Before actually setting a budget, it's a good idea to consider those changes and what they'll mean financially. For example, is a baby on the way? Is a child going to be leaving for college? Is a wedding planned? Is a job loss likely? All of these things will play a part in deciding where funds go during the New Year.

3. Cut Expenses - Whether a few expenses should be cut, or a lot, visit the Tip Jar from CareOneCredit.com for ideas on saving money on groceries, entertainment, utility bills, and more.

4. Increase Available Income - The Tip Jar also gives advice on earning extra money to help fill in any "holes" in the family budget. For example, consumers can learn how to earn extra money by taking part in focus groups, selling through online auctions, starting their own website, and much more.

5. Break Down the Budget - Those budgeting for the first time may find the process overwhelming in the beginning. To make it more manageable, sign up for a free MyCareOne account, which features debt management advice and even the ability to budget for specific things individually (like trips) using the MySavings gadget.

6. Pay Down Debt - Reducing credit card debt and other debts is a vital part of improving anyone's
financial fitness. Those debts generally accrue interest over time, making overall payments larger, and making it take longer to pay debts off completely. Ideally, as debts are paid off, those previous payments and interest would go into savings to start earning interest of their own. Davis is the company's own Debt Diva, offering a blog and tips at CareOneCredit.com to help people, whether they're taking their first steps towards reducing debts or nearing a debt-free life.

Providers of CareOne Credit Counseling Services also offer an online community through their Straight Talk Message Boards, where consumers from all backgrounds can share their own tips and stories about getting out of debt or living on a budget - ideal for those currently looking for inspiration before setting off on their own journey towards debt-free living.

About CareOne Credit Counseling Services

CareOne Credit Counseling Services is a service mark of 3C Incorporated. CareOne agencies are industry leaders committed to providing consumers with education and debt management services related to improving and maintaining their financial health. CareOne agencies have helped over 4.5 million people pay down debts through their solid relationships with over 220,000 creditors.

For more information about CareOne Credit Counseling Services, please visit http://www.CareOneCredit.com, or contact Clarky Davis at (410) 925-9769.

Contact:
Clarky Davis
CareOne Credit Counseling Services
8930 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD 21045
Phone: (410) 925-9769
Web: http://www.CareOneCredit.com

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