#freshstart2017: Tally Up Your Debts

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Tallying up all the money you make was fun, right? This might not be. Remember all of those bills your sorted into your workspace? Now that they're in one neat little place, it will be easy to list all the debts you owe. Pull out the most recent bills or dig into the separate folder in your email. List them all one-by-one.

If you carry a back balance on a utility, list it. A balance on your credit card? List it. Student loans? List it. Borrowed a cup of sugar from your neighbor? List it. You get the picture.

Once it's all out in the open and ready to be dealt with, you've taken the first step in dealing with it.

The average household (not person!) owes about $90,000 in debt -- that includes mortgages, student loans, credit cards, the whole shebang. That's an average, so for every household with zero obligations, there is a household who owes $180,000. Yikes! In an effort to get yourself closer to the zero obligation household, take a look at what you owe and see what you can do.

If you have a few small credit card bills that can be paid off immediately with what's in your bank account, do it. Any elimination of debt gives you an immediate return on your investment in the amount of interest you no longer have to pay.

If you have a lot of debt, like more than you make per year a lot...that's a different story. For now, you've done a great job in taking the first step. Relax.