Living in Debt, Money

Reducing Debt in the New Year: The Debt Movement and the NO SPEND Challenge

Reducing debt is one of the good ol’ New Year’s resolution standbys. Everyone wants to lose weight, eat better, drink less, spend less, save more, yada, yada, yada. And in an age where student loan debt, credit card debt and car loan debt are well in the trillions, reducing debt is also on the top of American’s to-do lists once the new year hits.

It’s easy enough to decide what one’s resolution will be. However, as everyone knows, sticking to resolutions is a much more slippery slope. One of my goals for 2013 is to pay off a sizeable chunk of my student loans.

My student loan reduction strategy in 2012 was to contribute extra to my minimum payments each month. I plan to continue doing that in 2013, but since I want to up the ante and really get a chunk of them paid off this year, I was thinking I would try to adjust my strategy.

Since debt reduction is one of my big to-dos, I was pleased to find out about Ready for Zero and Good Financial Cent’s The Debt Movement and SaveUp’s NO SPEND Challenge. Here are the details:

Ready for Zero has partnered with Certified Financial Planner, Jeff Rose, who runs, to bring people together to pay off $10 million in debt over a 90 day period in the new year. The idea behind The Debt Movement is that people are more likely to achieve their goals when they have the support of others. The next thirty days are dedicated to education and spreading the word. The following 90 days will be full of tracking debt reduction and motivation. The best part is that during January, you can apply for debt scholarships to help you pay off your debt faster.

In a similar vein, SaveUp is promoting debt reduction and saving with their NO SPEND Challenge. SaveUp is a company that helps Americans save money and reduce debt by providing fun daily games to reward users for their progress and motivate them to keep saving. The NO SPEND Challenge is meant to help American’s kick off 2013 by going on post-holiday spending diet. After signing up for the challenge, users receive an entry towards $10,000 in cash prizes for every day in January that they don’t spend anything on their linked credit card(s).

Depending on what your goals and situation are, one or both of these might be good options for you. They both offer incentives, education, and motivation to help you reduce debt and save money this year. These promotions may be the key between debt level zero and the status quo. Good luck!

What are your plans for debt reduction in 2013? What strategies will you adopt?

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