The Real Cost of Keeping New Year's Resolutions

By Yvette Romero and MaryAnn Busso - 2011-12-22T19:20:53Z

Photograph by Creatas/Getty Images

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I Will Get Out of Debt

About two million people in the U.S. are on debt-repayment plans, and demand for credit counseling has risen by 28 percent over the past 18 months, says David Jones, president of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. Average repayment: About $35,000 over three to five years.

$25: Enroll with the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (average fee quoted)
$276: Annual fee for debt-management plan; Fee is included in the monthly debt payments over an average of three years. Note that while the monthly average fee is $23 per month, payment depends on what you can afford; some people pay nothing -- aiccca.org
$20: Kuhn Rikon 8" Kitchen Shears to cut up your credit cards -- Bed Bath and Beyond

Tally: $321

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