9 ways to build wealth in 2011
Get rid of high-interest card debt
David Jones, president of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies:
"For most people, building wealth is not about what to do with excess disposable income," he says, but "how to keep more of the money that they earn."
"The best way to do that: Reduce the amount of money spent on interest payments -- especially high-interest payments attached to credit card purchases," Jones says. "If a consumer can work to pay off just one high-interest credit card and not overcharge it again, then the money saved after it is paid off can go to a building-wealth plan. This may not be easy, and it may take time, but it's a realistic goal for just about every consumer."
Tip for success: Find a certified credit counselor to help you draft your own personal spending plan for free. To find one, visit either the AICCCA or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
"If the consumer sticks to that plan, it will be their best chance to begin a systematic process for building wealth," Jones says. "It may be modest at first, but with diligence, everyone can have a chance to improve their financial circumstances."