3 On Your Side

Best strategies for paying off debt

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Kelsa Dickey is a financial coach here in the Phoenix area and says now is the time to get yourself out of that holiday debt.

“If we can't prevent people going into debt, this time of year let's at least talk about some of the best strategies for getting out of debt.”

There are different strategies for paying off debt. One Dickey suggests is something called the “The Snowball Approach.” This is where you pay off a debt with the lowest balance first.

“The idea there is by paying off the one with the smallest balance you experience a quick win that’s motivating. You got some validation, some confirmation that you're doing something right so it keeps you accountable and then you tackle the next one from there.” 

Another strategy is the “The Avalanche Approach” where you pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first.

“The idea behind this approach is that the one with the highest interest rate is costing you the most money and so you want to get that one out of your life as quickly as possible." 

A third tip to getting debt free, is the “Emotional Baggage Approach.” For example, paying off a debt left over from a divorce.

“So the idea is, if you look at your debts and there's one of them that every time you make the payment you sort of relive a past decision that you made that you really regret or a time in your life that brings you some heartache, then you probably want that one out of your life.”

And finally, avoid the “Divide and Conquer Approach.” This is where you spread around an equal amount of money and apply it evenly to different debts. Using this approach, Dickey says, psychologically you'll feel like you're getting nowhere and may give up. 

“What you don't want to do is what I call divide and conquer, and when it comes to your money, when you divide your money you end up not conquering anything.”

Dickey says the goal is to get debt-free this year, but to make that happen, you have to get started and it will be well worth it!

"Actually, getting out of debt and conquering it, will likely end up being the thing in your life that you feel most proud of."

Dickey says the best way to keep yourself out of holiday debt is to start planning and budgeting now.

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LiAna EnriquezLiAna Enriquez is a native of Arizona. She attended Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona.

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LiAna Enriquez

She then went on to Arizona State University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University’s prestigious, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

LiAna started her news career with KTVK-TV as an intern. She loved it so much she never left! She has been with the station for fourteen years. Currently, she is the consumer investigative producer for Arizona’s top rated consumer segment, 3 On Your Side and is also a general assignment reporter. LiAna also reported for the station’s top rated high school sports show, ‘The Varsity Zone’ for five years.

In her free time LiAna enjoys cooking, watching movies, quading, and traveling. But her absolute favorite thing to do, is to hang out with her husband and beautiful daughters. She is a softball mom. She loves the beach and waterfalls! Her favorite team is the Arizona Cardinals and of course, the Sun Devils.

Life motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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