Chipping away at credit card and other high-interest debts during an economic downturn is your best investment. So how do you do it? You have to find wiggle room in your budget by looking at where your money is going and brainstorming ways to cut back. For the next two weeks, track every single penny that leaves your wallet, every swipe of your debit card. You'll be surprised at how much of your spending is discretionary—a sandwich here, a rented movie there. Once you see how the little things add up, you'll have an easier time throwing that cash toward your debts, where it can really have an impact on your balance sheet.
And if you think you've cut back on everything you can, remember that other, bigger items can be adjusted as well. Maybe this year, you pick a family vacation spot that's within driving distance rather than having to shell out for pricey plane tickets.