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San Diegans vow to tackle debt in 2019

Posted at 6:16 PM, Jan 15, 2019

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - When it comes time to make New Year's resolutions, shedding pounds is a popular choice.

But a recent study found more Americans are starting to prioritize tackling debt over weight.

The Compare Cards by Lending Tree online study found 41 percent of respondents prioritize tackling debt, while 34 percent said losing weight, and 25 percent said neither is a priority.

Karina Velazquez, a native San Diegan, made tackling debt her resolution in 2018, however she struggled to make a dent during the first few months.

“I had graduated from U.C. Berkeley with about $15,000 in student debt, when I moved back home decided I needed a car because I had just graduated, that was about a $25,000 loan, and I had racked up about $9,500 in credit card debt," said Velazquez.

Last summer she finally got serious about her goal, setting a budget and cutting spending. She reads books about finance, money, and debt every day during her lunch break.

Velazquez shares her progress on her Instagram, @debtfreejourneysandiego, as a way to keep herself accountable.

Since her journey began, Velazquez has paid off over half her debt.

“When progress is slow, because paying off debt takes a long time, I like to reflect, to look back on how much progress I made and that kind of re-energizes me and re-motivates me to keep going," said Velazquez.

For those just beginning their journey, Velazquez says to remember budgets are living documents and to not be so hard on yourself if you make a mistake along the way.