The economic downturn of 2008 hit all of us pretty hard, and we’ve been feeling the pinch for the past two years. The whole we might have dug ourselves into — called debt — can be dug out of, according to June Walbert, a Certified Financial Planner with USAA. If bills are looming and debt is piling, here are a few suggestions for getting your financial situation back on track for the New Year. Stop Excessive Spending: Sure, you’ve cut back on going to Starbucks regularly, but you haven’t taken the step to cut out cable or cancel your Netflix subscription. Many of us don’t realize how much we spend every month on non-essentials. If you’re really in a pinch, you’ll have to search out the areas in your spending that are excessive — you’re spending money on things you really don’t need or use often enough to justify keeping them in your budget. When you find the three to five areas, as USAA recommends, where you can cut funds, begin to use that money to pay down debt. Downsize if Necessary: It’s a scary thought, but that car or home that once was your dream is now something you can’t afford. Consider trading your car for a smaller or older model… To read the remainder of this article, click here For more information about how to manage your money and get out of debt, check out ESSENCE’s Women’s Conference, click here to register to attend.