Tighten the belt in 2011: Jan. 24

Here is a common myth related to money that, once dispelled, might save you some:

Myth: If I pay at least something toward my credit card debt, I'm not late.

Reality: Wrong. Unless you pay at least the minimum payment on time, you're late and risk being reported to the credit bureaus, said Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Black marks on your credit record can damage your ability to borrow money, get low insurance rates and even get a job.

People "feel that they are showing a good-faith attempt to pay by sending in whatever amount they can afford," Cunningham said. "I don't think they realize the ramifications of doing so — at least not at first."