When you list your loans, enter the interest rate and the monthly payment next to each one, and then separate them into those where the interest is non–tax-deductible (your home loan and any car or personal loans) and those where the interest is tax-deductible (investment loans).

As tax-deductible interest may be almost half the cost of non-deductible interest, you should make a plan to pour all your available resources into paying off your non-deductible debts.

If you have credit card or personal loans, attack these first – they carry the highest rates of interest. Use all your spare money to pay off the smallest loan quickly, and when that is out of the way use the repayments no longer needed for it to speed up repayments on the second smallest non-deductible. Do this, and you will be amazed how quickly you will start pulling yourself out of debt.

Next, set a goal to pay at least $11 a month per $1000 off your housing loan (that is, $1100 a month on a $100,000 loan). This will pay it off in less than 10 years, with minimal interest.

Above all, appreciate that you have no time to lose. A few years of procrastination could cost you dearly when the time comes to retire.