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Not negotiating your salary
Are you the kind of person who takes the first offer at every new job? In this case you could be leaving $1 million in lost earnings over the course of your lifetime. Don't accept a deal unless you first go to GetRaised.com to compare the salaries in your field and ZIP Code. Then don't accept a job until you first ask for an increase over whatever you were first offered.
Short on savings
Do you have the cash to cover an emergency medical expense or fix a leaky roof? More than 50% of Americans say it would be tough for them to come up with $2000 quickly. If you don't have a savings cushion, you're a great candidate for a financial catastrophe.
This one may surprise you but it's important how your parents talked about money when you were young. Did they argue constantly? This can be another bad sign. There’s a new study that found that kids with parents who argued over money constantly are three times more likely to rack up huge amounts of debt when they become adults. If this sounds familiar, don't let your future be dictated by your past. Take control of your finances by getting help from a consumer credit counselor or a support group in your area.
Nothing in a retirement account
How much is in your retirement account? Are you participating in your company's retirement plan or do you have your own individual IRA? If you answered no to these questions, this could spell financial troubles in your later years. If you need to get your savings on track, go to sites such as ChooseSaver.org or use AARP.com for helpful retirement calculators.
Not sharing your savings goals with family and friends
If you're trying to save money, do you share your goals with your friends and family, confide in just a couple of people or keep it to yourself? If you keep your savings goals to yourself, you may not achieve them. There was a study recently that found people who announce their savings goals and progress to friends and family save 3.5 times more often and the average balance of their savings was almost twice that of people who kept their savings goals for themselves. This is a case where it doesn’t pay to be shy.
If you've let your debts get out of control it's almost a certainty that you'll be broke or close to it in 10 years. The reason for this is because if you're wallowing in debt, it's almost impossible to build up an emergency savings fund or fatten up your retirement account. In fact, if you're struggling with debt one of the smartest things you could do is either eliminate it or reduce it as much as possible and before you save or invest. The reason for this is because you're probably paying more than 12% on your debt and about the most you can realize on savings or investments is 5% to 8%. In other words, if you were to put your money into an investment rather than to pay off debt, this could be costing you money.
How to get rid of debt
Don't let debt control your life. There are a number of different ways to get it under control or even pay it off – though it's almost impossible to do it quickly. You could get credit counseling, take out a debt consolidation loan or opt for debt settlement. However, none could get you out of debt in much less than four years and a loan could take as long as seven or 10 years to pay back. But the sooner you start working on that debt, the sooner you will get it paid off and the better the odds will be that you won’t be broke in 10 years.