Living Within Your Means

Service member handing cash to a cashier for a purchase.

Looking at your credit card balance shouldn't give you "meet the parents" level anxiety. Perhaps the mere mention of debt makes your palms sweat. You may be living beyond your means if:

  • You carry a credit card balance that is stagnant or growing.
  • You tell yourself each month: "I'll pay off the balance with my next paycheck."
  • You count overdraft fees as part of your monthly expenses.
  • You pay off one credit card with another credit card.
  • You hear from debt collectors more than you hear from friends.
  • You save less than 10 percent of your paycheck.
  • You couldn't survive for three months if you lost your income tomorrow.

It may be time to make some changes. Face your finances head-on and you'll be patting yourself on the back the next time you check your balance.

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