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I recently ran across an article on Yahoo! that talked about the seven deadly sins that lead to debt. In short, they put together a list of ways that engaging in envy, pride, sloth, greed, wrath, gluttony, and lust will result in your financial comeuppance.
What follows is a brief rundown…
The rich and famous luxury items are accessible now more than ever — and without the wealth they once implied… Consumers can get caught up trying to keep up with the Joneses or the upper-middle-class families they see on TV, believing they should own the same things others own.
2. Forget that pride goes before a fall
Pride can get in the way of preparing for worst-case scenarios. People tend to feel overly optimistic about their ability to pay back debt, stay out of harm’s way and maintain perfect vehicular performance indefinitely… Incredible though it may be, cars do sometimes need repairs, cavities need to be filled and surgeries may be required that insurance doesn’t completely cover.
3. Be slothful with finances
Finances tend to be complicated and require some mental manipulation of the most dreaded of all things: numbers. Failure to pay attention to loan terms and due dates can have severe consequences… Avoidance is easy; paying attention is hard, especially when confronted with unpleasant facts like a hefty credit card bill or struggling to learn something new like investing basics just to enroll in a company-sponsored retirement plan.
4. Get greedy when borrowing
Why buy an economy car when you can get a loan for twice as much and ride around in style? Over-buying (read: greed) is a trap into which consumers can easily stumble… Often when making big purchases, the price seems so overwhelmingly high that smaller add-ons or upgrades start looking like great deals in comparison.
5. Feel wrathful at everyone but yourself
Blame others for your own financial missteps… To the peril of individuals, lenders won’t cut you off when you’ve had enough. Criminal nondisclosure of loan details aside, lenders aren’t in the business of making sure you save money and don’t overspend… To avoid messy situations, develop a budget with both savings and debt pay-down strategies — and stick to it.
6. Be gluttonous
You deserve that cookie so go ahead and eat it and maybe a couple more for good measure. While you’re at it, buy the bedroom set you can’t afford but deeply desire… Just like eating food for no good reason other than the fact that it is set in front of you, people buy stuff just to buy it… Big-box stores are vast dens of temptation, offering lots of everything at sale prices.
7. Let lust lead you into spending
It’s estimated that Americans spend between $10 billion and $13 billion on adult entertainment… That’s a lot of money that might be put to better use in retirement accounts across the country.
Not a bad list, save for the last one. Honestly, I’d have to say that lusting after the newest doohickey or gewgaw is a far bigger money suck than “adult entertainment.” Hmmm… Maybe we should ask Eliot Spitzer about that…
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