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Could you survive for six months if you lost your current job and salary? If not, you aren’t living inside of your own means. You need to set up an emergency fund with enough cash do you get you from job to job.
• If you’re saving less than 10% of your pay, you need to take a look at our spending. In fact once you’re over 35 you should be tucking away even more than that for retirement.
• How much should we be paying for our home? If your mortgage costs more than one week of your pay, then you are paying too much. You’re probably living above your means if more than 35% of your income is going towards housing.
• Are you holding your own credit - meaning your amount has stayed at about the same for the past year? Credit card debt is of no use to you - minimize it, and don’t stay still.
• You buy big-ticket items through interest-free, deferred-payment offers because you think you’ll be able to afford it next year.
• You use one credit card to pay another credit card’s balance. You’re always looking for new cards to transfer the balance to “but never seem to get ahead.”
• You pay an overdraft fee on your checking account every three to four months or more. A survey found that 18% of consumers incurred an overdraft penalty fee in the previous year.
• Before buying something, you often think, “I know I shouldn’t, but…” That's really rationalizing what you know is not a good idea for you… like a spa day or expensive dinners out.