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Please don’t let the title take you aback. While I don’t need to be informing folks about how they can get deeper in debt, it’s good to take note of certain warning signs. They may sound obvious and stupid, but many of the following are things I first did which got me buried under a mountain of debt. Hopefully, the post will help others going down a similar path avoid the same mistakes I made.
- Take out cash advances to pay for rent. One of the stupidest things I did while I was building my mountain was to take out cash advances. A cash is advance is basically a quick loan with high interest – usually off a credit card. It’s dumb. And, it’s a sure sign that you are in serious financial trouble.
- Stay unemployed. There are thousands of people currently unemployed and seriously looking for work. Many will take any job that can. Still, others – even at their most desperate moment – will not accept a job which is “below” them or in their line of work. Even though it was a jolt to my pride, I ended up taking a job below my education and pay level because I needed to pay bills.
- Don’t seek financial advice. If you seem to be making the same financial mistakes and never seem to be getting ahead, you may need to seek counsel. After months of assuming debt, I finally had enough and sought out advice and help. Getting help is usually a sign you have “woken” up.
- Don’t pay your bills. Another sign you have serious problems is when you just stop paying on your mortgage and other bills. Keep it up and you’ll be on a path to bankruptcy.
- Buy more than you need and spend more than you make. A number one symptom of those in debt. Best to create a budget and stick to it.
- Don’t save. When things break down and life happens, an emergency fund can be there to bail you out. Without it, you’ll risk having enough money to pay the bills.
Here’s to avoiding these pitfalls and to gaining financial independence.