credit card debt

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More than 1,000 people struggling with credit-card debt turned to a debt-settlement company for help. Instead of using the consumers' $2.2 million in fees to pay their creditors, the company's owner and employees purchased luxury car leases and other goods, according to a federal indictment unsealed in New York Tuesday.
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Whipping out that credit card to pay for purchases may be just a little too effortless. And if we keep up our spending habits, the country's on track to wrack up $50 billion in new credit card debt by the end of this year.
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It seems a lot of Americans are okay with spending beyond their means from time to time. A new survey conducted by COUNTRY Financial found 52 percent of respondents periodically spend more than they earn in a given month. Yet only 9 percent believe their lifestyle is more than they can afford.
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Growing up 40 years ago, one of my favorite pastimes was playing The Game of Life, the classic Milton Bradley board game that takes players through their simulated lives - from college to retirement - with make believe jobs, families, and other life-changers all along the way.  It was always a lot fun to play, and it gave me a chance to fantasize a little about what my own real-life future might be like.
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