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.
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.
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.
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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