What’s really causing your recurring debt?


Credit Card, Debt, Life Insurance, Retirement, Saving


September 22, 2013

CNBC – Published: Friday, 20 Sep 2013
By: Sakina Spruell | Producer


Do you keep finding yourself with debt that just won't go away? Every time you pay off your credit card, do you feel compelled to run out and charge it back up again? If so, your problem may not be financial at all.


“Over the 30 years I have been working with people and their money, I have come to believe you can't fix financial problems with money,” Suze Orman said.


On an upcoming episode of “The Suze Orman Show,” viewers will hear Randee of Raleigh, N.C., tell Orman that, despite multiple attempts to stop, she keeps running up $20,000 in credit card debt. After Orman asks a few questions, it becomes obvious that the guest is grappling with more than debt.


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Suze's Financial Strength Test

Answer Yes or No to the follow statements.

I pay all my credit card bills in full each month.

I have an eight-month emergency savings fund separate from my checking or other bank accounts.

The car I am driving was paid for with cash, or a loan that was no more than three years, and I sure didn’t lease!

I am contributing at least 10% of my gross salary to a retirement plan at work, or I am saving at least that much in an IRA and/or regular taxable account.

I have a long-term asset allocation plan for my retirement investments, and once a year I check to see if I need to do any rebalancing to stay on target with my allocation goals.

I have term life insurance to provide protection to those who are dependent on my income.

I have a will, a trust, an advance directive (living will), and have appointed someone to be my health care proxy.

I have checked all the beneficiaries of every investment account and insurance policy within the past year.

So how did you do?

If you answered yes to every item, congratulations. If you are working on improving on a few items, I say congratulations as well.

As long as you are comitted to truly creating financial security, I applaud you. If that means you are paying down your credit card balances, or are building up your emergency fun with automated payments, that’s more than fine. You are on your way!

But if you found yourself saying No to any of those questions, and you’re not working on moving to Yes, then I want you to stand in your truth. No matter how good you feel, you have some work to do before you can honestly know what you are on solid financial ground.

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