Money / Financial Planning
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The last few years have been unkind to checking accounts and credit card statements across the country. But if you’re buckling under the weight of looming bills, crushing debt, and insufficient income, there might be a few bright spots that you’re glossing over. It’s easy to be pessimistic when you’re in the financial doldrums, but if you owe too much, earn too little, and are eager for a change, keep an eye out for the following signs that you might be doing better than you think — and use them as a starting point for success.
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You Live in Your Biggest Asset
When people fall on hard times, they’re often reminded to be grateful for four walls and a roof. That notion is especially comforting if you own the walls, roof, and everything within.
“One sign of you doing better financially than you thought is that you own a home,” said Matthew Robbs, founder of Smart Saving Advice. “In recent years, simply owning a home has likely caused your net worth to increase dramatically. For example, someone I know who lives in the Phoenix area has seen their net worth increase by over $150,000 in three years simply because their house has dramatically increased in value. It’s easy to not realize your home is appreciating if you don’t pay attention to real estate prices, but you could find you are far more well off than you thought simply because of the increase in housing prices.”
You Have a Goal and a Plan to Reach It
Even if money’s tight, you’re in better shape than most if you’re actively planning, strategizing, and working toward financial security. According to Sean Fox, president of Freedom Debt Relief, the following is a telltale sign that you’re doing better than you might think.
“You are working — with your spouse/partner/family as applicable — toward goals you’ve set, which could range from buying a new TV to retirement at a certain age,” said Fox. “And you know how much money comes in every month and what goes out. In effect, you have a budget — simply a spending plan.”
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