5 Most Expensive 80s Toys You Might Have in Your Attic

The 5 Most Expensive 80s Toys You Might Have in Your Attic

With more people looking for alternative investments, the collectibles market has exploded in recent years. And many of your favorite childhood toys have now become expensive and highly sought-after items. If you had any of these 80s toys, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out how much they are worth now.

5 Most Expensive 80s Toys You Might Have in Your Attic

1. American Girl Dolls

Since they were first introduced in the 1980s, American Girl dolls were wildly popular and gained an even larger fanbase through the 90s.  These dolls represent different eras of American history and include a variety of outfits and storybooks relevant to their period.

Today, you can find several Kirsten, Molly, and Samanthas that sell for well over $1,000 on eBay. And if it is still in the original packaging, it could sell for much more. Not too long ago, an original Samantha Parkington doll sold for $4,200, making it one of the most expensive 80s toys today.

2. Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage Patch Kids are another fad that has become a valuable collectible. These soft, 16-inch dolls may have looked strange to adults, but kids went crazy for them. While they only sold for $25, some are worth well over $1,000 today.

However, if you have any that date back to the early or mid-1980s, it could be worth much more, especially if it still has the original box, birth certificate, and passport. Some of the rarest Cabbage Patch Kids have sold for well over $5,000.

3. He-Man Action Figures

With He-Man as its focus, the Masters of the Universe franchise started releasing toys in 1982. It went on to inspire the creation of children’s books comic books, a role-playing game, video games, a cartoon, and a live-action movie. It has also regained popularity with the re-release of the cartoon series on streaming services.

If you look for any of these toys today, many of the figurines sell for hundreds of dollars. But, the most valuable piece is the Castle Grayskull set. An unopened example in mint condition can bring in up to $4,000 from the right buyer.

4. Nintendo Entertainment System

When it was first released, the Nintendo Entertainment System was the holy grail of kids’ toys. It sold for about $200 when it was first released, but is now one of the most prized collectible toys.

An original NES can sell for well over $1,000 on eBay. But a factory-sealed, mint-condition system sold for over $36,000 in 2020 after an intense bidding war. Even systems that aren’t in pristine condition will still bring a good price at auction.

5. Star Wars Toys

Beyond a doubt, Star Wars is one of the most iconic and successful franchises of all time. It has generated countless items from decor and clothing to a variety of toys and games. Although they started selling items when the movies were first released in the 1970s, the toys reached the height of popularity in the 1980s.

Like other franchises’ figurines, they can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars. However, the rarest can bring in a small fortune. The Yellow box that contained six, 3.75-inch figurines sold for over $28,000, and a Bespin Alliance three-pack series sold for well over $24,000. And one of the rarest Star Wars toys, the Glasslite Vlix from Brazil, recently sold for over $45,000.

But, you should keep in mind that this is only a short list of some of the most valuable 80s toys. And the condition of the item is a huge factor in its value. So if you think you have something special, it’s best to find a vintage toy expert in your area. They will be better able to tell you the true value of your childhood toy based on condition, rarity, and demand.

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3 People You Should Never Take Financial Advice From

3 People You Should Never Take Financial Advice From

When it comes to financial advice, you want to be careful who you listen to. Not everyone is as well informed as they believe, and they may not have your best interests at heart. Therefore, finding the right financial advisor is crucial to your financial planning. So if you are looking for expert guidance, these are 3 people you should never take financial advice from.

3 People You Should Never Take Financial Advice From

1. Family and Friends

Your family and friends usually have the best of intentions. When they offer advice, it’s because they think it will benefit you. But unless they have a financial background, you should never take advice from them.

First and foremost, every financial situation is different. Since you are at different stages in life, you will have different approaches to investing and financial planning. Not only will you have different risk tolerance levels, but your needs and long-term goals may not align with theirs. Additionally, the market is constantly in flux. Their advice may be based on economic conditions that no longer exist. Your situation is unique to you, so it’s best to leave the financial advice to the professionals.

2. Social Media “Experts”

If you want to learn about financial topics, a quick search on YouTube will bring up thousands of results. Many of these videos have been posted by self-proclaimed “experts.” Don’t get me wrong, there are some very smart people creating content out there. However, it can be difficult to distinguish good from bad advice in the age of social media.

When you subscribe to these channels, be mindful of their motivations for creating content. Some may offer advice because they have sponsorship from specific institutions or earn a commission when they sell financial products. Or, you may run across forums like r/WallStreetBets that give extreme and often outlandish advice which is counterproductive for those trying to build wealth.

While social media channels will keep you current on market trends, it’s wise to discuss any financial moves with your advisor. This will prevent you from making mistakes you will later regret.

3. A Bad Financial Advisor

It’s important to choose a financial planner who understands your goals and works with you to achieve them. Therefore, you want someone who offers advice that is in your best interest, not theirs.

If you recognize any of these signs that you have a bad financial advisor, then it’s time to reconsider your situation. You want to find someone who you feel comfortable discussing these topics with and whom you can trust with your life’s savings.

As with most major decisions, you need to do your research. Look into the background of potential advisors and ask questions. And, avoid anyone that has many dissatisfied clients or poor reviews. When it comes to securing your future, you don’t want to take any chances just to save a buck.

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3 Common Scams on Venmo That Everyone Should Know

Common Scams on Venmo That Everyone Should Know About

Many people use Venmo as a convenient way to pay for things. However, it is more vulnerable to scammers because it doesn’t offer the same fraud protection as other payment methods. If you are a frequent user, here are 3 common scams on Venmo you should know about.

3 Common Scams on Venmo

1. Mistaken Payments

One of the most common scams on Venmo involves mistaken payments. This scam starts with an unexpected payment from an unknown person. It is soon followed with a message claiming they “accidentally” sent the payment to the wrong person and need a refund. Once you send them the money, you will never hear from them again.

If this happens to you, it is probably someone using a stolen credit card. Since Venmo transactions are instantaneous, it can take a few days to verify payments. Therefore, it’s difficult to track or catch scammers. So, it’s best to leave it alone and let their bank handle it. In most cases, the true owner will the charges reversed. But if you already refunded them, then the money will come out of your pocket.

2. Impersonators

Another popular scheme is when fraudsters impersonate someone you know or trust. They will even go as far as to use a profile picture of your friend, then contact you with a financial emergency.

Other times, they will pose as a Venmo employee to gain access to your account and personal information. They may call, pretending to be a support agent who is asking your to verify unauthorized transactions. But more often, they will send phishing emails and text to notify you of suspicious activity.

In these situations, it’s best to close that channel of communication. A quick phone call to your friend or Venmo’s customer support could save you from becoming a victim of fraud.

3. “Free” Money and Fake Prizes

The promise of free money and fake prizes is one of the oldest scams in the book. However, it is adapting to new mediums.

If you receive a notification that you have won a free prize or have unclaimed money, you should already be on alert. But, if they need you to provide your bank information to claim it, you can bet it’s a scam.

Likewise, if someone tries to draw you into a money circle that promises you large returns from your initial investment, run. Anything that requires you to cash checks or send a Venmo payment will cost you more than it’s worth.

How to Keep Your Account Safe from Scammers

Unfortunately, Venmo does not offer as much security as other electronic payments. It only only offers purchase protection if it falls under the strict guidelines of their user agreement.

However, there are still things you can do to protect yourself while using the app.

  • Only send or receive Venmo payments from people you trust.
  • If you receive a strange request, check with the person that it is a real request.
  • Never click on links from unknown email addresses or phone numbers.
  • Change the settings on your account to keep transactions private.
  • Increase the security on your account with Two-Factor Authentication and a strong password that you change regularly.

Although technology has made life more convenient, it’s also important to be aware of it’s vulnerabilities. The best thing you can do is remain updated on current scams and report them if you receive suspicious communications.

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3 Ways to Set Boundaries with a Financially Irresponsible Person

3 Ways to Set Boundaries With a Financially Irresponsible Person

My parents raised me to believe that you should always help others when you can. So, when I see someone I care about who is struggling, I try to support them in any way possible. However, many people will take advantage of your good nature and generosity if you aren’t careful. If you have someone like this in your life, here are 3 ways you can protect yourself and set boundaries with a financially irresponsible person.

3 Boundaries You Can Set With a Financially Irresponsible Person

We all experience financial setbacks and need help once in a while. But if asking for money has become a habit, it’s a sign that they don’t manage money well. Therefore, it’s important to protect yourself by setting boundaries with a financially irresponsible person.

1. Hold them accountable.

If you truly care about someone, you want them to learn from their mistakes and grow as a person. But for this to happen, they have to be held accountable for the choices they make.

Start by having an honest conversation with them about what is going on in their life. If they are asking for help, find out about the circumstances that got them into financial straits. Identifying negative patterns is the first step. However, you can also offer to review their budget and show them how to live within their means.

Should you decide to give them money, there are other ways you can hold them accountable as well.

  • Be clear about whether it is a gift or a loan. If it’s a loan, set clear terms and dates for repayment.
  • Have them sign a contract stating they understand and agree to all terms.
  • Ask for copies of bills and receipts of payment.
  • Make arrangements to pay the company or institution directly.
  • Offer gift cards instead of cash.

2. Don’t give what you can’t afford.

When I offer help, I do it without any expectations. But, this means you must be sure you can afford the financial loss. Even with the best of intentions, there is a chance you will never get your money back.

In order to protect your financial stability, you need to make yourself a priority and ensure your needs are met first. Don’t put your security in jeopardy by giving what you need for your own expenses.

3. Enforce your financial limits.

If you are on top of your finances, then you already know how much discretionary income you have in the budget. Should you decide to give financial assistance, determine the amount you are willing to contribute from the start.

Establishing this limit and clearly communicating it to the person you are lending to is extremely important. Because if they don’t change their behavior, they will ask again. And then you will need to enforce this boundary. It can be uncomfortable, especially with family members. However, if you give in every time they test it, you aren’t helping anyone. Furthermore, you’re putting your finances at risk.

Learning When and How to Say No

When you are dealing with a financially irresponsible person, you must learn how to say no to protect your family and your future. Otherwise, they may bleed you dry.

These conversations are hard, but necessary. You can remind them of the all your previous support, the terms they agreed to, and why you are no longer willing to offer financial assistance. But at some point, they must learn that their actions and poor choices have negative consequences. By telling them no, you can help them learn to become more self-sufficient, change bad habits, and stop relying on others to clean up their financial messes.

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The Silver Lining of Reduced Hours

The Silver Lining of Working Reduced Hours

My family was very fortunate to make it through the post-pandemic world relatively unscathed. However, the economic and financial impacts of covid have finally reached our household. Although I have been steadily employed for the last decade, I now find myself back among the job seekers. Due to client cutbacks and reduced hours, it’s time to take a step back and create a new game plan. While it has put more constraints on our budget, there is a silver lining of having reduced hours.

What is the Silver Lining of Reduced Hours?

1. It presents an opportunity to reassess your skills.

If you have been in the same position for years, it’s easy to get used to the same work routine day after day. While you become more efficient in your role, you may not always realize what new skills or knowledge you have gained.

So when you are seeking new employment, the first step is to revisit your resume. As I updated my information, it forced me to reassess my skills and take stock of my appeal to potential employers. Not only did this help me realize my value as an employee, but it also built my confidence in my abilities going into the interview process.

2. Working fewer hours provides more time for self-improvement.

Although I’ve been working in the same field for many years, advancements in technology and AI have created new concerns. For example, there is less job security as AI is applied in new ways and replaces human labor. However, it also helped me recognize that I could improve my candidacy by learning new skills.

One silver lining of having reduced hours is that you have more time to pursue additional training or take classes to do this. Depending on what you choose, it could lead to a new certification, a salary increase, or put you in a new candidate pool altogether.

3. Living on a budget reinforces important financial lessons.

No matter who you are or how much you make, it’s always uncomfortable when you have to tighten the purse strings. But with reduced hours and income, it’s important to revisit the monthly budget.

My husband and I discovered that this was a good exercise to help us brush up on budgeting. And, it was a great opportunity to review our spending habits. As we adapt to the new circumstances, we will continue to make adjustments where necessary, find ways to save, and eliminate unnecessary expenses.

Turning Misfortune Into Opportunity

There is no denying that times are tough. But, you can’t lose yourself in despair. Instead, I am choosing to turn my misfortune into an opportunity to find something even better. Although I am fully committed to the job search, I am also working to make myself an outstanding candidate.

The facts are that the world and employment process has changed. Even if I was a stellar candidate a decade ago, I expect to face rejection. But, I also know that anything worth having won’t come easy. It takes effort, fortitude, and persistence to make things happen.

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The Top 3 Places to Sell Collectibles for Maximum Profit

Top 3 Places To Sell Collectibles for Maximum Profit

My dad was quite the junk collector. In his final years, we delved into the world of antiques and collectibles as we began sorting through the mountain of treasures he accumulated over 40 years. As we went along, I quickly learned how to distinguish trash from treasure. And, I also found many corners of the internet with other enthusiasts. Talking to other like-minded individuals helped me gain a wealth of knowledge. But more importantly, I also uncovered the best places to sell collectibles for maximum profit.

The Top 3 Places to Sell Collectibles for Maximum Profit


For years, eBay set the standard within the collectibles market. Even today, it remains one of the most trusted and established marketplaces. It’s also the first site I visit to look up comparable items and approximate prices. However, it has become oversaturated since people have begun selling just about anything you can imagine through their site.

With more competition, you won’t see the astronomical profits that many of the earliest users experienced. But, it’s still one of the best places to sell collectibles. Not only does it have a wide reach, but also an extremely active marketplace. And with its money-back guarantee and auction feature, it will help you get the best price.

As a seller, you have free listings for up to 250 items per month. Once you reach the limit, the site charges an additional $0.35 per listing. And, they take an average of 10% of the final value. Keep in mind that the fees vary by category, but you can find the breakdown of the seller’s fees here to help you determine if it’s worth your time.


Although most people think of Etsy as the marketplace for handmade items, it also has a thriving market for vintage and antique items. However, they do have more restrictions for listing on their site. For example, it requires that all items are at least 20 years old to qualify as vintage.

If your collectibles fall within this category, Etsy offers a user-friendly platform and a more targeted market. With this site, you are more likely to encounter buyers and sellers who are familiar with specialty items and rare collectibles.

Furthermore, it has lower fees. Etsy only charges a $0.20 listing fee per item and a 6.5% commission. So if you are eligible to sell on their site, it may be the better option to help you get maximum profits for niche items.

Facebook Marketplace

While most of the world is going digital, you still have collectors who live in an analog world. Facebook Marketplace provides a happy medium between online and in-person selling. And best of all, it’s free to list items. It only charges a commission if you have a merchant account. Even then, it’s only a 5% transaction fee.

Facebook Marketplace can give you exposure in local and national markets. It has thousands of groups you can advertise in, including ones dedicated to specific interests. And, it puts you directly in touch with potential buyers. If you find a serious buyer, you can arrange meet-ups or facilitate long-distance sales through shipping.

There are minimal limitations to what you can sell. But, it must be a physical product and will have to be approved by group admins. But if you violate their rules, they may remove access and revoke selling privileges. So, make sure you read the fine print so you don’t find yourself blocked from their platform.

Important Details When Dealing with Collectibles

Although your collectibles may have value, they are only worth what people are willing to pay for them. But with more online marketplaces, you have more opportunities than ever before. With special niche websites that deal in highly specialized items, you can connect with the right audience.

With so many platforms, it’s important to do your research. It’s best to seek out forums and talk to other collectors. This will help you choose the platform best suited for selling your collectibles.

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Financial Freedom Unveiled: Determining the Required Funds for Early Retirement

Financial Freedom Unveiled: Determining the Required Funds for Early Retirement

While many people dream of retiring early, younger generations are taking a more cynical view these days. Although it has become more difficult to save with rising inflation and cost of living, it is still attainable. If this is one of your financial goals, here’s what you need to know to determine the required funds for early retirement.

How Do You Determine the Required Funds for Early Retirement?

There are many reasons why people want to retire early. Whether you want more time with loved ones, opportunities to travel, or the chance to pursue your passion projects, you need to be financially independent to make it happen.

When planning for retirement, the general guideline is the rule of 25 – save 25 times your planned annual budget.  But the earlier your retire, the more you need to save.

However, the actual dollar amount is largely dependent on your lifestyle. Most advisors recommend a 75% replacement rate for your retirement income. Once you calculate your current budget, you can determine your annual expenses. Then, consider that this will be your minimum budget for the next 30-40 years if you retire early.

Keep in mind that you will also have to account for taxes, inflation, and healthcare. Therefore, we choose to pad the estimate to leave a little more cushion in our budget.

Can the FIRE Movement Help You Retire Sooner?

The goal of early retirement has caught a lot of momentum in recent years thanks to the FIRE movement. Many who want “Financial Independence, Retire Early” are saving more aggressively to realize their goal. In some cases, people are living on a bare-bones budget and investing up to 70% of their income for retirement.

While this will help you save more to help you retire sooner, you don’t have to go to these extremes to earn the required funds for early retirement. You can still adopt this strategy but finds more moderate ways to minimize your expenses. For example, you can keep your spending in check, increase your retirement contributions, and invest in new assets that will increase your net worth and generate more income.

Important Things to Consider for Early Retirement

With strategic planning and smart investing, it is possible to retire early. However, there are a few key considerations you need to factor in since they will affect your portfolio.

    • You are unable to access Social Security benefits before you turn 62. And, you have reduced benefits the sooner you take them.
    • You are also ineligible for Medicare before age 65.
    • Although you can access your funds, there is a 10% penalty for early withdrawals from IRAs and other retirement accounts. However, the rule of 55 may allow you to withdraw from employer-sponsored retirement accounts without penalty if you leave your position by age 55.

Although many accounts offer specific advantages when you retire, you must also invest for long-term growth. Therefore, it’s best to talk with your financial advisor and research the different types of financial vehicles available to you. Not only will this help you reach your financial goals sooner, but also ensure you have enough savings to last through your retirement years.

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Cut Backs Just in Time for Vacation

Cut Backs Just In Time for Vacation

Every summer, my husband and I look forward to taking some time away together. We both have very hectic work schedules and family obligations. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave as much time for each other as we’d like. So, we usually spend about 10 days away together, driving somewhere in the continental U.S. However, this year our budget has had some serious setbacks. But we realized we could still save our trip by making these 3 cut backs for our vacation.

3 Money-Saving Cut Backs for Vacation

Length of the Trip

Due to both budgetary and scheduling restrictions, we decided to cut the length of our trip. Although we normally enjoy 10 days together, we will have to scale it back to stay under budget.

By reducing it to 6 nights, we will save hundreds on the additional nights of accommodation, meals, and fuel costs. And, we will still make it to the national parks and most important attractions. Choosing to bypass some of the smaller points of interest that are farther off the beaten path will allow us to still afford our summer getaway.


Accommodations are another opportunity to make room in the budget. Although you want to find a place that offers security and comfort, you don’t need to spend a lot on hotels.

My husband and I don’t require much when we are on the road beyond a clean room, a hot shower, and a complimentary breakfast in the morning. Yet, we still expect to pay around $150 a night for a basic room.

For this trip, we can save a few hundred bucks by cashing in credit card rewards for hotel points. So far, we’ve earned enough to cover 3 free nights through IHG and Hilton Rewards.

You can also look for discounts on travel sites to help you save even more.

    • Priceline Express Deals sometimes offers up to 60% discounts on select locations.
    • Travelzoo sponsors one-time deals at great rates for their partners.
    • Last-Minute Travel will help you find cheap hotels that are available on the same day. And with their undercover feature, you can save even more.


Admission tickets and excursions are always what ruin my budget. No matter where we go, it seems that there is always additional tax and tickets cost more than you expect.

For this trip, we are opting for activities we both enjoy that don’t cost anything. This will mostly include hiking, swimming, and exploring nature. However, I’m also going to plan ahead and find discounts online through sites like Expedia, Viatour, or Travelzoo for the rest.

In my experience, the best deals are when you can buy passes that offer admission for multiple days or attractions for a single price, such as the U.S. Parks Pass. These allow you to maximize your options for the lowest price.

Learning to Pivot

Sometimes, life throws you expensive curve balls that force you to make adjustments. While this year has brought some large expenses in home repairs and limited time in our schedules, we were determined to make things work.

By tweaking our plans and accepting a limited budget, we will still be able to enjoy some time together. Although it may not be what we originally planned, we are making the best of it and still looking forward to it despite the cut backs that came just in time for vacation.

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How To Start an Amazon Bath Bomb Business

How To Start an Amazon Bath Bomb Business

Starting your own business can be a great way to bring in extra income. As customers become more conscious about the products they buy, some all-natural and homemade beauty products have become the foundation of very profitable businesses. So, if you have a talent for making these types of items, you could be one of them. Here are a few tips and ideas if you want to start an Amazon bath bomb business.

Why Bath Bombs?

Bath bombs are a great product because they are easy and inexpensive to make. And with low overhead costs, they are a low-risk idea for those starting their first venture.  Since most of the ingredients are everyday items you already have, it costs as little as $0.25 per bath bomb to produce them.

Bath bombs are also hugely popular and already have a thriving market. In the US, it is expected to reach $350 million in revenue by 2025. And with the ability to reach customers through social media, you could sell your products worldwide.

How Can You Start an Amazon Bath Bomb Business?

1. Perfect your product.

The first thing you have to do is perfect your product. While most use a very similar recipe, bath bombs come in a full rainbow of colors, shapes, and scents. Therefore, you need to choose which type you want to focus on and get to work perfecting your production process before you can start selling.

2. Research licensing requirements.

The next step is to learn which compliance and safety regulations apply to your bath bombs. Your product will either fall under the category of cosmetics or drugs, depending on what claims you make about it.

If you market that it has physical or mental benefits, it will be classified as a drug. This will require additional approval from the FDA for effectiveness and safety. Although it can be time-consuming and costly, the wellness market is continuing to expand.

However, if governing bodies qualify your bath bombs as cosmetic, they will apply the same rules they use for soaps and lotions. Be aware the requirements will vary between states and countries, so you need to be familiar with the rules for where you want to do business.

3. Choose your suppliers.

Choosing your suppliers will be relatively simple since bath bombs are easy to make. They only require a few essential ingredients including:

    • baking soda
    • citric acid
    • Epsom salt
    • cornstarch
    • water
    • essential oil or fragrance
    • carrier oil
    • shea butter
    • food coloring

Fortunately, you can find most of these at your local grocery store. However, you may have to order silicone molds, oils, and decorations from other suppliers. In a market where people are highly aware of the sourcing of their products, you want to guarantee the purity of the ingredients you use. So, you should be discerning and ask for certifications, references, or suggestions from aromatherapy practitioners to find the best suppliers.

4. Consider your packaging, labeling, and shipping options.

Bath bombs have a tendency to crumble if they aren’t packaged and shipped correctly. Therefore, you must ensure they are tightly sealed to avoid introducing moisture. Most sellers use shrink wrap which works very well. When you pack them, you will also want to use plenty of tissue paper, recyclable filler, or other materials to cushion them in transit.

5. Sell your product

Although you might have success selling your product in person, you can reach a wider market if you start an Amazon bath bomb business. After you set up a seller account, read through the FAQs to make sure that you understand all the rules and can comply with Amazon’s requirements. You may also consider a more specialized niche through Amazon Homemade for your product.

But if you are serious about selling bath bombs, start doing your research and learn how you can turn your hobby into a profitable business.

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10 Signs That You Have Too Much Debt

10 Signs That You Have Too Much Debt

There is a difference between “good debt” and “bad debt.” However, how do you know when it becomes a problem? If you have any of these habits, then it may be a sign that you have too much debt.

10 Signs That You Have Too Much Debt

1. You aren’t saving any money.

Learning to save money is the first lesson in money management. It’s an important skill for both your immediate needs and long-term financial goals. Therefore, you should be putting a little away every month in your emergency fund, retirement, or other savings accounts.

However, if you aren’t able to put any money into savings, this is a sign that you have bigger problems than making it til the end of the month. For those who struggle to save, it’s time to evaluate your budget and spending habits. You must learn to live below your means to avoid going further into debt.

2. Credit cards cover all your expenses.

Another sign that you have too much debt is if you rely on credit cards to cover all your expenses. Credit cards can help you build your credit history, but they can also ruin your finances if you don’t know how to use them.

Unfortunately, this debt carries the highest interest rates, usually above 20%. In the end, you pay more in interest fees, it negatively impacts your credit score, and it could affect your ability to obtain loans. So, it’s wise to only use them if you can pay off the balances every month or as a last resort when there is an emergency. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for financial failure.

3. You only make the minimum monthly payments.

Many people are not concerned about their debt as long as they can make their payments each month. However, if you’re only making the minimum payments, you’ll never get out of debt. Their fees are designed to keep you locked in the debt cycle, sometimes paying double the principal in interest fees.

Most advisors will tell you to prioritize paying down these debts. If you aren’t able to pay off your balance each cycle, then put as much toward the principal as you can. But if you never pay more than the minimum, it could keep you buried in debt for years to come.

4. It has become a habit to use one credit card to make payments on the others.

Balance transfer offers can be an effective way to eliminate interest fees and pay down debt. But, you shouldn’t rely on credit cards to stay afloat. Furthermore, you don’t want to take on new debts to pay off outstanding ones. So, if you are rotating balances between credit cards, it’s a red flag that you have too much debt.

Making payments with one credit card for another is a delicate balancing act. This isn’t a gamble you want to take with your future.

5. Your credit cards are maxed out.

It’s embarrassing when a card is declined at the point of sale or you have to pull out another card to pay. Although it does happen occasionally, it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. If your credit cards are maxed out, it could indicate that your spending is out of control.

When your credit cards are consistently maxed out, it increases your credit utilization which lowers your credit score. There is also a greater risk of defaulting on your payments and having them sent to collections. It will also make it difficult to obtain a loan when you need one.

6. You have had several cash advances.

Cash advances can save you in an emergency. But, they are possibly the least beneficial way to use your credit card. In addition to the high fees and interest rates, they leave you with less money in the end.

If you have had several cash advances in recent months, this most likely means that you need a better system to manage your money. Start an emergency fund or seek a financial advisor so unexpected expenses and poor spending habits don’t hold you back.

7. Your total debt is more than half your income.

Your debt-to-income ratio is an important factor in your finances. It provides a tangible measurement of how much debt you carry in comparison to how much you make. A high ratio is one of the clearest signs that you have too much debt.

Creditors look for a ratio of less than 36% when they offer loans or lines of credit. But the lower the ratio, the better. So if yours is half your income, it will be nearly impossible to obtain funding. It also leaves you with less flexibility in your finances since your income is tied up in debt repayment. The only way to address this issue is to lower your debt-to-income ratio and get out of the debt stranglehold.

8. Lenders deny your application.

Credit applications get rejected for many reasons. But if you are regularly getting turned down by lenders, it’s time to figure out why.

Look into your credit history to ensure that are no errors or inaccurate information that are impacting your score. However, if it is the result of poor financial management and bad spending habits, seek expert advice to make a plan and help you improve your situation.

9. There are several creditors and agencies calling to collect.

Mistakes happen and bills sometimes go unpaid. When this occurs, creditors will call to collect after enough missed payments. But, you don’t want to make a habit of having your bills go to collections.

If you have several creditors and collection agencies trying to contact you, it’s a serious sign that you need help. But, you shouldn’t ignore the problem or avoid their calls. In fact, you might be surprised at how flexible that can be. Most are willing to work with you by setting up a payment plan, negotiating the interest rate, or settling for a lower lump sum payment. You don’t need to live in fear of answering the phone or letting your debt control your life.

10. You don’t know how much debt you carry.

Most people know when they have too much debt. However, the difference lies in how you choose to handle it. Do you have a plan to become debt free? Or, have you given up and expect to be in debt for the rest of your life?

Your situation may seem hopeless when you are drowning in debt, but you have to start somewhere. It’s hard to face the truth, but there are financial advisors and debt relief agencies that are ready to help. You don’t have to resign yourself to your situation, but you have to be willing to take the first steps to make a change.

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