Bankruptcy Blues: 14 Financial Mistakes We Can’t Believe People Still Make

In today’s fast-paced financial world, managing personal finances effectively is more important than ever. With a myriad of options and pitfalls, it’s easy to fall into common traps that can lead to financial distress or even bankruptcy.

Below are 14 critical financial mistakes that are surprisingly common yet entirely avoidable. By understanding these pitfalls and learning how to steer clear of them, you can take control of your financial health and secure a more stable and prosperous future.

1. Ignoring a Budget

Surprisingly, many people still navigate their finances without a budget. A budget isn’t just a tool; it’s a crucial part of financial planning, helping you understand where your money goes. Without it, overspending becomes a silent financial killer, often leading to debt accumulation.

2. Relying on Credit Cards for Emergencies

Using credit cards as a safety net is a risky move. While they offer immediate relief, the high interest rates can quickly turn a manageable situation into a debt crisis. It’s wiser to create a dedicated emergency fund for unexpected expenses.

3. Not Saving for Retirement Early

Starting late on retirement savings is a common error with significant consequences. The power of compound interest means that starting early can significantly boost your retirement funds. Delaying this only increases the financial burden and reduces potential gains.

4. Living Beyond Your Means

Living a lifestyle that exceeds your income is a fast track to financial woes. This habit often leads to a cycle of debt and financial stress. It’s crucial to align your lifestyle with your actual income, not your aspirational one.

5. Ignoring Insurance

Many overlook the importance of insurance until it’s too late. Whether it’s health, life, or property insurance, being uninsured can lead to devastating financial losses in times of crisis. Insurance is an essential tool for risk management.

6. Paying Only the Minimum on Credit Cards

Paying just the minimum on credit cards prolongs debt and accrues massive interest. This practice can turn a short-term loan into a long-term financial burden. It’s always best to pay off as much as you can afford monthly.

7. No Emergency Fund

The lack of an emergency fund is a glaring oversight. Life is full of unexpected events, and without a financial buffer, these can lead to debt or worse. An emergency fund provides a safety net, keeping you financially secure during tough times.

8. Taking on Too Much Debt

Excessive debt is a major precursor to bankruptcy. It’s important to use debt wisely and avoid overburdening your financial future. Responsible borrowing involves understanding your repayment capacity and avoiding unnecessary loans.

9. Neglecting Credit Scores

Many underestimate the impact of a poor credit score. It can lead to higher interest rates on loans and credit cards, affecting your financial health. Regularly monitoring and improving your credit score using tools like My FICO is vital for financial flexibility.

10. Co-signing Loans Without Caution

Co-signing a loan is a generous gesture but can be fraught with risks. If the primary borrower defaults, you’re on the hook. Always consider the implications and your ability to pay if things don’t go as planned.

11. Falling for Get-Rich-Quick Schemes

The allure of quick wealth can be tempting, but these schemes often lead to financial ruin. Real wealth is built over time through consistent saving and smart investing. Avoid any plan that promises high returns with little or no risk.

12. Not Diversifying Investments

Putting all your financial eggs in one basket is a risky strategy. Diversification reduces risk by spreading investments across various asset classes. This approach can protect you from significant losses in any single investment.

13. Overlooking Small Expenses

It’s easy to dismiss small expenses, but they add up. Regular small purchases can quietly eat into your budget, leaving less for savings and investments. Tracking and managing these expenses can lead to significant long-term savings.

14. Failing to Plan for Taxes

Taxes are an unavoidable part of financial life. Not planning for them can lead to unexpected liabilities and penalties. Effective tax planning can help you understand your obligations and minimize your tax burden.

Leave The Idea Of Bankruptcy Behind

Navigating the complex world of personal finance can be challenging, but avoiding these 14 mistakes can make a significant difference. From the basics of budgeting to the nuances of investment diversification, each aspect plays a critical role in securing your financial future and helping you leave the ideal of bankruptcy behind.

Remember, financial wellness isn’t just about avoiding bankruptcy; it’s about building a stable life where your money works for you.

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If You Can’t Pay Your Rent-Use These 6 Tips to Stop An Eviction

Getting a late rent notice is stressful, particularly if you don’t have the money available to pay your landlord. While it may seem like an eviction is inevitable if keeping up with your rent is proving difficult, that isn’t necessarily the case. There are things you can do to help avoid being told to leave the property. If you can’t pay your rent, here are some tips to stop an eviction worth trying.

Talk to Your Landlord or the Property Management Company

One of the first steps you should take if you’ve received a late rent notice – or even if you haven’t but know you’re going to be late with the rent – is to talk to your landlord or the property management company. Speaking with them directly gives you a chance to explain the situation, which is potentially wise if you’re experiencing a temporary hardship.

Your landlord or the property management company may be able to work with you during the short term, giving you the ability to get back on your feet and pay what you owe. For example, some may be able to arrange a payment plan for any past-due rent, allowing you to catch up over time. However, you’ll only know what’s available if you ask, which is why reaching out is worth considering.

Pay What You Can on Time (or as Soon as Possible)

Even if you can’t pay your rent in full on time, sending your landlord or the property management company what you can as soon as possible can help. This is especially true if you’re asking for a little leeway or want to explore options like payment plans to catch up on your rent. It’s considered an act of good faith, as you’re showing you want to pay your rent; you’re just having trouble making it happen.

Plus, paying what you can may help reduce any late fees you’ll owe. In many cases, late fees are based on the amount you haven’t paid, so paying what you can may lead to a smaller charge.

Look for Housing Assistance Programs (or Other Financial Assistance Options)

Many people who are dealing with a low income may qualify for some type of housing assistance, allowing them to get some financial help until they regain financial stability. The types of programs can vary by location. There may be government agencies in your area that can help, as well as a variety of non-profit organizations. Some religious institutions may have programs for people in their area, too.

If you’re not sure where to turn, look for a HUD-approved housing counseling agency in your region. You can use the search tool on the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website as a starting point, though doing your own research is also an option.

Alternatively, you can explore financial assistance programs that may help handle other household costs, allowing you to direct more of your income toward rent. For example, many areas have utility assistance to help low-income households pay for electricity, water, and more. You may be able to use a local food bank for groceries, allowing you to spend less on food. Essentially, programs like these may help free up room in your budget, giving you a way to catch up on your rent quickly.

Find Ways to Boost Your Income

If rent is going to be a continuing problem, then increasing your income might be your best bet. You could ask for a raise at your current job, get a second job, start a side hustle, or sell off items you don’t need to give yourself a quick cash boost.

If you’re open to an alternative approach, you could also explore getting a roommate who can split the cost of rent with you. Just make sure that bringing someone into the property won’t violate the lease or that you take proper steps to get the contract updated to add your roommate. That way, you’re still following the lease, making it easier to avoid eviction.

Look at Loans to Cover the Difference

As a last resort, you could see if you can qualify for a loan to get enough money to cover any back-due rent. Generally, this only works if you have a reasonable credit score and suitable income to show you’re trustworthy and can handle repayment.

However, this is usually an option you want to explore last. After all, it does involve taking on debt, giving you another bill to handle every month. But if your financial situation is only going to be challenging for a little while and you’ll be back on your feet before the first payment (and next month’s rent) is due, it’s worth considering.

A similar option here would be to see if you can borrow the money from a family member or friend. Again, treat this as a last resort. Owing money to someone in your life can be awkward, and if you struggle to repay what you borrow, it can significantly harm the relationship. Still, it’s an avenue worth considering if you’re in a short-term bind, so keep it in mind.

Do you have any other tips that can help people facing a late rent notice or possible eviction? Did you manage to stop an eviction and want to tell others about your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Think You’re Too Old To Get Life Insurance – Think Again: 5 Places to Get Life Insurance For Seniors


As you get older, you typically have fewer life insurance options available. However, there are some undeniably excellent policies out there, and some can cover you for longer than you might expect. That means if you think you’re too old to get life insurance, there’s a good chance you’re wrong. If you want to find a suitable policy, here are five places to get life insurance for seniors.

1. Guardian Life

Guardian Life has some excellent policies that can work well for seniors. If you’re open to term life, you can get up to 20 years of coverage if you’re age 65 or younger. Seventy-year-olds can qualify for up to 15 years of coverage, while 75-year-olds can get 10-year term life policies. With all of these options, the value of the policy can be $100,000 or higher, which makes it easier to get ample peace of mind.

For whole life, seniors as old as 90 years of age can qualify. Coverage levels start at $25,000, making this a solid choice for lower-cost goals like covering final expenses. However, you can potentially secure more coverage. Plus, seniors as old as 85 can explore variable and universal life policies, leading to even more options.

One benefit of choosing Guardian Life is that the company has a solid reputation, with many people being fully satisfied with their policies. When it comes to challenges, the biggest is that there isn’t an online purchase option, so getting a policy may feel a little cumbersome.

2. Mass Mutual

With Mass Mutual, seniors can explore term and whole-life policies. Term life policies are available to seniors as old as 75, and coverage starts at $100,000, though going higher is an option. For whole life, the maximum age for a policy is 90, and the lowest coverage level is $25,000, which is a good amount for final expenses and some basic costs.

Mass Mutual is also a company with a solid reputation and very few complaints. As a result, it’s an excellent choice for seniors who want coverage with fewer hassles. Plus, getting a policy online is an option, so that works well for anyone who prefers a purely digital experience.

One benefit of choosing Mass Mutual is that there are some no-exam policies available. That can work well for seniors who prefer a hassle-free experience, but these options usually cost more than the alternatives, so keep that in mind.

3. New York Life

At New York Life, seniors can secure term life policies, though how long the coverage lasts may vary depending on a person’s age. Seniors as old as 65 can get 15 or 20-year terms, giving them some flexibility. For seniors no older than 75, there’s a 10-year term option available instead. Coverage amounts begin at $100,000, though they can go up from there.

For whole life, the maximum age for a policy through New York Life is 90. The minimum amount of coverage is $25,000, but policyholders can potentially qualify for a higher amount if they’d like to explore that option.

A drawback to New York Life is that purchasing life insurance policies for seniors online isn’t an option. Still, the company has an excellent reputation and a high rate of customer satisfaction, so using an alternative approach to buy a policy is generally worth the effort.

4. State Farm

State Farm offers term, whole, and no-exam life insurance policies, giving seniors an array of options. Minimum coverage amounts for term life policies are set at $100,000, but you can secure more coverage if you prefer (and qualify). For seniors no older than 65 years of age, 20-year terms are available. Seniors who are as old as 75 can get a 10-year term instead.

The maximum age for whole-life policies can vary depending on the details. However, seniors can get it as long as they’re no older than 80, and the minimum coverage amount can be as low as $10,000, though securing more is potentially an option.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, State Farm consistently ranks incredibly high, and it takes the number one spot in some studies. As a result, it’s a strong choice for seniors who want a positive customer experience and fewer hassles. Just be aware that buying a policy online isn’t an option, but the effort is worthwhile if stellar customer service once the policy is in place is a priority.


While many USAA services are only open to military members, veterans, and their families, that isn’t the case with life insurance through USAA. As long as a senior is a US citizen or permanent resident, they can explore these life insurance options.

USAA has term life policies that seniors as old as 70 can check out, with the available coverage amount ranging from as low as $100,000 to as high as $10 million. Whole life is also an option for seniors up to the age of 85, with coverage amounts ranging from $25,000 on the low end up to $10 million.

One benefit of using USAA is that policyholders can convert term life policies into permanent ones before the initial coverage expires. That can work well for seniors who decide that lifelong coverage is a better fit down the line. USAA also has an excellent reputation when it comes to customer satisfaction and customer service. Just not that online purchasing isn’t an option, but that may not be an issue since the experience is typically positive.

Do you know of any other places to get life insurance for seniors? Have you tried any of the options above and want to tell others about your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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