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7 Net-worth killers

Saving and spending aren't the only factors affecting your net worth. How you manage (or don't manage) your assets and liabilities can make a big difference, too.

Home Affordability
See where you max out
Gross annual income:
Downpayment amount:
Monthly debt:
(eg. student loan, credit card payments)
Mortgage rate:  %
Annual property taxes:
Annual homeowner insurance:
CALCULATE  
2. Buying too much house
While it's never smart to be penny-wise and pound-foolish when making important investments like buying a new home, it's also never smart to think, "Oh, what's another hundred thousand dollars when I'm already spending more than I ever have?"

The answer is quite a lot and possibly more than you can handle.

Besides a higher mortgage payment, factor in the costs of homeownership, which grow with the value and size of the home: Property taxes, home insurance and energy costs, for starters, not to mention future maintenance costs.

As a general guideline, it's best not to spend more than 2-1/2 times your income on a home. Your total housing payments should not exceed 28% of your gross income. Total debt payments, meanwhile, should come in under 36%. That means payments on all loans, including your mortgage loan, school loans, auto loans and credit card debt.


Ignoring your money

Buying too much house

Driving too much car

Paying the IRS, not yourself

Always getting what you want

Letting your assets linger

Letting your debt lie
Save early. Save often. And don't make these gaffes. (more)
You don't have to spend a lot of time to put your financial house in order. (more)