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.

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5. Always getting what you want
Living above your means and charging the difference is the financial equivalent of slow carbon monoxide poisoning. It makes pre-existing financial problems worse and can be the cause of headaches and shortness of breath until you address the source of your problem.

The solution: "Don't always keep buying what you want. It'll get you in trouble," certified financial planner Mari Adam said.

If you've built up a credit card balance, figure out the fastest way to pay it down. First consider whether it makes sense to transfer your balance to a lower rate card. (See the last slide.) Then figure out how long it will take you to pay off your debt under different scenarios. (For help, try CNNMoney.com's Debt Reduction Planner).You might also figure out where you can squeeze out some money from your current budget to make the highest payment possible. Then automate your payments so that they go straight from your bank account to the credit card provider to avoid late fees or missed payment penalties.

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)