by Cathy Pareto

Americans can no longer afford what has become a charge-it-all culture. Credit is an unavoidable part of our reality these days; nobody can deny that it is a critical component of our global financial markets. However, any extreme is usually bad, and that truth extends to credit and debt. People who overconsume, overspend and charge their way through life will inevitably pay the piper, and not just in terms of their financial stability.

Americans' struggle to dig out of debt has also given rise to health problems. According to research psychologist Paul Lavrakas, as many as 10 to 16 million Americans suffer from anxiety, depression and cardiac problems directly resulting from money worries. A 2008 AP-AOL health poll reveals the following information about the health problems faced by debtors:
  • Insomnia or sleeping problems are pervasive in 39% of people with high debt stress versus 17% for people with low levels of debt stress.
  • Severe anxiety is pervasive in 29% of people with debt stress versus 4% for people with low levels of debt stress.
  • Muscle tension and lower back pain is pervasive in 51% of people with debt stress versus 31% for people with low levels of debt stress.
If used sensibly, credit cards and other consumer debts can make our lives easier and more productive. Using the tips from this tutorial to become more disciplined, organized and financially responsible will help you pave your road to wealth.





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