The NFL and IOU: 10 Debt Lessons You Can Learn

Give someone $1 million and don’t teach them how to budget, save, and invest – and I promise you they’ll be down to their last dollar before they retire.

1. Budeting is your game plan

I promise you those NFL players who went bankrupt didn’t have a budget. NFL all-star Warren Sapp made $40 million over his 13-year career. He retired in 2008, and he filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

2. Shorten the field with technology

There are secure online tools that do the boring math for you. Mint is free, while YNAB (You Need A Budget) charges $84 a year but offers more personalization.

3. Prepare for the trick plays of life

An emergency fund isn’t just peace of mind. It can save you money because when disaster strikes and you’re not prepared, you often get your high-interest credit cards – and carry balances for many months.

4. Automate your money

All you need to do is stop making late payments on your debts. Late fees and overdraft fees cost Americans an average of $577 a year. That’s frustrating because there’s an easy and automatic fix: autopay.

5. Check your Credit Reports

Considering a third of all credit reports in this country contain errors that can result in higher interest rates, you should be highly interested in checking them out for mistakes.

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