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Chapter 3. A Blueprint for Financial Bal... > Stop Counting Other People's Money

Stop Counting Other People's Money

Money trouble feels lonely. You're convinced that everyone must be in better financial shape than you. The world seems to be dancing by without a care in the world, but not you. Friends and neighbors renovate their kitchens, take the kids to Disney World, and buy big-screen plasma televisions.

If you think you're adrift on a slab of ice all alone, think again. You are not as alone as you think. We may all have been fooled into believing that everyone is much better off financially than they actually are. According to the Federal Reserve Board, paying down debt accounts for 14.3% of take-home pay, the highest rate since 1986. Wait—there's more. The Mortgage Bankers Association of America states that in the last quarter of 2000, mortgage delinquencies rose to 4.5%—the highest delinquency rate since 1992.


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