Or, should I say, the three don’ts: Don’t get sick, don’t get divorced, don’t go to school. Okay, okay, maybe not going to school is a little extreme and I truly believe an education offers choices in life. So, go to school, just be smart about how much student loan debt you take on. However, getting sick is one very real reason people sink into debt. Having good health insurance can off-set some of the cost, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash stashed away for medical emergencies.
Divorce can also take you to the cleaners. In a perfect world, each and every person would meet their true love and live happily ever after. Welcome to reality: according to statistics half of the population does not achieve this.
Finally, find ways to get an education without digging yourself a hole: choose less expensive options (junior colleges are a great choice for the gen ed courses), apply for grants and scholarships, work a side job, enlist in the military (not for everyone, but the GI bill does cover expenses), choose a major that will pay off in the end.
Here’s an infographic that visually shows these three major money suckers: