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Are the People in Your Life Keeping You in Debt?

4 Minute Read

People. Sometimes you love ’em, and sometimes you don’t want to be anywhere near ’em.

When it comes to your money, people can be a wonderful influence—like Dave Ramsey or your grandmother who never took out a loan her entire life, even for those overpriced dentures she bought.

But people can also drag you down.

You know those people. And while you might love them and care a lot for them, their negativity can eventually wear you down.

So who are the types of people you’re looking out for? Here are some examples:

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1. Your broke brother-in-law

He leases a new car every two years. He’s tried to pull you into some wacky multi-level scheme at least three times. He somehow convinced you that your couch in the basement would be a perfect place for him and your sister to stay "for just a couple of months" while he looked for a job.

That was a year ago. And he’s still looking.

2. Your parents

If it’s normal to be in debt, then that sadly means that a lot of parents are passing along bad money advice to their kids. If your dad encouraged you to sign up for a credit card the day you turned 18—to make sure you "build your credit"—then you should be extremely cautious about your dad’s financial advice for a long time.

If your parents don’t understand why you’re working so hard to get out of debt, then it’s best to just avoid the topic of money at family gatherings.

3. Your adult kids

On the flip side, few things in life are as irritating as a "boomerang kid" who’s 27 and unemployed and has permanently taken up residence on your couch. You know what a boomerang kid’s financial advice might be? "Hey mom! Give me some money!"

These "kids" are like overgrown financial leeches who thrive on video games, Dr Pepper and living off your income. Look, we know you love your kid. But love them enough to push them off the couch and into a job. Give them a time limit to find their own place and stop mooching off mom and dad.

4. Your show-off friends

Sick of all the Facebook envy? You know, those friends who love to post all about their dining adventures and exotic vacations?

You’d be surprised at how many of your "friends" are going into debt to have all that fun. They’ll be paying later while your fun is just getting started.

Related: Best-selling author Rachel Cruze offers guidance on the cure for comparisons in her latest book Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want.

5. Your college professor from 10 years ago (or now)

You can just hear his Ben Stein-ish voice right now, can’t you? He might have told you about adjustable-rate mortgages or car leases or whole life insurance.

You bought that advice at first. You were young and naïve. But now you should know better. When you hear that voice telling you how much sense it makes to take out an adjustable-rate mortgage ("The interest rates are great!"), think about Dave Ramsey saying, "Don’t be stupid!"

6. Politicians

If anyone takes the government’s advice on how to manage money, God bless their soul. Have you looked at our national debt lately? But every day, you’ll hear a politician go on and on about balancing the budget, paying off the national debt, and being more responsible with money.

The only thing that grows faster than our national debt is our national spending. So when you hear someone in D.C. give money advice, press the mute button.

Related: Money and Politics: A Look at America’s National Debt Through History

7. Marketers

Look, there’s nothing wrong with marketers. We have a lot of them here on Dave’s team. But if you aren’t responsible with your money, good marketers can talk you into buying anything.

That’s why credit card companies make billions of dollars. They are extremely smart, and they know what they’re doing. If you stick to only buying what you can afford, then marketers will never get the best of you.

Now, ultimately, your debt is your responsibility.

You can’t blame anyone other than yourself if debt is weighing you down. The point here is that you can be influenced by other people, and it’s a good idea to keep a healthy perspective.

As you work toward being debt-free, keep an eye out for these people.

Join an inspiring community of like-minded people looking to get out of debt by signing up for a Financial Peace University class today!

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