If money problems seem
to be an everyday plague, you may be headed for
a financial-health attack. Are you putting yourself
in turmoil? Take a trip to the Bankrate.com emergency
room where we'll diagnose your problem and prescribe
Cluttered desk, missing invoices and unauthorized transactions Diagnosis: The disorganized-and-distressed-consumer
affliction Rx: Read the fine print,
know what documents to save and what to pitch. Getting
organized may be a challenge, but the benefits go a long
brought on by unexpected charges Diagnosis:Excess-fees
inflammation Rx: Know your monthly payments'
due dates, and mail them early. Wasting hard-earned
money on penalties and unnecessary fees is financially
Feelings of emptiness in the wallet due to PMI or high
mortgage costs Diagnosis: Bloated and unstable
mortgage Rx: Look for ways to reduce
your current mortgage. Perhaps refinancing would help.
Delusions of immortality and eternal youthfulness
combined with nausea when thinking of the future Diagnosis: Undeveloped retirement
plan Rx: Take advantage of your
employer's 401(k), and start a Roth IRA to help your retirement
nest egg grow tax-free.
Living paycheck to paycheck. Frequently associated with
blistered fingers due to keeping fingers crossed to ward
off unexpected financial pitfalls Diagnosis: Emergency-fund
deficiency Rx: Build an emergency fund
for the occasional crisis. The key is to start now and
let it grow.