Consumers Risk Repeating Wall Street's Mistakes

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As seismic tremors ripple through the financial world after the crash of another Wall Street titan, credit counselors are telling consumers to apply lessons learned to their household budgets or risk falling victim to debt, with no one there to bail them out.

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Think of savings as a way to grow your profits. Without savings, you will be forced to rely on credit if you hit a rough patch

"In a credit crunch, banks without cash reserves fail," said Bruce McClary of ClearPoint Financial Solutions. "The same is true for consumers. Rule number one: Your expenses must not exceed your income."

Flimsy accounting practices don't work any better at home than they do in business, warns McClary, a financial specialist. "Budgeting is more than just numbers on a page. It is a lifestyle. Track what you spend and keep credit cards in check or you'll quickly find yourself under water," he said.

By focusing on their bottom line, consumers can protect themselves from a liquidity crisis, advises McClary. "Think of savings as a way to grow your profits. Without savings, you will be forced to rely on credit if you hit a rough patch," he said.

Borrowing heavily against your assets is a risky proposition, warns McClary. "If you are already leveraged, you may need debt management advice from a credit counselor," he said.

ClearPoint Financial Solutions national nonprofit consumer credit counseling service certified by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and a system-wide member of the Better Business Bureau. ClearPoint's financial specialists offer no-cost advice to help consumers learn how to budget, pay down debt and plan a secure future.

ClearPoint Financial Solutions, Inc.™ is a national nonprofit consumer credit counseling agency headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. ClearPoint is a system-wide member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). ClearPoint's mission is consumer financial health through education. Visit http://www.ClearPointccs.org or call 877-465-2227.

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Bruce McClary
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