PHOENIX (3TV) -

If we, as a nation, keep spending the way we are, we might hit $1 trillion in credit-card debt. Thats what CardHub is projecting by the end of this year.

That means the average indebted household across the country would owe about $8,500 -- just in credit cards. If this is sounding all too familiar, we have some help for you.

Mike Sullivan with nonprofit credit counseling agency Take Charge America shared some money moves you might regret.

Our grandparents put their gas and grocery money in envelopes and saved up for major purchases, Sullivan said. Today, easy access to credit has resulted in a culture of instant gratification, and money habits have taken a turn for the worse.

Could your financial habits use a makeover?

8 money moves you want to avoid

1. Not budgeting: This is an easy one, yet few people actually track their monthly income and expenditures, resulting in overspending or under-saving.

2. Overusing credit: It makes sense to borrow money to buy a home it doesnt make sense to use credit for new shoes or a lavish vacation. It can take years for people to pay off earlier extravagances. Do not charge luxury items you cannot afford to pay off at months end.

3. Paying the minimum: The interest and payoff time will rack up quickly if you only make the minimum payment on credit cards or other debt. Whenever possible, adjust your budget to ramp up these payments. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run. It may require some sacrifice, meaning you spend less on entertainment or use public transportation.

4. Raiding your emergency fund: This fund is intended for true emergencies, not vacations or home improvements. Youll regret tapping these funds if your air conditioning goes out or you lose your job unexpectedly.

5. Putting off retirement planning: Many people delay saving for retirement until their 40s or 50s. While thats better than nothing, starting earlier will give you a huge advantage for a comfortable retirement.

6. Falling for too good to be true schemes: The Federal Trade Commission reports Americans were scammed out of $765 million in 2015. Dont fall for get-rich-quick schemes or promises of cash prizes and never wire money or give your Social Security or credit card number to unknown sources.

7. Buying a timeshare: Timeshares promise relaxing beach getaways or perfect skiing on powdery slopes, but many consumers buy in without understanding the financial obligation, including a sizable deposit and annual maintenance fees. The real estate market is now flooded with people trying to unload timeshares.

8 Borrowing from your 401(k): Its tempting to dip into your retirement to pay for your childs wedding or college, but youll be taxed exorbitantly, and it could threaten your financial security later in life.

If you need help developing a budget or managing credit, call 1-888)-822-9193 to speak with a certified creditor counselor, or schedule a free, confidential session online.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



While Riverside officials have been focused on closing a projected $10.5 million deficit in 2016-17, they haven't neglected longer-term planning.

They've drawn up a five-year list of capital improvements - new parks, major building repairs and the like - that includes $348 million in projects the city can pay for and $1.1 billion in projects without funding.

In terms of cost, the greatest share of the projects comes from Riverside Public Utilities. Many utilities needs have big price tags - replacing water and sewer lines, for example. Also, the utility has a large cash reserve and could borrow money if needed and repay it through customer rates.

On the unfunded project list, parks and recreation has the most individual items, including repairs and improvements at existing parks and the purchase of land for new ones.

City officials used department heads' lists of needs and future wishes to create the capital improvement plan. It covers the next five fiscal years and will be reviewed every one or two years.

Riverside City Manager John Russo said department heads told him everything they thought the city needs and ranked each item as high, medium or low priority. High priority projects would be considered first as money becomes available.

The list of projects the city has no money for is long, but that doesn't mean they're all pipe dreams. Grants may be available for some work, and officials may propose a tax measure this fall that would increase revenues.

A city-commissioned poll is underway to learn what new facilities residents most want and whether they'd vote for a tax to help pay for the projects.

Officials will wait to see the poll results, but a sales tax is most likely if the city pursues a tax, Russo said.

A half-cent sales tax, which would require voter approval, would yield about $25 million a year, Russo said. The money could help pay for more frequent tree trimming and road repair, two areas that were recently cut to address a deficit. A larger sales tax would provide more money for "wish list" projects.

Parks amp; Recreation: Build Golden Star Park on Bradley Street in Ward 5, and Mt. Vernon Park on West Blaine Street in Ward 2, $14.5 million. The city owns the land for these and three other parks that remain undeveloped.

Upgrade Fairmount Park, including amphitheater renovation, lawn bowling area improvements, locomotive repainting, and dredging Lake Evans, $13 million. At 275 acres, Fairmount Park is among the citys largest and oldest recreation spots.

Build two action parks for skateboards and BMX bikes at undetermined locations, $6 million. Council members say the skateboard parks at Bobby Bonds and Hunt parks dont meet current demand.

Funded: Create youth innovation center at Arlington Park, $3.8 million. The center will offer technology-focused classes, educational programs and job skills training for teens.

Entertainment: Riverside Municipal Auditorium fixes, including new electronic sign, carpet replacement and wood floor repair, $400,000. The historic auditorium, dedicated in 1929, recently hosted a rally for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.




Mayor Rahm Emanuel's risky and erroneous assumption that Gov. Bruce Rauner would sign legislation giving the city 15 more years to ramp up to a 90 percent funding level for police and fire pensions cost beleaguered Chicago taxpayers $1.38 million, City Hall disclosed Friday.

That's how much it cost the city to use $220 million in short-term bridge financing to make a state-mandated payment to police and fire pension funds that was higher than Emanuels tax-laden 2016 budget assumed.

The mayor's assumption turned out to be dead wrong.

For months, Democratic legislative leaders held the police and fire pension bill in a cat-and-mouse game to prevent the governor from holding it hostage. That forced Emanuel to borrow money to cover a state-mandated payment to police and fire pension funds due with the city treasurer in March.

When the already-approved bill was finally sent to the governor's desk as the spring legislative session was drawing to a close, Chicagos worst fears were realized.

Instead of signing it or doing nothing and letting it take effect automatically, Rauner vetoed the legislation, infuriating his old friend, the mayor.

The governor justified that veto by claiming it merely kicked the can down the road by allowing the city to borrow $843 million from the two funds at an interest rate of 7.75 percent, saddling taxpayers with an additional, $18.6 billion burden.

Three Republican crossover votes in the Illinois House then helped Emanuel override the governor's veto, staving off yet another property tax increase.

It was a stunning victory that Emanuel had burned the phone lines to achieve. Just days before, top mayoral aides had described the chances of an override in the House at 50-50 at best.

On Friday, City Hall responded to a Chicago Sun-Times question about the borrowing by disclosing that the $220 million in borrowed money had been repaid--at a cost.

"The cost of the short term funding bridge was approximately $1.38 million, which includes the investment returns of $344,000, said Molly Poppe, a spokesperson for the citys Office of Budget and Management.

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall called the $1.4 million in interests costs an unfortunate and avoidable expense.

There should have been a contingency plan for this [that averted the need to borrow]. The governor said all along he wouldnt sign this bill. The loss of $1.4 million is not an insignificant amount. It could have been avoided and used for city services or other important investments, Msall said Friday.

Earlier this month, Moodys Investors Service used an argument similar to the one the governor made to describe Emanuel's political victory over Rauner as a credit negative.

While the new law does provide short-term budget relieve by reducing these pension plan contributions by $220 million, Chicago pension contributions will now fall far short of amounts needed to curb growth in its unfunded pension liabilities, a credit negative. By paying less now, Chicago risks having to pay much more later, Moodys wrote in its new Weekly Credit Outlook for Public Finance.

The veto override give Chicago 15 more years until 2055 to ramp up to full funding of police and fire pensions that now have assets to cover just 26 and 22.7 percent of their respective liabilities.

According to Moodys, that means the citys contributions to the two funds will be insufficient to cover interest accruing on accumulated unfunded pension liabilities to continue growing.

Based on current actuarial assumptions, Moodys estimated that the unfunded liabilities of both plans will now increase for almost 20 years, growing $3.3 billion over their reported year-end 2014 values.

If plan investment returns do not meet return assumptions, the risk of greater cost growth increases, Moodys said.

The report noted that 2015 investment returns for all four of citys pension funds ranged from -1.5 percent to +1.8 percent. Thats far below assumed returns of 7.5 to 8 percent.

Additional weak investment performance would increase the citys pension payments over current projection, creating additional operating stress and forcing Chicago to make difficult budgetary decisions, the report states, noting that a credit negative does not connote a rating or outlook change.

The mayors office countered by accusing Moody's of ignoring all of the progress Emanuel has made to "confront fiscal challenges that had built up over 40 years."

The statement claimed that progress includes: reducing the city's structural deficit by $421 million; establishing plans that identify "sustainable revenue" to save three of four city employee pension funds and phasing out or ending "financial engineering" gimmicks that former Mayor Richard M. Daley used to "mask the true cost of government."

"We refuse to apologize for not asking Chicagoans to take on another $800 million in property taxes just because Moody's feels that we are not moving fast enough," the statement said.

"Not overburdening our residents takes priority over appeasing Moody's, which seems to have a desire to hurt Chicago, rather than help it thrive."

It was the second time in a week that a Wall Street rating agency had taken a dim outlook of the veto override. Standard amp; Poors had already raised similar concerns.



Benue State government will not borrow money from the financial market to clear the backlog of salaries owed workers in the state, commissioner of Finance, David Olofu, has said.

The workers in Benue State including that of state and local government have not been paid salaries for several months and the situation has caused untold hardship to the people, resulting to the deaths of their loved ones.

However, the commissioner explained that the workers were being owed salaries because of dwindling allocation and stated that government was employing proactive measures to generate funds to clear the backlog.