I once went on a romantic get-away with Mr. Mastercard

Back when I was still in college, I received what I thought was the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in the mail. The letter came in a flamboyantly decorated envelope with the words “No interest for one year” written across the front in big, red bedazzled letters. I immediately opened it up and saw a shiny new Mastercard inside. A week later, I took myself on a vacation to Mexico.

Sadly, I’m still paying off that vacation. Along with the Ipod, the $200 beer making kit that I thought was a great investment at the time, and the puppy. Pile that on top of the money I owe for rent, insurance, and student loans, and you’ve got one giant stinkin’ cow-pie of regret.

Debt, along with being perpetually broke, is a huge issue for most twenty-somethings who are first starting out in the real world. These past couple of months, all I’ve been able to think about is money, or my lack there of. I am constantly calculating numbers in my head, trying to find new, creative ways to save money. On Saturday, I opted to walk 25 blocks in the snow instead of taking a cab. I’ve been buying kitty-litter in bulk at Sam’s Club (imagine the stares I get while I’m walking to my car with a 70 pound bag of cat-litter and a cheap bottle of wine), and I’ve been brown-bagging my lunch every day. Sometimes though, it’s still not enough and thus last week, I tried to cut my own hair (please don’t ask how that went).

It’s a universal problem for a lot of people, and I want others to know that they are not alone in their worrying. I recently read this article about a 41 year old who is $550,000 deep in debt. Because of bloated student loans and compounding interest, filing for bankruptcy might not even be an option anymore.

Just becareful with your money. Create an Excel document and and keep track of all of your bills on there. Figure out what you need to pay first before you go splurge on that new designer dress. And remember, budget, budget, budget.

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