A little background on me. I’m almost 35 years old, I went to an in-state university (UC Santa Cruz), I worked two jobs almost full-time during school, my parents helped me financially in ways that they could, and I had to take out student loans that I am not yet, but almost done paying back. I consider myself much luckier than many. I was able to find a way to afford to go to college in a country where getting a higher education has become more and more expected and less and less feasible. I do not for a second think that I am better than those who had to incur more debt in order to do so. The same cannot be said for xoJane writer Jessica Slizewski, who penned one of the most idiotic and tone deaf pieces I’ve possibly ever read on the internet, entitled “Unpopular Opinion: I Don’t Have Student Loans And I Don’t Feel Bad For People Who Do.” Keep reading »
Emily-Rose Eastop, a 26-year-old from London, is crowd-funding the expenses of her master’s degree program. The scientist with a talent for singing and dancing graduated in 2010 with a degree in Human Sciences, and was shocked when she was turned down for over 200 jobs (though it’s worth considering that she only applied for work through notoriously useless online job-hunting platforms). She’s spent the past fours years relying on the support of her mother and boyfriend to live and tutoring biology to make some cash here and there. Keep reading »
Today, New York University costs around $43,000 annually for tuition alone. When I attended over 10 years ago, it was closer to $30,000 annually. If either of those two numbers make you feel short of breath, join me on the floor.
I was able to attend such an expensive school through a couple of scholarships, my parents’ generosity, and student loans. Hella student loans. These days, student loans dominate my entire life. I wish I were joking about that. While I sometimes feel regretful about making such big financial choices when I was young, dumb and 17, I try to remind myself of all the opportunities that I’ve had in life because of those choices. Maybe if I had gone to UCONN, the state school in my home state, I would have gotten a full ride or paid off any loans by now — but I also can’t say how my career would have gone.
But I certainly do wish I had gone through college behaving differently towards money. Here’s a couple of things I wish I’d known so I didn’t have to learn myself the hard way:
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I am celebrating today because I got my tax return in the mail and used it to pay off every cent of credit card debt that was hanging over me like a dark cloud. I won’t say how much, but it was in the thousands. I bought a new computer, had some doctor’s bills and before I knew it, the debt was piling up as it tends to to. I am pleased to announce that as of this morning, I am 100 percent credit card debt free for the first time in over a year. And I plan to stay that way. It’s weird, but I feel lighter somehow. Debt really weighs down your spirit. Right now, mine is carefree and doing the River Dance. Woot woot! So Friskyverse, I want to know how you are planning to allocate your tax return funds. I hope someone out there is already debt free and using the dough to buy something completely frivolous, like a mini pony or something. I want to live vicariously through you, please. Share with us in the comments.
I’m fairly certain that I have an addictive personality. I’ve avoided drugs, gambling, cigarettes, and alcohol based on those suspicions, and likely will continue to do so until my dying day. But I got blindsided by my own addictive tendencies when I discovered the joys of personal style. After years of hating my body, I finally figured out that I could look and feel fabulous if I simply dressed to highlight my favorite physical features. It was an absolute revelation, and sparked a new-found, fervent love of clothing, shoes, and accessories. Soon, I fell into some pretty ridiculous and harmful shopping behaviors, the repercussions of which came to a head about three years ago. I had allowed my debt to grow exponentially over several seasons of frenzied acquisition. I’d begun making mental bargains with myself about how another $200 on the ol’ MasterCard wouldn’t make THAT much of a difference in my monthly payment, and I definitely needed those new Frye boots before fall arrived. I’d dug myself into quite a hole, and felt utterly incapable of clawing my way out. Keep reading »
A year ago, my then-boyfriend and I argued about something. I can’t remember anymore what it was about. But I know it made me upset the night we argued and lasted until the next morning, all the way from my commute from New Jersey into New York City. Pent-up with frustration, I needed to do something to make myself feel better. So instead of walking straight to my office, I ducked into an H&M, grabbed skirts, dresses and blouses off the racks without even trying them on, and spent something like $200 or $300 on clothes in less than half an hour. Keep reading »