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Monday, January 14, 2013

104

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

The study found that consumers born between 1980 and 1984 have credit-card debt substantially higher than the debt held by the previous two generations. Specifically, they have on average $5,689 more debt than people, like their parents, born 1950 and 1954 at the same stage of life and $8,156 more debt than those born between 1920 and 1924, like their grandparents...

In addition to incurring more debt, younger people are paying off their debt more slowly, too. The study estimates that the children's payoff rate is 24 percentage points lower than their parents' and about 77 percentage points lower than their grandparents' rate.

Okay, guys, what are we doing? What's the plan here?

104 Comments / Post A Comment

tealily

It's not our fault! We've been f-ed in the job market. I had my card completely paid off until I lost my job... the first time.

fondue with cheddar

@tealily It's probably because the economy sucks. I was born a few years before the group mentioned here, and I was doing much better in my twenties than I am now.

royaljunk

Articles like this totally justify my ridiculous fear of having and using a credit card, I have to say.

OhMarie

@royaljunk Yeah, I don't have any credit card debt, mostly because I was EXTREMELY afraid of credit cards in college, the prime credit-card-debt-accumulation years.

royaljunk

@royaljunk I mean, I have debt for things like my student loans, car payment, etc., but for some reason the idea of taking on a credit card fills me with dread. And I've already built up good credit, so I don't really see the need for one!

ohmy

@royaljunk I have been very reluctant to get a credit card. I do actually need one for work trips where they reimburse me later. Spending my own cash on hotels and meals is awful. But also, I feel the second I got a CC it would be BAM debt.

Caitlin Podiak

I have a similar aversion to the idea of credit cards, but I've had one since I was 18 and have never carried a balance or paid any interest whatsoever, with the exception of one single month, in college, after I drank too much wine at a "sex toy party" and giddily bought a vibrator that I couldn't quite afford. I generally make several payments each month because seeing the balance creep up stresses me out too much. And using a credit card is a lot less risky than making purchases with debit cards, in case of identity theft or accidental overcharging or a company randomly screwing you over for whatever reason.

Lorelei@twitter

@ohmy I think if you already have good money habits a credit card is no big deal. I didn't get one until I got my first full-time well-paid job out of grad school, a little less than two years ago, partly to help build my credit and partly because my parents had taught me to see them as a valuable financial tool.

My dad's big argument for credit cards over debit cards is the extra interest you get by deferring payment until the end of the month, which probably was a lot more attractive back when interest rates were worth talking about, but theoretically it's a benefit that will come back one day. What I find it most useful for personally is that it makes tracking my monthly spending really easy. My card is through my credit union, so when I'm checking my account balances it's just another number in the summary. And I have a fairly loose approach to budgeting non-necessities: I aim to spend close to the same amount each month, but what I spend it ON varies. When I put it all on the credit card, I can see at a glance how much I've spent so far, and if I need to put off other fun spending until next month. Growing up, I was regularly told that if I wanted new clothes or whatever, I'd have to wait until the next credit card billing cycle, and now I tell myself the same thing all the time.

I also find it reassuring to be able to control the timing of my cashflow, even with unexpected things. I never have to worry if some poorly-timed expense means there's not enough in my checking account to cover the rent check or my automatic withdrawals, because I can put it on the card and then I have a few weeks to plan out the payment.

Not that anyone truly NEEDS a credit card, if you don't want to use one and that's working for you, it's totally cool! And obviously if you know you are the kind of person who would be really tempted to abuse credit, do what you need to, but having a credit card did not suddenly change all my habits and thoughts about money for the worse. I started out neurotic about money and highly debt-averse, which is what made me anxious about getting a credit card at first, but those are also the characteristics that make it easy for me to use responsibly.

Lorelei@twitter

@Caitlin Podiak oh yeah I forgot to mention, for ordering stuff online, I feel safer using the credit card because if something goes wrong I have time to get it sorted out before I'm actually out the money. That's sort of in the "controlling unexpected expenses" category.

MilesofMountains

@ohmy I also started using a credit card for work trips. I eventually decided that for me, learning how to use credit effectively was a life skills like changing a tire or sewing a button. It's definitely a bit harder than debit, and I've had a couple missteps but I think I've got the hang of it.

Nutmeg

@royaljunk Every time I go to the bank they ask me if I want to start a credit card and every time I say, "No thank you, I don't trust myself with the money I do have." Nobody argues this excuse (also probably they can see I only have $3 in my savings account and are all, "Fair enough.")

fondue with cheddar

@Lorelei@twitter I was actually great with my credit cards until I fell on financial hard times, and I ended up putting things like groceries and gas on there because I had no other choice. The credit limit on my student credit card was only $350 but the balance skyrocketed due to interest and fees. 15 years later, I'm still paying it off and I still owe about $6000. Yes, that's three zeroes.

OhMarie

@ohmy Can your work give you a corporate card? Not everyone can but if other people have one it's worth asking.

Otherwise I think if you can swing only using it for work, getting a credit card with rewards but no annual fee would actually be a pretty sweet deal for you.

KatnotCat

@royaljunk I have one of those 'protected' credit cards from my bank with a limit of $300. It's supposed to help me build better credit--I'm not sure how true that is, but it does help me move money around a bit between paychecks since I'm in a very low paying job. Basically, like @Lorelei@twitter said, it helps me prevent unexpected expenses from screwing me over.

However, I am also terrified of getting a 'real' credit card, and only have this one because someone demanded I be a grown up.

happymisanthrope

I would like to see a side by side comparison of wages and the cost of necessities as well(rent, food, utilities, health care).

leylusha

@happymisanthrope
Yes! I just don't see this being the product of a generational responsibility discrepancy.

tealily

@happymisanthrope As well as astronomical student loan debt!

happymisanthrope

@tealily And credit cards weren't widely available until the later part of the 20th Century.

SarcasticFringehead

@happymisanthrope Courtesy of the comments on a Billfold article today, here's a relevant (...and depressing) op-ed!

aphrabean

@happymisanthrope My grandfather worked three blue collar, non-union jobs (gas station attendant, etc), bought land, built a house, and raised a million kids on his salary alone. He worked himself to the bone, but there is not a chance in hell someone with his education and work experience would be able to do the same today.

TARDIStime

@happymisanthrope Me neither. This article does not mention whether this discrepancy takes inflation into account or not.

TARDIStime

@SarcasticFringehead That op-ed is kind of depressing, but not too much so.
The final point made about how we need to talk about money as a way to instigate change is a good one, and one that The Billfold's existence is all about. The fact that The Billfold exists is proof we're moving in the right direction.
I know it's already made a difference in my life and made me address financial issues with my family and seek advice where appropriate, while learning from mistakes made by others.
Finance is slowly becoming a less taboo subject to discuss for me and I'm learning a lot!

fondue with cheddar

@SarcasticFringehead It is depressing, but at the same time it's reassuring because it confirms what feels true to me: that it's just so much harder to get by these days. The price of everything is going up, but I haven't had a raise in 5 years. It's pretty ironic that I had a higher standard of living when I was a 20-something college dropout than I do now as a college graduate pushing 40. I can't blame the economy entirely—I certainly made some poor life choices along the way—but it's really difficult to climb back up.

SarcasticFringehead

@fondue with cheddar Exactly. I guess it's depressing because it's dashing my long-term fantasies, but it helps put a more realistic spin on things than a personal finance guru telling me to invest in a 5-year CD that's going to make me, max, $50.

fondue with cheddar

@SarcasticFringehead See, I don't have any long-term fantasies. I fully expect that I'm going to be struggling for the rest of my life. It just doesn't feel like a hole I'll be able to climb out from, and even if I do the fact that I've got no retirement savings at my age means that I'll be working my entire life or will be even worse off during my final years. I hope I'm wrong, but if I'm not it will be a pleasant surprise.

My boyfriend and I are entertaining the idea of cheap alternative housing, like a mobile tiny house or a houseboat or something. Our credit is too lousy to buy a home, and rental prices around here are crippling unless you're willing to live in a shitty neighborhood. When I divorced and started shopping around for an apartment for myself, I couldn't even find a studio apartment for a reasonable price.

karenb

of course my grandparents were hesitant to trust banks - they lived through the depression! they saved everything. my parents grew up in that mentality, but didn't feel it as personally, and so by the time i came around, things were better and thriftyness was less ingrained.
i think debt is easier to get, now, too -- credit cards weren't a thing my grandparents had when they were my age, they didn't go to university, they inherited their house. life is different, now.

every tomorrow@twitter

@karenb My grandparents didn't trust banks so they bought shit like mail-order collectible plates and saved them forever. So when they passed away and their children were cleaning out their house, it was like, 200 ugly collectible plates! A dozen or so cheap fake Japanese woodblock prints! One of everything the Franklin Mint ever advertised in a magazine!

I can't say I will be sorry not to have that experience with my parents. I'm pretty sure our local Goodwill store still has a bunch of those damn plates.

karenb

@every tomorrow@twitter ouch, what a pain. yeah, pretty much anything that has the word "collectible" in it... isn't.
Yeah, my grandparents have lived in the same house their whole married life (Mom's side... Dad's moved 3 times). My parents have moved 5 times. If you don't count school housing each year, I've moved 5 already. Each time, less stuff.

area@twitter

In addition to the salient points raised in the article (more credit cards, lower minimum payments, less stigma to credit card debt), I would wager that the substantial increase in income inequality in the US since the 1970s might be a contributing factor. Not trying to duck responsibility here- I'm definitely the one who ran up my debt- but I'm a little weary of the boomer generation constantly implying that people my age are no-talent, lazy fuckups when we're both trying to get ahead and dodging the messes their generation left behind.

Well, when the job market is shitty, most people born in the mid-80s are underemployed and graduated between 2007-2010, wages haven't risen with the cost of living, and you have a ton of student loans (acquired through desperately trying to get out of the underemployment), I wonder why.

I mean, really. You mean 20-somethings are so underemployed that they don't have enough cash to live a reasonable comfortable life? Color me shocked!

every tomorrow@twitter

@S. Elizabeth Some of us from the early 80s are still in that boat. I graduated from undergrad when the economy was pretty crap, so I was like, OKAY GRAD SCHOOL! And then the recession hit partway through my MA, and now I'm out of grad school and the economy is worse than it was in 2005, but my apartment costs like 75% more than it did when I moved here in 2006 and my health insurance premiums have risen 50% (while what's covered by my policy has steadily decreased) since I started the policy 4 years ago.

I now have a master's degree and am sporadically temping because it's the only work I can get.

@every tomorrow@twitter Solidarity. I'm an '86 baby and ... yeah. It sucks.

squeee

I had a friend who's parents were "european'. They kind of taught me, more so than my parents, that a credit card is a month long loan and that carrying debt is BAD and paying in cash is GOOD. guess who paid off her student loans at age 26 and never carries a credit card balance? THIS GIRL. (but then again, guess who has ZERO savings or safety net?? THIS GIRL......)

squishycat

@squeee Yeah, I mean, I could probably pay off all my credit cards in a couple of months if I also didn't save anything or buy anything... (I *am* paying them down but then suddenly all my pants have holes in them...)

angelinha

@squeee When my dad was telling me about credit cards he never mentioned that you could keep a balance and NOT pay it off in full at the end of the month. As a 25 year old with zero credit card debt I am pleased, but sort of concerned that the alternative literally never crossed my 16 year old mind.

NeenerNeener

This is why(how) we CAN have nice things.

Verity

I was born after 1984. That means everything is fine and will remain so forever, right?

fondue with cheddar

@Verity I was born in 1974 and I'm still in this boat. :(

katiemcgillicuddy

I was born in 1984 and can confirm the findings of this study.

katiemcgillicuddy

@katiemcgillicuddy Also, hey, can anyone spot me a 20? Mama needs to buy lotto tickets.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@katiemcgillicuddy
Sure. You can pay me back out of your winnings.

katiemcgillicuddy

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Sweet, I'm totally good for it.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Born in 1985 and the only debt I have is student loans (which are due to be paid off in six years). I've never had a credit card.

iknowright

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose What happens during a credit check (for example, if you're trying to rent an apartment) when you don't have a credit card? When my bf and I lived in a big city, the people we rented from told us I had to be the primary name on the rental agreement because I have good credit, while he (with no credit card) had none at all and "couldn't be trusted" because he had no real paper trail. (For the record, we found that insulting, but it was a great place in a city with hard-to-find great places.)

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@iknowright Yeah, that happened to me when I tried to rent a car late one night in Portland. It feels pretty silly to me that I've been responsible and lucky enough to be able to spend only what I have, but that doesn't translate as financially responsible during a credit check. I'm doing my best to build it up by staying on time with my student loan payments and with utilities, etc. But yeah, I'll likely have to get one eventually, because if you've never had credit card debt in this country it means you aren't financially trustworthy. Apparently.

harebell

@iknowright
My husband had that problem, because he's from a foreign country where the financial system is not organized around credit cards the way it is here. It's unfair -- being penalized for coming from a country with a different financial system, but having perfectly good credit in all the ways that count over there! He got a starter credit card a few years ago and we've been gradually building up his credit history. You don't have to charge much to build your history up -- just a few things a month, and then pay it off immediately as soon as you get a statement, repeat rinse wash, and over 3-4 years you come to have a decent history. It's super insulting at first (I think his first card at age 40 had a $1,000 max charge), but with time it gets better.

SarahP

@iknowright I actually got a credit card to build credit for when my husband and I tried to buy a house... but I had it for less than a year when we applied for a mortgage so it didn't really matter. But what DID contribute to my credit score: all of my bank accounts ever (I had had 2), my undergrad student loans, my graduate student loans, my phone account, etc. I had a lower credit score than my husband because I don't have a long or complicated credit history, but all that stuff contributes to your credit. I don't think my 1 less-than-a-year-old credit card did squat for my credit score/history.

iknowright

Uh..."fixed expenses" can = student loans, right? So that's why the better educated have more debt, yeah?

Also, though I have no debt because I'm a neurotic control freak, I've had bank accounts/credit cards since I was in high school. I'd imagine one of the reasons my mother didn't have card issues at the "same stage of [her] life" is because when she went to apply for a credit card, the bank told her she had to have her husband's permission.

So, gender rights/changes in the way interest/loans/debt are handled now vs then are all things which are, you know, relevant but not really addressed.

area@twitter

@iknowright My mom told me the other day about the time she was informed that her husband or father would have to co-sign for a credit card with her. This was the 1970s, and she happened to have a full-time job and be wholly self-sufficient. She gave them an earful.

c2d
c2d

I've never, ever owned a credit card and, honestly, kind of scared of them.

yourstruly

@c2d Same! I have a crippling fear of credit cards.

TARDIStime

I came of age the same year the Visa Debit/Mastercard Debit was introduced to Australia.
Thank Fuck.

blueblazes

I don't mean to get bogged down in minutiae, but I think it is awesome that they pegged my birth year, and my parents' and grandparents' birth years. Nice, neat, 30-ish year intervals.

Also, what's with us all being born in the first half of a decade? Does it mean something? Is there some part of the economic cycle that means we are hitting all of our milestones at exactly the wrong time?

bot
bot

@blueblazes Yeah, it struck me as weird that there's an assumption that everyone is born to parents between 30 and 34 years old.

OhMarie

@blueblazes Isn't it basically baby boomers, their parents, and "echo boomers?"

RK Fire

@bot It is totally weird. For instance, my husband and I were born during that four year period and my parents were born in the late 1940s* while my husband's parents were 18 (mom) and 20 (dad) when they had him. Not all families are alike? My in-laws' relative youth is actually pretty normal in the community he grew up in.

*I was a surprise! or what happens when married refugees reunite after spending three years apart when trying to immigrate to the US

Slutface

I blame Madonna. She taught us at a very young age that we live in a material world and are just material girls.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Slutface I think I fall more in love with you(r online persona) every day.

@Slutface You just won the internet. Let's all go home now. Slutface won the internet.

StandardTuber

I saw the headline on twitter (This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things), and thought it would be about all the elephants dying because of poachers. :( Sorry.

sophia_h

My credit card debts are entirely from emergencies -- dental work, car problems, vet bills -- that I had no resources to cover. My mom's disabled and my dad had a second family, so there's no one backing me up on this shit. Whenever the media wants to get judgy about my generation and debt, I want to ask if they paid for their kids' root canals or what.

harebell

@sophia_h
aww, that sucks, and is unfair, though, life.
I almost wonder if you could get a bank loan at a lower rate, pay off the credit card, and then pay off your loan more slowly at the much lower interest rate that it would carry?
but maybe you've already looked into that.

sophia_h

@harebell There may be some other options, I just also have a car loan, back taxes, and enormous student debt to deal with. My 20s were not a fiscally easy time.

ImASadGiraffe

@sophia_h No shit. My mom is not only disabled but actually stole my identity when I was in college. Dad didn't help at all. Hello student loans. I'm in my late 20s and working a job I don't like simply for the decent income and benefits (student loan forgiveness and insurance).

Sarah Rain

Important to note: it was a lot harder to get loans and credit cards then. Store credit cards were the only ones available to my parents in the 70's. They didn't live above their means in the way I see a lot of people doing now, but they didn't have the same choice to either. It wasn't entirely willpower that kept their cohort from going into debt.

themegnapkin

@Sarah Rain Right - when my parents bought their first house (2 incomes, no kids, no other debt), they had to have my dad's boss vouch for him. When I bought my house, the bank wanted to lend me twice what I ended up spending (2006, so just about the height of irresponsible lending).

KatnotCat

@Sarah Rain Especially for women, who often would be denied credit unless they were married and got sign off from their husband.

wee_ramekin

This is interesting, and kind of touches on something I was talking about with my mom last night.

I had asked her if politics and America had always been as rancorous as they are currently. She said that she didn't think that it had been, and she added that she thinks part of the reason is because, in her opinion, "it is just so much harder to make it these days". My mom was a young mom: she had me at 21 back in the early '80s, so it's not like she's talking about some Golden Era where Ford/Kodak/etc. paid for employees' housing or anything. But she's firmly of the opinion that average families are less and less able to afford fundamental costs of living.

If my mom's anecdotal observation is anything to go by, then I'd say that's at least part of the reason people her children's age have more debt than she did when she was younger.

fondue with cheddar

@wee_ramekin Yeah, there's definitely something wrong when a person making twice the minimum wage has a hard time making ends meet.

The minimum wage has only increased about $2 since I joined the workforce over 20 years ago.

sunbeam

This information is hardly surprising though, given that many more of us go to college now than in our grandparents' (and even our parents') generation. In addition, most of our generation has graduated from college during a horrible recession and had fewer job opportunities, and thus less of a chance to pay pack the debts they've incurred. That isn't to say that we couldn't (and shouldn't) be more responsible with our income. The lack of good jobs leads meany into credit card debt simply to get by! C'est la vie!

JLA
JLA

I'm 30 and just got my first credit card. My credit report only has my student loans on it, all paid on time, but I was turned down for an apartment and couldn't rent a car when it was needed because I technically had no credit. When I tried to open a credit card account to establish some credit, I got turned down by most places. So, small steps. Now I've got a JCPenny card with a $100 limit. Woo. Still sucks to have lived within my means my whole life and essentially be considered untrustworthy because of it.

@J. L. A.@twitter I really want the US to stop relying so heavily on the credit score system. It pretty much fucks a lot of people over.

Oh, squiggles

Want to hear something fun? My mom, an accountant with investments and no debt, told me that her credit score went down once she no longer had a mortgage to pay off. I'll type that again, her credit score got worse, when she did the right thing, and paid off her mortgage. Her score is still good, but it's just ridiculous that it happened at all.

Our financial system seems designed to screw people over.

fondue with cheddar

@S. Elizabeth I canceled all my credit cards years ago when I got myself into debt during a personal financial crisis. I got a full scholarship through my mom's job, which is fantastic, but not having any student loans means I don't have a way to build credit. I've also never had a mortgage and I've never financed a new car. My credit is not abysmal but it's not good enough to get an auto loan or a credit card. I finally buckled down and got myself a secured credit card in an attempt to build my credit up. I hope it works.

fondue with cheddar

@Absurd Bird Your username is relevant to this comment.

KatnotCat

@J. L. A.@twitter Isn't that the lamest? It's no wonder our country has so many people with debt problems, our culture and financial system expect people to have debt.

But, have you tried seeing if your bank will let you get a protected credit card? That is what I have now. You have to give them money in the first place as collateral, but you'll be able to get a slightly higher limit and use it on things like groceries. It might help you build credit faster than the JC Penny one.

fondue with cheddar

@KatnotCat I have one of those. I use it to pay my bills automatically, which also keeps me from paying my bills late (because I'm bad about that).

Valley Girl

@J. L. A.@twitter My getting student loans corresponded with the loosening of the credit markets after the 08 crash. I couldn't get a stinking $200 department store card to save my life for years, but suddenly now that I already borrowed a bunch of money I'm getting tons of credit offers. I understand it, but then again I really don't.

harebell

@J. L. A.@twitter
Slowly but surely, you'll build it up!

It's a good idea to keep asking the bank about the protected credit card, and, once there, or, even with the J.C. Penney card, ask if you can have your credit limit raised. Part of how your credit score gets calculated is how much available unused credit you have, so it's good to get the limit as high as possible even if you're not going to use that shit.

annev6

My plan is to go back in time and tell my 18 year old self not to let that Bank of America employee convince her that she needs to open a credit card account along with her first-ever personal bank account "to cover any overdrafts". There are not a lot of people I remember, but I will never forget that bastard's face.

fondue with cheddar

@annev6 AAAHH I fell for that one too. Different bank, same scam.

annev6

@fondue with cheddar Ah, the good old days. When banks were handing out credit cards with $15,000 credit limits to 18 year old college students. Clearly their logic was that my part time job at the campus book store made me a sound investment for a high interest 5-figure loan. Well, actually, since I've paid nearly all of it back almost a decade later, it was a pretty good investment on their part. A slow going one, though.

packedsuitcase

@fondue with cheddar Same here. Didn't discover this until, oh, 2 weeks ago? Hooray unexpected debt. @%&@&*@#$^*! *%(&^*(&$%^(*$ Right when I was trying to save up and be suuuuper responsible. Ugh.

fondue with cheddar

@annev6 $15,000?! Geez, my student card limit was $350. Thank goodness.

I blame the banks for everything that's wrong with with world. It seems plausible.

Heat Signature

Um, so I guess I'm an outlier because I was born in 1977 and my husband and I have huge credit card debt because the economy tanked and we basically lived on credit until we did a short-sale on our house and moved closer to where I work.

Maryaed

I'm way older than y'all but one thing I have noticed is the way everything turns into a monthly bill now and is managed on credit cards. It's way easier to pay for stuff you aren't using now (Netflix, texts, cable, yadda) and pad out your bill without even trying, plus online purchasing etc. all goes credit. Harder to do pay as you go like you used to have to when it was all cash in your pocket and checkbook. The psychology is different but also some things you can't even get without the credit card company as intermediary. I'm sure they count on this.

annev6

@Maryaed My golden rule is I don't allow anything to be charged to my card automatically. I pay everything on pay day, so I can watch the money leave my account and confirm I'm paying what I actually owe. It makes a hell of a difference. Any company that won't let you do this is, in my opinion, inherently evil.

Julia duMais

@Maryaed Ugh, I wish I were organized enough for this to work for me. Fortunately, all the things I've got set up for automatic payments, I'm also able to set up such that they notify me when the money is withdrawn, so I was able to cancel a service I wasn't making use of, and I'm able to budget for the withdrawals.

P.J. Morse

@Maryaed Totally. With auto-billing, it's all too tempting to skip looking at all the extra charges. Auto-billing is awesome. It cuts down on paper and annoying filing. But you pay for the convenience.

notpollyanna

My first reaction: Ha! HA! Suck it! SUUUUCK IIIIT!

(I was born in 1984. I have no credit card debt, just funnel all my purchases through my card for the rewards, I pay it off fully and automatically each month. And my student loans were enormous, $106k when I graduated. I've halved them in 4.5 years, the first 4 of which I was making $25k/yr. Meanwhile, I lived with my parents, which was wretched, and spent ~$300-$400/ month on healthcare. SUCK IT!)

But in reality, I know I'm an outlier, blah, blah, everything you already covered that explains this difference without it just being "kids these days are lazy and irresponsible" style fist shaking.

Sarah Rain

@notpollyanna You rock! Yay for responsibility!

Caitlin Young@twitter

My plan is as follows:

1) Pay off all my existing credit card debt (currently under $2000! Could be much worse!) and build my savings as much as I can while I'm still in grad school and my student loans aren't in repayment yet.

2) Pay off my student loans forever, but avoid racking up any more credit card debt with the fiscal responsibility I will somehow have managed to instill in myself by graduation.

...The whole plan pretty much hinges on that part about instilling fiscal responsibility in myself in the next two years or so. Otherwise I'm screwed.

packedsuitcase

@Caitlin Young@twitter I totally gave myself a rewards system. Every $1k in the bank (once the CCs were paid off), I got a little treat - nothing too expensive, but something nicer than I'd get normally. And I had to have that extra $1k *after* I spent whatever on my treat.

Actually, I think I need to start that again...

Julia duMais

@packedsuitcase Oh, that's a nice idea! Maybe I'll see if I can figure out something similar.

whereismyrobot

This is all at once shocking...and not.

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