A Factory Working, College Grad Getting Out of Debt

The C’s that Keep You Broke & How to Beat Them

Every month I’ll share a few little things that can cause you lose to money and some possible solutions that can be implemented to avoid them.  Here’s the third installment of the series! Again, as I said before, my disclaimer on this little series will have both educational benefit and comedic relief.  Some of the items I choose will honestly be all in good fun.

Cars –  These suckers can end up being money pits. Instead of driving a car, maintaining it, feeding its gas guzzling belly, go walk in that 8 inch deep snow! You’ll love the exercise, seriously! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to bring your shovel and come my way to shovel out my walk.  Thanks!  To be truthful though, cars can end up doing this very thing.  You have to buy the car, feed it with gas, maintenance, auto insurance… It’s worse than a house!  Something that can help you save some money though, is to coordinate your errands with the other people in your circle/home.  When the weather does get better, go walk/ride a bike to do your errands.  I see many who put a milk crate on the back of their bikes or even wear a back pack.  Not only will you be limiting your budget for what you can carry or transport, but you’ll also be exercising.

Credit Cards – Worse things in the world!  Cut these up asap, as they have no positive function for you! Perhaps they can help you earn credit for other various purposes, but they can become a black hole for your debt.  They crush you with their weight in interest fees.  Be very careful with them.  Make sure you have the money to begin with and pay it off immediately.  If you can follow that rule and never actually spend more than you make, you’ll be fine.

College – Don’t go! As Admiral Ackbar likes to say, “It’s a TRAP!”  This academic realm is nothing but loans and debt! No, really… students graduating today are on average 40k+ in debt by the time they graduate.  I, myself am only just under that, and I trying very hard even in my unemployment to get the rest of my debt out of the way so that when the student loans come around…. I don’t end up getting in trouble.  These are the worst kind of debt to have, as even bankruptcy can’t help you.  And don’t even think that dying will do the trick, as many former students who have had tragic ends end up still owing thousands and it’s up to the family to deal with it.

Cellphones – Smartphones are all the rage. Everybody has to be able to prove they are the best of their peers when it comes to Angry Birds.  In reality, the data plans, texting charges, minute overages can cost you. Consider having a pay as you go phone.  In many cases, these are just as great as big boys, you just might be a little limited on your phone upgrades.  In my area, it’s actually a well kept secret that the pay as you go phone’s service (because they rent cell towers from everybody) is actually better than most of the regular providers as I live in a valley. If you insist on having all the trimmings, consider joining forces with your parents or siblings on a plan.  Granted, you have to be able to trust they’ll take care of their end of the bill, but it can be just like having a roommate – you get the smartphone and data plan of your dreams.

Cigarettes/Cigars – These cancer sticks will cost you not only money, but your life!  Beware!  Take heed of the surgeon general’s warning on the pack! Run away, and never return to the nasty habit! Meh… while quitting would most definitely save you money on perhaps a daily basis, it’s a little harder to quit than non-smokers think. Knowing and living with smokers, I am very much aware of the problems that are associated with this lifestyle choice, but I also realize that sometimes it’s a crutch that might be necessary. Perhaps consider cutting it down to a pack, or half a pack a day if you can.  If you’re really wanting to quit, consider e-cigarettes. If you’re needing the motion, these are just the trick.  Many of my former regulars have quit using these babies, and it’s really encouraging.

 

Be safe this New Year’s Eve!  Don’t let amateur night get the better of you!  Here’s a more successful and rewarding 2013!

Count those Raindrops!

DecMeadow

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4 responses

  1. Meg

    i would argue that college is a long term gain short term loss. yes the debt is crushing, but its something that needs to be done. you cant expect decent career prospects without some sort of post secondary education. and often where you go matters just as much as if you go. many people get paid more because they have the college degree as well as better jobs that are only open with a degree. credit cards are a necessary evil in the days of car payments and buying a home. but it is very possible to have low income and still have great credit, trust me. its all about responsibility. as for the cell phone, hubby and i both have smartphones, and we make the phone pay for itself via apps. we get coupons and such on our phones monthly that total higher than our data plans and it ends up saving us much more doing it that way. so smartphones aren’t a money pit all the time. not to mention hubby got his iphone for 10.00 when he upgraded due to 2 years of always paying his bill on time….cheaper than many of the non smart phone options at the time!

    December 31, 2012 at 2:28 pm

  2. It honestly depends on the major that you choose if it truly is a long term gain. It also depends on which institution you go to that also matters. For example, if I went to Notre Dame for a degree that does not guarantee a career after I graduate, I would be close to a quarter of a million dollars in debt by the time I graduate.

    Sadly, not many know about these apps, or are they willing to work for it to essentially get a “free” phone with all the savings that could be wrought. I am interested in knowing which apps you speak of though, I just recently got a Kindle Fire and my guy has a smart phone and we might be able to get them to work for us.

    January 1, 2013 at 11:31 am

    • Meg

      one we really like is called snap appy, its old navy’s app, and they often have something called a snap 5 coupon. its 5.00 off of a purchase of 5.00 or more. combine it with a 25.00 gift card the baby gets ever so often from friends and family, and there is basically his entire wardrobe for free….doesn’t work for everyone, but works really well for us. In fact, the toddler adds very little to our budget. things like this make it easy to afford a child.

      January 2, 2013 at 12:19 am

      • Awesome! I’ve never really understood people who say that kids cost a fortune to have… They really don’t if you handle the budget right. I mean.. I really doubt that I cost my parents a half a million dollars as statistics like to brag about now.

        January 2, 2013 at 1:20 am

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