Tag Archives: Debt

Real Fake Lives: Only 47% of Millennials are Living within Their Means, Social Media a HUGE Factor in Modern Debt Acceptance

I find the hardest thing about being a Millennial in 2018 is realizing that you have to stop living the lie of overspending that our culture promotes to us, that most of my contemporaries are probably assisted into debt and prove it daily, apathetically through social media posts. And this my friends, is a marketing tactic to sell you that it is OK to live on credit and not be accountable for your spending.

Debt is “good” they tell you… sure, think about that debt payment you’ll have to pay for the next umpteen years.  Not so good then.  NO.  But my credit score?  If you don’t have cash don’t buy, any wise financial guru would tell you that.

Those out there spending money to take pictures of their food, those who pretend they have fun with friends they only drink with, those out there buying shit they don’t need, those buying (or worse!) leasing new vehicles, those out there promoting products and platforms for free while they wallow in future debt, oh god, there is not down vote button for this stupidity.  Someone out there is making dollars off of them, sad.

You have to truly realize where you are. Oh, I am a human with flaws?  Oh, I am just carbon like everyone else?  SO why try to act like you aren’t?  You can not afford to put another bar tab on your credit card. You cannot afford to pay gas with a credit line. You cannot go on that vacation and make all your followers jealous.  How will you eat next Tuesday? I had to eat a bean sandwich once: just beans between bread. I am down there.  Are you bean sandwich read?!  If not, keep doing you.

It’s time to realize what a person has to do.  A person has to live free by making themselves free.  Debt is not freedom, debt is a prison.  Each day you work to pay off our debts, you are in chains.  Get out of debt now!  Or just stop reading right here and go scroll social media for hours and forget about it.  It’s all good! 😉

Or: We have to make sacrifices. Get off your phone. I think I can’t live the fake lifestyles that I see anymore. I think I must stop taking in this bullshit. I think I have to become the frugal master.  I think I have to get angry about my debt in order to change my future.  One where I will be debt free and at the beach.  Everyone wants to change things for the better for everyone else but forgets they have to change themselves for the better first.  Don’t stop being philanthropic, but if you don’t have something to give you can’t give.  Think about it.

So, trailing off, I get somewhat acutely disturbed about others unawares debt, the lives they promote that are so costly they couldn’t possibly know. But I don’t care. I realize if most are OK on a sinking ship–which is going very down fast, more lifeboats and options for me. (I am under the philosophy: I better me, I better you.)

Now think, my first sentence was very hard to take, but if you made a penny for every Tweet or Facebook post or Insta scroll, damn, you’d be loaded, and halfway through paying off that credit card or that new phone or that student debt. Now, it’s a bit easier to understand, I hope.  That is why Facebook is rich and you aren’t. Head in outer space floating for likes and affirmation of importance.  You intelligent piece of carbon. Do you have a status update for that?

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Millennials, Strive for that Perfect Selfie because You will Never get out of Debt and You Will Never own Your Own Home Responsibly

“The more he identifies with the dominant images of need, the less he understands his own life and his own desires. The spectacle’s estrangement from the acting subject is expressed by the fact that the individual’s gestures are no longer his own; they are the gestures of someone else who represents them to him.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

“The spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of sleep.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

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The headline you just read is what I think to myself when I realize I shouldn’t spend money and should save for my future interests, especially when my contemporaries scroll social media and see how others are living large and in charge and strive to be just like them.

(Firstly, social media is an affirmation to spend more money, and waste more time.  Do you have it in you?)

I am pretty sure the people around me are concerned about my one point of obsession, my now goal: paying off all of my debt. My motivation being: Because I am a slave to debtors, credit card companies own me, my student loans own me, I really don’t exist freely…  What keeps me going in this direction:  Good reasons.

Good reasons:  Some day I will own my own house, responsibly–not through some insane mortgage.  Some day I will be out of debt, entirely: zero debt.  Some day I won’t have to work every day to pay my bills, no worries.  I will retire with dignity.  And again, those around me will benefit from my now goals, from my relatively insane efforts, from sacrifices I make.

These sacrifices are easier than the alternative for me, of living in debt for the rest of my life, chipping away at what I one minimum payment, all that high interest at a time.  That is stupid.  That is something that could use distractions!

It’s hard and easy for me to imagine that there is a world out there stranded glaring into their phones at millions of other people acting out their fantasies–Millennials et al., taking photos, images of a luxury lifestyle that is nothing more than made up. IT DOES NOT EXIST.

Imagine if we could get paid for that time spent glaring at other people’s dreams… We’d all be as rich as Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Buffet, Steve Jobs, or Donald Trump.

I really shouldn’t care about the setting or the background or how long it took for another person to get that perfect photo, the perfect selfie, and all those likes, although it worries me. I care, imagine.  That is my philanthropy for the day: caring.

(Your debt is that train in the “perfect selfie” video above, maybe doing the same to you as you read.  Stay off of those tracks that lead you, or the future you, into imminent danger.)

The first thing I think about when I see pictures of people doing AMAZING things is, how much debt does that person actually have, credit cards, student loans, etc.? I know, it’s none of my business, but for science…  Then I wonder, does all that debt add up to contrived happiness, the happiness in that picture, imagines on a screen, unfocused a distracted ephemera of fleeting feeling… Does it come from that?

(A hobby of imagining your existence is entirely different from what it is?  Doing this doesn’t cause change, it avoids it.)

And we compare ourselves to those counterfeit images, those freewheeling fantasies, those nice narrative and salacious story lines… Am I as good as that other person’s selfie?  No, no, I am not… Should I be spending more money, should I be buying into this false pretense?  Do I give a shit?

Then I vanish from social media and that apathetic society that we all pay to join in some way or another. I vanish because we all should and walk back into the deep woods to find our inner animal selves, or into a deep sleep.  Beasts called gentlemen in suits and ties pretending to be anything other than ourselves.

(When we die our Facebook us’s keep on living.  Is that me?  For example, my father died four years ago in June and he unfriended me on Facebook a couple of years after that.  He is virtually still alive, however he is physically dead.  I don’t know if he sleeps anymore.  I cannot visit his grave because my reality does not understand this sort of paradox.  Social media creates dead and living zombies right now.  Imagine.)

So, yes, back to the beginning, you will never get out of debt or own your own home, responsibly–without insane lenders and bad deals, if you keep this up.  That is what I tell myself and then avoiding those distractions becomes very easy for me. You as in me.

Forget your likes, upvotes, retweets, highlights from whatever years ago, virtual memories, Facebook lives, and other people’s selfies, they evoke no artistic value whatsoever (or maybe they do: this mini-essay tho.).  Think about what you owe that credit card company, what you owe in student loans? Try to smile now, make that art, Picasso. Get that photo sing.  Real good job.  Create those American Dreams.

We cancelled our #Netflix because you can get most things for free at the #library

I wonder if people know they can get most things for free at the library, even an original series on Netflix… I told my colleague this just before lunch hour yesterday. He seemed surprised. Was I lying, was I crazy, could a person really do this? Ah, yes. To the latter that is. Here’s how I know. Before mentoring last week I was at the public library and saw on the hold shelf: Stranger Things (both seasons). SO, that was what did it for me. Yeah, I could be sad about not getting Netflix exclusives any more, but now I know I can get them at the public library for the cost of having a library card: free. This should be no surprise society, and it was a surprise to me. Again, you can get most things at the library for free if you know what you are looking for, how to ask for it, and who to ask. Everyone wants to help you. Do you want to save money and help yourself? Get it at the library.

Wake up and get out of your debt prison before it’s too late

I woke up one day fed up with the debt I had accumulated and thought about how I could kill it by doing the same thing I had been doing my whole life. Fuck no. This isn’t possible. If you wake up and think this, you aren’t serious about getting out of debt.  You never will be.  You have to hate it.  Reading books on personal finance and doing little things has chipped away a bit. But as Dave Ramsey says, radical change requires radical change, or how I interpret what he says. Not waking up scared about my future debt, about the life I will not give my family wasn’t doing that. Now I am there. And I am worried about our American nation distracted letting their debt grow like cancer as they scream foul at some fantasy. They don’t realize their protest falling on deaf ears is leading to an oppression that they won’t look at and must see, growing on them and in them. Debt is a prison, makes you a corporate slave. I still don’t see the outrage en masse. I wait. Will it come? Will they want to Andy Dufresne?  My outrage is right here becoming frugal and not worried about what others think about my affluence.

Financial Freedom as I Walk Through My Neighbor’s House 

I walked through my neighbor’s house today looking for flaws and thinking how I would never buy this place, ever. It’s too small and I like unfinished basements.  I went house-shopping today but did not buy. Instead, of buying the American Dream I take a step back and try to get out of our American Nightmare first: credit card and student debt.  I walk through my neighbor’s house and I know I should have started earlier, as most millennials. But unlike the aforementioned group–my “tribe”, I protest that and focus on financial freedom.  I have no time for distractions, I know I’m funding some bank exec’s beach.  Also, wait til the housing market crashes again. 

Think and Save; How to Never Buy Textbooks Again.

Obviously this getting textbooks at the library thing isn’t some sort of secret raved-about genius way to save money on required course texts, but in some ways it is.

Let me express my sheer love for getting textbooks and other resources, digital and print, through the library systems briefly, so you can think about how you might do the same—and save money, save time, and save face.

When I started out as a CLA transfer student at the University of Minnesota, I had no idea how the library worked. I didn’t understand the importance of this resource—I had an idea, but it was vague, and that’s an understatement.

After being a student lead worker at St. Paul campus university libraries for 2 years, I have come to realize and utilize the advantages of the libraries (their branches), and the incentives that their lending service affords.

Perhaps you think: I can’t find a title, I won’t be able to get the required course materials, or I searched and that edition or exact title is not available.

Sure, you did one really impressive search (by your standards)… Well, try again. Remember: If you think you can, I know you will.

Maybe the library search engine you were perusing didn’t have it on the first try, or the first page; however, other catalogs may possess what you wish to attain.

Have your first try here: www.lib.umn.edu

A first try is good if you like not getting useful results, though a first try is a good start to something great…

So, try again.

Are you going to give up after one try and spend your hard-borrowed student loan money on things you don’t really care about/need, or are you going to search for 5 more minutes and find what you want for free?

It’s really all about your level of persistence, your level of creativity, and what you will do to attain what you desire: how bad do you want to be frugal and save? Use that thing inside your head, be like a thoughtful individual.

This year my level of wanting to save and be thrifty was high, so I found all of my books through inter-library loans, or other services provided by the library, and it took less than 10 minutes. This process took less time than it takes to send an email, or scroll through Instagram.

Last year my level was not so high. Last year I spent all sorts of what would have been beer or fun money on overpriced books which I did not read, and then at the end of the semester I sold them back at less than half price. I was lazy anyway. But, what a fucking racket. To my utter disdain I regret the decision to buy at the campus bookstore.

Mid-semester I did a quick search and found most of my textbooks here:
http://uborrow.relaisd2d.com/login.html

U Borrow is my favorite resource for any book, always. You can get new books, old books, rare books, from some great universities throughout the United States. The best part is they get delivered to whichever library you choose to pick them up at.

Everyone talks about half.com, or amazon.com, or other places where a student can buy books online and “save”. Sure… How about “save” by not purchasing top-dollar subpar products from places that drastically mark-up their selling price?

In most cases, a specific new edition book is no better than the old edition that you can obtain at a local used bookstore… Same author, same words, different year of printing and edited by different people, wow.

The new edition just has the backing of new people getting paid for rights—each year for a few extra words, for their titles and their names to adorn these improved editions. And this costs you more money, but you want to pay for it, right??? No.

Likewise, these publications and institutions are paying bucks for agency, authority, and placement, big names at pinnacle levels have their materials located in expensive bookstores.

The best, and easiest, marketing they do is by putting their product on your required texts next to your class schedule on the university website, the campus bookstore wouldn’t stock them otherwise—wouldn’t pull an immense profit off of their student body.

Each name of the editor, or publisher, or corporation (and their ideology, and what they sanction) within that book, you pay for. Your teacher, the bookstore, and the school, perhaps makes a commission on these required texts.

Think about it: Do they want you to get the newest edition of Shakespeare because it is of far superior quality, or because certain entities belong to an institution which pays for a mention, for cheap product at increased prices?

Obviate this silly scheme by getting all, or a majority of your materials through the library system. You already pay for it in student fees, and you may have the access you need at your fingertips.

When you buy from the bookstore you are paying for that bookstore’s existence: utilities, workers, facilities; moreover you pay for the interest of your professor and the university, in what they make from these institutions and agencies, from their publications, for their specific interests: profit.

Okay, breathe…

Now say you want to actually own the book, great. Great, you are an outlier on the verge of pariah! So what?

Get it at the library first—give it a try, and if you really enjoy what you’ve read—or you need it for personal use, then buy it.

I personally wouldn’t buy a car without test driving the vehicle first (or having someone else I trust test try it for me). So, why would you buy a textbook without assessing the quality first?

College is no longer affordable, any scholar with an inkling of responsibility will do anything to save money. One of those anythings is avoid the bookstore and utilize a service which is offered with no additional cost. Do it! Save yourself time and money in lines and in overpriced materials.

I’ll be honest, I’m partial to this concept because I work at a library. I love it. I am also partial because I enjoy saving money when necessary/possible. I’m smart.

I knew I needed a change when I bought the latest addition of Moby-Dick (Norton Edition, No. 9) at an incredible price ($23.00 +-), because the teacher expressed how we all needed it.

I thought on that for a moment: how much could they possibly alter or make critical improvements on this American classic? WTF?! Melville was rolling in his grave. I was completely baffled… Just think about that. I paid, and truly I paid.

I will leave you with this, the next time you think you need to get a book at the bookstore, count it out. Scratch that idea… Give it up and try something different, try a new search, give it one more minute on the browser—you can do anything. I believe in you.

Truly, get your books through a public or university library system, they are priceless and don’t carry a heavy price.

…actually, you “have” to…

If I told you you didn’t “have” to do anything,
would you believe me?

Submit your answers in the comment section below.