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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dear Me: Some things I've left out... Part 1

A while back my friend Cassie over at Fire & Rabbits asked me to do a guest post for her Dear Me:.  As I thought more and more about that post, there's so much more I need to say.  So, over the next few posts - I'm going to expand upon that.

A little more of what I wish I'd known back then.

I'd love to say that I followed the very bohemian peace, love and tie dye example of frugality my parents lived while I was very young.

Fact is, I like stuff!  Who doesn't?

What I don't like?  Bills & Debt.

I can still remember my first credit card.
I was 18 and everyone told me that Bamburger's (now solely Macy's) gives EVERYONE a credit card.  Of course I applied and was declined because I was only working part time.

Getting a credit card, when all my friends had one and I didn't, became a challenge.  So I applied, applied, applied.  My first cards? Mandee's & Stern's.  I shopped like it was my job.  Every day I got a new outfit.  I was most definitely stylin'.

I worked.  I went to school.  I paid my bills.  I bought a car.  I applied for more credit cards.  I bought more stuff.  I paid more bills.

After a while, I had plenty of stuff - but I had more debt at the end of my money than I could deal with.  So I got more jobs.  I was young and single, I had no one else to account for but myself at the time, so I just rolled with it.  That was the habit I formed for myself early on.  I wasn't working to live anymore.
I was working to pay off my debt on the life I used to live, for stuff I didn't even like anymore!

I don't recommend this.

After several life lessons & paying off all of my credit card debt, I've resigned to no more credit cards!  Well, that's not exactly true - always have one emergency credit card that doesn't get used.

If there's anything I could stress, more than anything else, it's to live within your means!

Did I have my Escalade?  Yes.  Did I love it?  Yes....  I loved my little Cadillac lifestyle!  Did I love the $800 per month car payments?  Nope. I also didn't love the $3500 transmission repair bill.

That's a cruise, and I love to travel!

I've learned to scale my life down and love my Jeep.

Would I love a big 3500+ square foot home?
Once upon a time, yes!  Now - it's just more to clean. I'm happy with my little house, with smaller bills and less to clean.

In my opinion, it's a trap.  A gilded cage.

Working to pay off debt isn't living - it's stressful!

Have you ever been a position of ducking out collection calls?

Think Confessions of a Shopaholic & get back to me - because those people are relentless!  Trust me.  Not a game you want to sign up for.

Shopping is FUN!!  Things are GREAT!!  You can still have amazing....
You'll just have to work harder in life. You may not want to do more school.  Just do it!  School is time consuming & hard - but I've got news for you, life is hard.

That little dream of find a rich handsome husband to sweep you off your feet & take care of you for the rest of your life....  Um, probably not going to happen.

Again, stay in school - go be someone.  Build your own life & then if you choose, find someone like minded to share it with.  Trust me.

Go be you & have fun.  Not everyone can roll around in hundred dollar bills.  It is what it is, and that's OK.

Live your life and quit trying to keep up with the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Thank you for reading my blog!



  1. Such a great lesson that, unfortunately, most of us have to learn the hard way. I'm trying to get my sons to learn not only about living within their means, but the value of saving. It's not a road for the faint of heart!

  2. Every time my step-son gets paid he borrows $25 end spends his pay check on crap. THe more he earns the more he owes.

    Stuff is nice, but I am no longer interested. I'm more interested in interest. Collecting interest, not paying it.

    Oh and I love me my Jeep!

  3. You hit it right on the head Jenn. Great post!

  4. We're trying to work our way out of our debt, right now, too... Well, it was fun while it last, no? ;)

  5. Right on! I have no credit cards except for the emergency one too. Now the student loans on the other hand...that's another story...

    Found you on the TGIF Blog Hop! Follow me please! :)

  6. I totally agree with your philosophy! Wait- I mean the live within your means part, not the shop yourself into eternal debt part ;) We have no credit cards at this point, because I still don't completely trust myself not to decide that ordering pizza because it's 8 o'clock and we haven't eaten dinner is an emergency. Stuff is great, but so is peace of mind from knowing you're not completely drowning in debt :)

    Came over from the TGIF blog hop!


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