Other crap that's on my mind.

A website about things you probably don't care about, but I do so shove it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Maxed In

About a month ago, I marched into Charles Schwab and asked, “So how do I give you money so I can make more money?” And I got a shocking response.

The woman, in her fancy suit and smelly perfume, basically told me she doesn’t want to take my money just yet. Even though I already have a 401k and a CD and a savings account and a little chunk to put somewhere else, she wants me to learn more about mutual funds, annuties and bonds before I just hand them my money and say good day.

I thought this was the most honest answer I’ve gotten in awhile. From a corporation. That deals with money.

So yesterday, I rented Maxed Out. A documentary of sorts about how fucked up America’s financial status is at. How everyone, including our government is borrowing money to pay off loans. How ridiculous right? This movie was amazing (minus the crazy font they used) and I might even watch it again before it’s due back at Blockbuster.

I know I’ve been going on a decent path money wise. I obtained too much debt in my college years ($12,000 on a credit card and about $65,000 in student loans) but miraculously because of my cheapness and lack of desire to shop for trendy clothes, I’ve been paying it all off at a crazy time span. The credit card debt is long gone and in a month I’ll be able to pay off ONE out of the three student loans I have.

Did I mention I still don’t have a full time job? And I can still take amazing vacations every year? And mommy and daddy don’t help me.

It’s called saving up, not spending money on books and lattes and paying more than the minimum.

The best advice my mom gave me way back when was to pay more than the minimum. I did this from day one. Ten fold. And it’s been working ever since.

Now I pay off my smallest loan with more money and then work my way up. All of this paying things off just makes perfect sense to me. Who wants to pay interest on a cup of coffee? On a trip? On a shirt? On years of education? Not me. And yet, 30 million people+ are in debt and file bankruptcy. IN AMERICA ALONE.

Why? Because we are amongst the greediest motherfuckers alive today. We live in a world where Paris Hilton gets fame just because she’s rich. We are bombarded by Real Housewives on Bravo and The Hills, where spoiled kids cry over being spoiled.

And too many people want to be just like them.

That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of tragedies too. I don’t know what would happen if I suddenly got sick. As it seems, when you get really sick, health insurance seems to vanish like a magic trick. Or if freelance dried up. Or if I never get a full time job. Or if something happened to my family.

There were a lot of these sad stories in Maxed Out that it freaked me out a bit.

I got so mad when they told a story of a young college student who racked up so much debt that it literally took over his life. It breaks my heart that even after he killed himself, those fucking credit card companies kept mailing him letters saying they can give him even more credit with a low, low interest rate.

A week ago I took the Charles Schwab chick’s advice again, and got a book from my library called Financial Planning for the Utterly Confused. It seemed perfect for someone like me because, well, I’m crazy confused about all this stuff. I also got The Bell Jar and started reading that instead, telling myself I’ll read that money book later. One day. When I have time.

Well, it only took a week, and this movie, for me to actually pick up that silly money book and decide this will be my morning/afternoon bus read.

And I actually started reading it today. And hopefully I’ll keep reading it tomorrow. And the day after that. Until I understand it. So I can go back to Charles Schwab and be confident about where my money should go and what I want it to do for me. So that hopefully, I’ll never ever be Maxed Out again.

God willing.

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