@TreeTownGirl You're not alone! I live in Chicago and rents just keep going up and up. (Though not nearly at the rate of NYC/SF!) Meanwhile there are definitely affordable, comparable condos that would cost me less than what my boyfriend and I currently pay in rent. We're moving in together in a few weeks, and one of my top priorities is to start socking money away for a down payment. We love where we are and don't want to leave!
I'm a bridesmaid in two weddings this fall and I was tearing my hair out a few weeks ago figuring out how to pay for everything. But these are two of my dearest friends and I'm so glad to be a part of their day. I'm just trying to focus on that for now instead of stressing. NO MORE LATTES 2014 LOL.
This is so eerily similar to my rural Indiana high school experience. They've been unable to hire a Chemistry teacher for 7+ years. No one wants to live in rural Indiana on a starting $27,000/year salary. They haven't had anyone teaching it since I've been there.
There's a repeat This American Life that was on recently about the difference between the French and Americans and how we view food. The French are often puzzled at how Americans commonly view food as medicine, whereas they see it as strictly a pleasurable, social activity.. I found that very interesting.
A student loan query for you! I have $26,000 in Stafford Unsubsidized Student Loans. I graduated in 2010, and I've been on IBR for the past four years. Adjusted to my income, my loan payments have not even covered the interest. Things are looking up career-wise for me. I'm due for a promotion in 6-12 months. I will also be moving in with my boyfriend (at last!), which is not only awesome, but will save $ as well. I hate having this debt hanging over my head. I would like to not only start making the full payments, but to start aggressively paying my loans down. Right now I only pay roughly $140/month on IBR. If I were to move to making full payments I will owe $450/month in total. This will pay off my loans in 6.5 years. I think it's interesting that Great Lakes is counting the 4 years I was on IBR as part of my repayment term. My loans have grown in size in that time, so I regret having done IBR a bit. This is a lot of money we're talking about! Should I just hold out on IBR as long as my income makes me eligible? If I somehow remain eligible for 16 more years my balance will be forgiven. But if my loans continue to grow and my income makes me no longer eligible, I'm going to end up owing more in the end. THOUGHTS? I just want to get rid of these loans!
BRING BACK TALK OF THE NATION *cries*
@DebtOrAlive I SO agree with you about Econ being a great default major. That's exactly what happened to me. My parents wouldn't let me major in Theatre (Thank you, parents!), and I ended up being fascinated by the Econ courses at my liberal arts college. I definitely went on the "fuzzy" side, avoiding Econometrics somehow (!), but the education I got was invaluable. I am now acting professionally, yet it definitely doesn't consistently pay the bills. My degree helps me land way more lucrative day jobs than a lot of my artist friends. If I'm going to have a day job to support what I really want to do, I want to maximize how much money I'm able to make in that time I'm in the office. Though in retrospect, I wish I'd done some more number-crunching in my major so that I could vy for an analyst position. Dat $$.
Ahh! This is relevant to my interests. I'm about to start a new job and am splurging on some new work clothes. Focusing on getting some quality, affordable staples from places like Uniqlo, Asos, Boden, Everlane... Can you guys recommend any other mid-priced quality retailers? Gotta build out my uniform of solid color dresses/tops and skirts with a fun scarf!
This is one step too close to indentured servitude for my comfort.