@EvanDeSimone It's hard to tell if you're right or not because he's a bit fuzzy on a lot of the money details of this. If he still had lots of student loans from his other degrees, didn't have a job while he was in Denmark, had little job prospects when he finished, then yes, it doesn't really hold up anymore. But if the degree was free and he was able to support himself while he was there, then it's as true now as it was then that it's better to do things like this when you're in your twenties and don't have any real responsibilities (a family, a mortgage, a more established career, etc.)
I can tell you one thing from experience that is very pre-2008 about this: staying in Europe, because Europe sure does hate immigrants more than it did in 2006!
@Loshan Not sure. Going abroad or getting a master's because you don't know what else to do with yourself seems pretty common among the people I graduated college with in 2009. (Although maybe not both at the same time.)
I kind of think this goes back to Mike's problem with people blaming the crisis on "lattes" and consumer debt in that it only tells half the story. I always took out the maximum I was allowed and while I never spent the money on things like flat screens and always had a lot left over, no one ever told me not to take it out. Not my parents, not the college advisers, certainly not the government. (My parents always insisted I take it out "because what if X happens and you need Y and Z?") 18 year olds are stupid, and sure, they need to learn how to not be stupid, but if we had a system that actually prevents this not only would they not be buying flat screen TVs with loan money but education would be more affordable anyway, since colleges could not continue raising tuition on the assumption that loans will cover it.
@Lily Rowan Yeah I wish someone would tell me or show me what a good interview looks like, because I'm sure that's where I'm usually messing up. All of the advice I've been given is along the lines of "When they ask X, they are REALLY asking Y" and it makes the whole thing feel like a theater game rather than a human interaction and I feel like I ramble in the hopes of saying something that's the right answer eventually.
@vanderlyn I have a Schwab account but I've also heard they will close your account with little warning if you go too long only using the checking account.
I like this, but three things you may not be considering: 1) Sun-in is notorious for making people's hair break off in chunks. Not saying this means you need to go to a salon but a box of Clairol is only a few dollars more. 2) Plane tickets are often worth the money and they're the only thing on your frugal list for which you don't actually provide an alternative. If you don't want to travel, don't do it, but traveling:not traveling is not the same as gym membership:running in the park. 3) Expensive makeup is often but not exclusively better. Revlon lip products, Maybelline mascaras and Wet n Wild eyeshadows are great. (Especially mascara, since it runs out/has to be thrown out so often.) Also L'Oreal owns like half the big luxury brands anyway, and a lot of their stuff is the same as the luxury things, repackaged and released 6 months-1 year later. (Not telling you to not spend your money how you want. Spend it how you want! Just pointing out possible blind spots.)
@Wilgrims Yeah, in France everything is pretty steeply discounted. Museums are free, train tickets are something like 40% off, movie and theater tickets get a good discount too...until you turn 26 and supposedly magically get a well-paying job.
I would say about $70-80 a week for two, depending how much booze we buy. We also order in or eat out about twice a week. Also about once a month I have to buy a few expensive things that don't need replaced very often (cooking oil, cleaning supplies, etc) that can bump it up quite a bit. We cook mostly from scratch and don't buy a lot of pre-made things.
@Bill Fostex Yeah really. I agree with all these tips except that one. That sounds like a good way never to get invited over for dinner anymore. I can understand rotating who brings what to these kinds of events but actually counting all the dollars every time? Also there are a lot of options between edamame and a really elaborate, expensive entree.