Are you broke?


At work on Friday, I told a few people about my plans to do the spending fast.  In the past I've heard that telling people you're working on something, like loosing weight, can be hazardous.  The more people who know what you're doing, the more people will be disappointed when you fail.

I'm looking at a it a little differently.  The more people I tell that I'm doing this, the more people I am responsible for being accountable to!  It's like, I said I'm going to do it, and now I have to, or that makes me a liar.  I was surprised at how supportive my co-workers were!  Two of them even wanted more information, and have both expressed interest in doing the Spending Fast as well!

Anyway, back to the point of this post.  I have been reading Suze Orman's Young Fabulous & Broke, and I have to say I'm in love with it!  I expected it to be a boring financial book that would speak a language I don't understand.  To my surprise, I read half the book in one night!  It's an easy read, and every part relates to me, to my generation.  It really is not "your parent's finance book."  I plan on blogging about some of the parts I find to be most interesting (and go completely against everything I've ever been taught about money).

Now, I dont' have any consumer debt, but I do have student loans, so I didn't really consider myself "broke."  To start the Spending Fast off on the right foot, this morning I decided to check the balance of my student loans.  Yikes!  That is a scary number, but the scarier part is that until I looked it up, I thought I only had about $20,000!  The actual number is actually $25,000 *facepalm* and then I saw that I have accrued almost $2,000 in interest!  I forgot about interest!  I nearly peed my pants!  I AM BROKE!

Anyway, in the introduction of the book Suze lists her 7 definitions of broke for people my age.  If you read these and find yourself nodding your head and saying, "Yup" to any of these definitions, YOU ARE BROKE and I would suggest doing something about it.

  1. Do you rely on cash advances on your credit card to pay the rent or mortgage, and pray that you have enough on your line of credit to do so?
  2. Do you have a ton of student loans that make you nauseated when you think about how long it is going to take you to pay them off? YES
  3. Do you not open your credit card bills because you're terrified to see what you owe and have no way of paying.  So instead, you get hit with late fees and finance charges?
  4. Do you want to buy a home but have no clue where you can come up with the down payment? YES
  5. Do you count every coin in your change jar as well as scrounge under the sofa cushions in desperate attempt to find the dough to cover a bounced check and the $25 fee your bank is going to charge?
  6. Do you want to save for your kids' college education but not know how to swing it because you are already strapped paying a mortgage and you haven't even started saving for retirement?
  7. Do you not have one penny saved, even though you have a good job?  Or if your car breaks down, will you break down too because you don't have the money for repairs? YES
If you are in your twenties or thirties, you can relate to this book.  If you can manage to spend $9.00, you can buy the book at Barnes & Nobel, if not, you could try doing Anna's Spending Fast... it's free.

P.S.  Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is to publicly announce how much debt I have?  But, like I said if the FAQ, I'm going to be 100% honest about it or else I'm only hurting myself.


Curvalicious Diva said... [Reply to comment]

I know your debt feels unmanageable but you will be just fine! I have over $180k in student loans and $17k in credit cards and I feel like I'm drowning... here's to the spending fast!

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