Apologies for the really long absence, but with the Easter holiday, going home to Wallkill several times in the past month, and a crazy period at work, I haven’t had much time to update anything worth substance.
In the past week, there have been several fantastic personal finance-related stories in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
No, none of these have anything to do with income taxes. Do make sure you file by April 15th, though, or else the big bad taxman just may come after you.
If you have the time this weekend, definitely peruse these not-so-long stories. I’ll give a quick summary and my thoughts on each one after the jump.
Hard to believe, but it’s been a year already since I had what I thought was my lowest financial point and subsequent epiphany moment. To sum it up, I just found out that I was going to have at least one furlough (unpaid) day per month, my rent was going up, and because I had this very tight view of money — I was going to stop all of my plans.
Earlier this week I read a fantastic article in the Wall Street Journal about planning finances for those who were just rehired. While the article was geared toward people who had been unemployed for some time and just found another job, I feel that the lessons in the article can extend to those who are just getting their first “real-world” jobs as well.
There was an interesting article I read on New York Times’ Web site this morning about teenagers, their spending habits, and the recession.
Basically, the main point of the article was teenagers are cutting back on their spending accordingly to what they see with their parents. Stores that are grossly expensive like Abercrombie & Fitch are feeling the pinch, while other less-expensive stores — including Marshalls and Aeropostale — are thriving.
I kind of referenced it in a past post, but I received word that I got offered a new job — which I accepted — earlier this week. It’s a marketing writer position for an enterprise software company close to where I live. I feel it’s the next step for me, a growing company, and counting furloughs and pay cuts I’ve taken at my current job … a 50 percent pay raise.
While I’m extremely happy about these prospects, it leads me to believe it’s time to revisit what I have been doing with my finances. Sure, I’m still going to do the same things — budget, save, etc. — but with more money coming in every couple of weeks there are bound to be some changes.
When it comes to our generation, Generation Y, most people have their own opinions already formed about us: the vanguard in tech savvy, lazy, spoiled, shining lights in a dim world, etc.
No matter what anyone wants to say about us, we’re nothing if not complex. This week, there were several articles that examined our attitudes and patterns regarding money management and completing college. Just like our parents, we are affected by the same macroeconomic issues facing everyone today — we’re just handling it in different ways.
Paying for college is hard. Believe me — I know. I have about $18,500 left to pay off from my four years at Seton Hall, and I’m unbelievably lucky that’s all I have left to pay. The school cost, at that time, $35,000/year. I can’t even imagine how much it is now.
Unfortunately, most jobs now require you to have a college degree in order to even be considered. Add all of the overqualified people applying for jobs because they have been laid off, and college seems like the rule rather than the exception.
Colleges, though, are also businesses. They are in it to make a profit, and the rising costs of tuition, room, board, and other fees further complicates matters.
It wasn’t always this way, but stories show that in today’s economic climate it is becoming more and more difficult to finish college — and the ultimate losers in this battle are the ones who are unable to finish what they start.