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An introduction...

August 3rd, 2008 at 09:38 am

This blog was born out of my involuntary night in, walled off from the glitz of a Saturday night in Los Angeles by 4.15/gal gas prices and a rapidly dwindling bank account. All of my good friends (the kind you can enjoy without structured plans or loud, thumping music) are out of town. That left me home, eating carbs, feeling sorry for myself.

As I sat in the dead silence of my apartment, it occurred to me that I probably wasn't alone in this. How many other college girls were making small sacrifices in their social lives to keep themselves financially afloat? How many other girls, when faced with two choices, 1) drinking Coors Light in a casual friend's shabby apartment, in front of SoYouThinkYouCanDance reruns, for the sake of being "out", and 2) breaking the bank at an ulta-trendy club/restaurant/concert venue, choose to opt out completely? How many other girls are used to an inflated standard of living, maybe due to friends, parental loans, and a college education, that is just not reflective of their fiscal reality?

It's not just about an occasional night in. That in itself is not much of a complaint, and we could all use a few quiet nights for laundry and organizing. It's more about maintaining a lifestyle that is just out of reach. To be simultaneously told that you should want something, and that what you want is irresponsible excess. Which leads me to my first major list (because I love lists): What This Blog Is Not.

1. This blog is not a tale of woe. Barbara Ehrenreich is not going to write a book on this, and I am not going to raise groundbreaking issues on social justice and poverty in America. I know that it's a luxury to be able to make these decisions in the first place, particularly since I'm not saddled with extensive debt or family responsibilities. (The only life I've ever been responsible for was a NanoPet in 5th grade.)

2. This is not a mature personal finance blog, which you probably figured out already. I will offer no tips on managing your portfolio or billion dollar assets; I never advanced past Econ101 and I can't even afford a Netflix membership.

3. This is not some kind of frugal-gurl-fab-deals-for-under-$20 blog where I post links to Tampax coupons and list all the high end designers now offering lines at H&M. Not that those aren't helpful in their own right...

This is my own personal story of money and spending, which I feel is very reflective of a lot of young women out there today. We live in a culture where Lil'Wayne is declaring that that he "got money and you know it take it out your pocket and show it then throw it", while the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is declaring we have the highest unemployment rate in 4 years. The Hills is selling us a couture-ridden 20-something lifestyle, when most 20-somethings' can't afford to fill their gas tanks. We aren't scraping together pennies to survive, and we still budget for spicy tuna rolls, yet we still squirm when an airline hits us with an extra $15 fee for baggage.

I guess I'll end by telling you who I am. I'm a psychology major on financial aid, about to start my senior year at a liberal arts school. I'm planning on a career in market research and ultimately an MBA. My parents are financially comfortable, but on fixed incomes and I have no trust fund or rich dying uncle. I love fashion but fall short of the genuine fashionista label (I can't tell you what hem-line will be a faux pas between Oct. 1st and 15th this year). I grew up on the East Coast. There's probably more, but you'll figure it out.

14 Responses to “An introduction...”

  1. Myrtle Says:

    Hello and welcome to our group!

  2. Amber Says:

    Nice post and welcome Big Grin

  3. compulsive debtor Says:

    Welcome!

  4. scfr Says:

    Very glad you have joined us.

  5. momcents Says:

    I enjoy your writing style! Welcome!

  6. homebody Says:

    Forget market research, become a writer, you could probably make a mint writing chick flick books! (I have a 29, 27 and 20 year old daughters!)

  7. Blue Eyes Says:

    Welcome...I'm sure you will get lots of personal finance ideas here!

  8. Swimgirl Says:

    Welcome and good luck!

  9. cargirl86 Says:

    Hi! We're around the same age, so I really look forward to reading some of your insights!

  10. sillyoleme Says:

    Hi, I'm another 20-something, fresh out of college and starting my career. I agree very much with your description of what we're "told" we should want, what it seems like everyone else has/does... and then what we can actually afford. It's tough being young and broke. Smile

  11. ceejay74 Says:

    Highly entertaining! Tell us more. Smile

  12. Broken Arrow Says:

    Welcome! I've never personally cared for blogs that strictly offered advice anyway. For example, if I wanted to know more about taxes, I'd go straight to the IRS website. There's no real need for a dozen different personal blogs to share the same information, and then for me to have to double check the accuracy of such information.

    So, by all means, please make it personal story. That's what makes blogs interesting. Big Grin

  13. spendinginsocal Says:

    Thanks for all the great comments and welcomes, everyone! =)

  14. Dido Says:

    Welcome to the list from a *former* SoCal psych major (who's moved out to the East Coast).

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