Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Not Even Suze Orman Can Save Me

Hi. My name's Amy, and I'm in a lot of financial trouble.

Hi, Amy.

It's not pretty, folks. And not in the "oh, I am carrying a balance on my credit card this month, how shameful" not pretty, but in the "I have no available credit left, can't make my minimum payment AND afford food" sense of not pretty. Between moving, my Italy trip which is still on my card and other things, I'm maxed out. My student loan payments are astronomical. My cellphone bill is huge since I was dating a guy who was out of network. (Never again!) My freelance work has dried up for the time being. It's really, really frightening me how broke I am.

I got myself into this. I know it. Just having a drink out turns into several drinks, appetizers, and cab fare if I'm not careful. Accepting invitations to everything my friends offer is another problem. I can't keep up with my friends because they make more money than I do, and have less student loan debt. But there is some disconnect when my friends say they want to get a hamburger and beer, because I almost always agree. I want to see them and do stuff with them and leave my house to mingle with my fellow Bostonians, but I can't afford to keep doing it like I have been.

I don't know why I am so stupid with money. I always have been. My brother would get his allowance and save it for a video game or a remote controlled car. I'd get my allowance, and it would be gone as soon as my Mom took me anywhere. I'd want a pair of jeans or a CD, anything that struck my fancy with money in my pocket would be mine. As a kid, that's all well and good since my Mom was still buying my groceries and paying for my housing. Now, it's a huge detriment, and I keep spending money and keep getting myself into maxed-out credit cards. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can't I be a normal person who doesn't spend money when she doesn't have it? Why can't I manage to not blow through a freelance check like Lindsay Lohan blows through coke?

All I want is to hand all my messily organized financial documents over to someone who understands the best way to do this stuff, and tell them to make a plan and I'll stick to it. Pay this much for credit cards, that much for student loans, save a little, and I have $40 a paycheck for fun. If somebody gave me a plan, I could stick to it. But I'm too fucking stupid to do this myself.

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