Wow, I just reread all the thought-provoking comments in my Don’t Be A Victim post. After some good discussion with friends, I’ve put a finger on why I feel so strongly about this – Entitlement. When people feel entitled to things it just irks me. I’ve also linked it to why many people have problems paying off their student loans after college…
*Newsflash* It is not your inalienable right as a college graduate (focusing on new grads here) to receive any of the following things:
A great paying job. Job markets are fickle, and you may have to suck it up and take a job that isn’t exactly what you want. You know what? Jobs are only temporary these days, get what you want out of it (be it money, experience, attractive coworkers) and move on. Most companies are thinking the same thing about you. Remember, every company is looking at you as a profit center. You make $50k? You’re making them $100k+. Believe it.
An apartment by yourself. Sure, a bachelor[ette] pad would be great. But it will cost you. Living with roommates is a very efficient way to live – you can split rent, utilities, internet, cable, pizzas, you name it.
A new car. Same thing. I hear the ‘I need reliable transportation’ thing a lot. You do not need to spend over $8,000 (if even that) to get a perfectly reliable car.
A new wardrobe. Sure, buy some clothes for work. Check out a Banana Republic outlet during a sale, if you disdain Ross’s or TJ Maxx. But just because you have a regular paycheck doesn’t mean you need to go to a place that serves you cappucinos while you shop.
A better lifestyle. You got a degree, so now you’re too good to drink Bud Light? Need to vacation in Cabo or dine at Babbo? Gimme a break.
Here’s the thing – I have college buddies who used to cut each other’s hair to save money, but now that they make 50-100k a year, they drive WRXs, live in a posh apartment, and make dinner reservations 3 times a week at, well, places that take dinner reservations
And you know what? That’s fine!! Make your choices, but don’t complain to me about student loans and assume I don’t have any only because my parents paid them all. You know how I paid off my student loans? I lived exactly as I did when I was a student until my loans were all paid off. That meant living with roommates in an apartment barely above code, splitting expenses, eating cheap food ($1 chinese anyone?), going camping instead of taking cruises, not driving my used car much, and so forth. I figured if it was good enough for me for four years, it should be good enough for another four.
Ok, I’m stepping off the soapbox now, but that’s my new million-dollar book idea – ‘Keep Living Like A College Student: A Guide To Student Loan Repayment’. If someone steals it, please at least mention me in the Foreword. =)
p.s. Now that I’ve pissed off 60% of my friends, I want to say sorry. I wasn’t talking about you, really!
By Jonathan Ping | Frugal Living | 3/4/06, 12:23am