I decided to do a series of posts called Rant and Rave, in which I rant about a few things, and then also rave about a few things. I know, it’s a really original title haha.
Now that more and more of my friends have graduated from college and gotten “big people jobs”, I’ve started to see a disturbing trend pop up. That trend being terrible financial decisions. Seeing their posts pop up on my Facebook makes me sad. Being that I’m ‘just’ their friend, I can’t say anything to them about it. I mean, I could, but I’d rather not waste my breath when they’re not going to listen. Two examples recently occurred:
The first decision I saw was from a friend who graduated college with me. Let’s call him Alek. He’s a pretty serious gearhead- always posting pictures of his most recent car mod, sharing videos of cool car concepts and just generally living for cars. Now, a disclaimer before I get too far into this: I get people have hobbies. I have a friend who chose to buy car parts and eat nothing but ramen and some other cheap food for two weeks. He’s ok to do that, because his other financial obligations were covered and he’s a single 24 yo male. Or was single when he did that. I have a problem with bad decisions when they could possibly affect other people negatively, and is something everyone should consider. Alek has a wife, an 8 month old daughter, and a brand new house. He wants to buy a ’14 Chevy SS or Camaro in a few months, but is complaining because he has to get one from a dealership. When asked why, he said he has to trade in his current car because he owes too much on it. He’s having trouble finding a car from a dealership under his price point because he can’t afford the monthly payment. If you have to worry about whether you can afford the monthly payment, you cannot afford a new car. No matter how much you want it. This is also a terrible decision because he’s looking at 60 or 72 month loans, which is just outrageous by itself. When buying a car, either pay for it upfront or get as short a loan as possible.
The second decision came from another college friend of mine. He and I go way back (like, day camp in 3rd grade way back), so there’s a bit more level of familiarity there. He posted a link to a gofundme account titled “Educational debt relief” fund. Yes, that’s right, he wants people to help him pay off his student loans. I didn’t feel like sending him any money, so I emailed him to offer my advice for his spending and budget plan instead. He told me that while they both have good jobs and are making ends meet, it’s not easy and they’re under a lot of stress. I wanted to say, Welcome to the real world! but I couldn’t, so I just sent him various links to help adjust his mindset. Asking other people for money should be a last resort. If I give you money, it is because I know you have exhausted all other avenues and you really, really need it. As far as I know, neither of them have taken a second job, and they both post from their iPhones frequently. If they wanted to have more breathing room at the end of the month, I would’ve suggested they didn’t have the fancy wedding, or the week long honeymoon trip to the Caribbean. That’s what people with no crushing debt get to do. /rant.
Several of my friends have job interviews this week! I’m sending them all the well wishes in the world. Both are for significant pay raises and new responsibilities which can only increase their well-being and quality of their lives. Good luck guys!!