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Modem Butterfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 02:54 PM
Original message
Important things your parents never told you
Edited on Mon Mar-21-05 03:07 PM by Modem Butterfly
My parents never told me the facts of life, but I was naturally curious and it was sort of fun to find out on my own. But you know what wasn't fun to find out? The way having bad credit can fuck up your life.

I grew up in a very rural area with parents that had to work two jobs to keep the wolf from the door (my mother's mother died of illness, so much of the extra money went to medical bills). I had to put myself through college with a mix of loans, scholarships, and work. But I fell prey to the credit card companies, just like any other kid, except my parents couldn't bail me out. I didn't even bother to ask for help.

My dad never sat me down and explained how to pay a bill, let alone what a credit score was or how it could affect you later on (a grevious oversight considering he had once been a loan officer with BofA). I had to find out for myself that bad credit can cost you higher car insurance rates, higher utilitiy fees, higher rent, it can even cost you a job. I got the joy of learning all about garnishments when I was but a lass of 21 and Will and I were living literally hand-to-mouth (more than once we had to pawn stuff to keep the lights on). All stuff I had to find out on my own.

Of course, today I write this as a free woman- I've finally, at the age of 33, paid off all my credit cards and student loans (just today, in fact). I am, for the first time since I was eighteen, debt-free. It feels good. Really good. But damn, that was a hard lesson.

Edited to add a snappier title.
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Bertha Venation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. I could be a doctor if I wanted to. And I could buy, cook, and eat fresh
Edited on Mon Mar-21-05 02:58 PM by Bertha Venation
vegetables if I wanted them. Both these things dawned on me at age 19.

on edit: Debt free? Fabu! That's my biggest goal for the next 3-4 years.
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Modem Butterfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. It was a lot of hard work
But I finally made it up that mountain.

Now we have to tackle my partner's debt...
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expatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. Mom never told me that the fruits of my midnight self-exploration stained.
It was years before I realized that they did. TO think, all those years of washing my stained sheets.... i get so embarrassed every time I think of it.
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Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. Where I got my name
I was actually named after two of my dad's old girlfriends. Same for my older sister.

All I can say is, my mom was a helluva woman.
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expatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. And your dad must be a piece of work too.
Did your mom know of the inspiration of your names? Wow. That's messed up. I could see one (not really), but two?
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Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Yeah she did
But she didn't care. She wasn't the jealous type. My dad was devoted to her in his own weird way. Besides she had more boys than girls ;) It wasn't until my fifth brother arrived that she seemed to run out of names she liked.

It worked out for me too. I'm not the jealous type either. My husband was quite the lady's man in his day and I've run into a number of his exes. Whatever relationships he was in before I met him aren't important to me. I'm just very happy I'm the one he married and decided to spend the rest of his life with.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
6. Concerning my appearance
They never told me that I was pretty or even average nor did they tell my sister who is gorgrous, but felt the need to work as a stripper to prove this to herself. Even though my mother gave me make up for Christmas as a teen, she never told me anything about how to apply it. She never told me how to shave either, just that I should (I am suprised that I don't have scars on my legs from the cuts.). They never told me anything about relationships, except not to get pregnant by having unprotected sex, and that I shouldn't be too picky because not a lot of guys would want me.
I think that this is completely the opposite of what teenage girls should be told and not told.
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
7. Our parents didn't tell us we were half Indian
until we were teenagers. (Being Indian wasn't exactly hip in Vermont inthe 1950s.)

Even when we asked why we were a little darker than everyone else around (except the few Italian families). And why Dad's family was even darker than us (Mom was Irish, so we got diluted).

Redstone
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Modem Butterfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Wow. That's a big one!
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Yes, that's a big one. They fessed up when
they found out that my sister could get minority-status college money and other perks. Funny thing, she had a bit of a tough time with it because she ended up with blue eyes from the Irish side.

Redstone
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bigwillq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
8. That I was gay!
I had to figure that one out all by myself.
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jswordy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
11. On the credit, I am so alarmed by the number of TEENS...
...who carry forward card balances these days. The companies hit them up right at age 18, and have them sunk into debt by 19. My own niece feel into that trap. Luckily, she worked hard and got out of it.

I am telling you now, there are some very bad economic times around the corner, and anyone who is carrying a big debt load is going to suffer mercilessly, especially given the new bankruptcy laws.

My advice to everyone is to curtail discretionary spending and to pay off your debt as fast as you can, starting now. Second, try to save something. For example, instead of eating out, put that restaurant money into a savings account. Instead of mortgaging the future to buy now, cut back on the now to build a future.

We are teetering as a nation on the brink of a recession like we have not seen since the late '70s-early '80s. Many economists feel it is already in the cards. Those who prepare for it now will be glad they did if it does come to pass.

If it does not (which I doubt, but...), then you will still be way ahead of the game by PAYING YOURSELF FIRST through a savings plan, and paying off what you owe others. That is the foundation of wealth.

If our country did this as a country, we would not be facing such a big correction in our economic future. Sigh. But at least we can do it as individuals.

Believe me, debt-free is a great place to be!
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
13. It seems like a lot of parents don't address that issue
My didn't and it never occurred to me - luckily, I never fell into the credit card trap and I saw enough of my friends do it to learn from their example.

I have to say, though, that my parents did tell me a lot of important stuff - that I could do anything I chose to do in life, that I was smart, that they had faith and confidence in me. I've not had an easy life but those lessons have kept me from giving up or giving in when it may have been easy to do so.
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