Cost of Living

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How do people my age and with roughly my income have nice things in their apartment. I suppose the answer is credit cards and they haven't been brought up with a healthy fear of debt like I have. I have never had a credit card. Well, I have but the aggregate total of my purchases would have been less than $100. You know how at some stores a friendly cashier will say "Hey, you know if you open a (Banana Republic/Victoria's Secret/Big Lots) credit card with us we will take 20% off your purchase" Never one to pay full price I clumsily fill out the application while angry customers line up behind me but the sales girl encourages me as I am sure I am helping her fulfill her customer credit card sign up quota. I should say sometimes I just want to get the card to help that sales person meet their quota as I know her boss has probably had a conversation recently with her about getting more people to sign up for credit cards. So I get the card but as I said I am torn between getting an instant discount and entering the slippery slope of debt. So after I make my purchase on this credit card I anxiously await my statement in the mail usually fearing it will be the one piece of mail that gets lost and that one pair of jeans will billow into a giant interest payment that will end up going to collections and my credit will be shot to hell. See? A very healthy fear of debt. So once I inevitably receive the statement I quickly pay it having received my discount and then cut up the card. Ha (Banana Republic/Victoria's Secret/Pottery Barn Kids)! I beat the system. And I have amazing credit. In college, they hired young cute guys to wear school sweatshirts and offer us free pizza if we signed up for credit cards. I would receive my free slice sending me well on my way to gaining the freshman 15 and then I would again cut up the credit card knowing if I purchased something frivolous and got a taste of the good life I might never turn back. So now I am furnishing a new apartment and my options are Craigslist or trolling the alleys of Los Angeles seeing what people have left near the trash for pickup. I should say I got a leather couch that way. I also am a big proponent of Ross. Ross' entire inventory is common household items in colors that no one purchases at fine retailers. I however don't mind having a magenta spatula or an orange can opener. I understand on the whole everything at Ross looks cheap and slightly off in one way or another but the frugal Jewish mother inside me knows that once you take that candle holder out of the dented box it's a real gem. I think even if I had a million dollars I might upgrade my shopping to Nordstrom Rack level but for now my lack of significant credit card debt is probably more comfortable than any fine furnishings.

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