Thursday, October 14, 2004

the devil's playground

They say debt is a bottomless pit where the devil likes to play.
I'd sell my soul to get out of this hole, but there'd be hell to pay.
~ Ken Spooner
(God love Nashville songwriters…)

If any of you OBUers ever had Dr. Mills for a class, you know that he likes to talk about life as much as he likes to talk about sociology. Of course, I suppose life is the substance of sociology, though his advice was dished out more as fatherly wisdom than theoretical application. Having worked for the man for three years, I received much advice both in and out of classes. The best piece of advice I never followed from him was some that he gave all of his students in every class that he taught: take Personal Finance. Dr. Mills managed to fit that nugget of advice somewhere into every course he taught. I’ve been taught that if something is repeated in the Bible, it’s probably something that you’re supposed to pay attention to (and something that may take several repetitions to sink into our feeble brains). Dr. Mills’s advice was repeated to me over and over again: take Personal Finance. Of course, like any bullheaded child, I knew that I didn’t need to take Personal Finance. After all, I had taken both Macro- and Micro- Economics, and how many business classes can a Sociology/Philosophy major really stomach? And obviously I knew what I was doing. Sure, so I was paying for my books using a credit card. Sure, I was taking out student loans instead of working a part-time job. But I was getting a degree; I’d have that stuff paid off in no time. Of course, my first job didn’t pay so much, but I was doing what I loved. And, even though my employer was part of the UofA system and paying 80% of my tuition, I went ahead and took out some small loans for grad school to pad my income. No biggie – that M.A. will surely lead to a livable wage. So, six years out of college (has it really been that long? that’s scary!) I have managed to buy lots of stuff (only to end up selling it for pennies), run through several crappy cars, and get stuck in a job that sucks the lifeblood straight out of my veins. I am staring down my debt and finally winning. I am learning to live below my means. And I am taking a hard look at what it is I really want to be doing and I how I can get there. Heck, I may even get around to focusing my mind enough to finish that looming paper and officially earn my M.A. In the meantime, I wonder what would have happened had I just enrolled in Personal Finance?

2 comments:

Josh said...

stupid money!!!

I know exactly what you mean.

crs said...

had you enrolled in personal finance you'd probably have gotten a decent grade to go along with your bullheadedness. no offense...i'm taking your side on this one because i'm bullheaded as well...and actually dropped personal finance because it wasn't in my "student description" being a history major. i was supposed to be learning about the world n stuff.
actually, i don't know anything about money other than how to get it out of my pocket...so maybe you would be better off having taken it. that stuff's just math to me, and i suck at math.
on a side note: thanks for your comment on my post. that's what i'm talkin about. people loving people despite this and that. good stuff....
and on another side note...how do you get those links?
i'm html retarded.