Mon 9 Jul 2007
Anya Kamenetz is Yahoo Finance’s latest columnist. She isn’t from the older generation talking about the ‘need’ to build an emergency fund, avoid credit card debt, or contribute to your 401K. (These are all things you should do!) She’s 26 and has been down in the trenches with the rest of us, she knows what its like and these experiences are certainly reflected in her writing style.
She defines generation debt as, loosely, the following:
-Four figures of credit card debt
-A cost of living that keeps your cash flow stressed
-Student loan debt (two-thirds of us have an average loan balance of $19,300)
-We spend SIXTEEN percent more of our income than we are earning
-Our income minus our expenditures puts us SIXTEEN percent in the hole
-For every one hundred dollars we make, we spend one hundred and sixteen dollars.
WE ARE GENERATION DEBT!
Anya’s advise: To realize our situation, step up and make the changes to that which we have identified needs changing; stay informed, open a savings account, and start funding your IRA. Basically, she is telling us things similar to what you would hear from the 30+ financial gurus. Her edge is that we, as knowledge thirsty college grads (hopefully), will be more likely to listen to her rather than the elderly…and she’s right. (To all the other players in the financial industry, I admire you greatly but I’m trying to make a point here.)
She’s funding her IRA, putting money in a savings account, paying off her credit card bills in full each month, and saving a home down payment. Talk about on track!
Her advise? “[B]ookmark me or put me in your RSS feed — you won’t regret it.” My advise? What she said. She’s a new writer for a new age in which hopefully we’ll become educated enough to use the debt industry to our advantage instead of to our downfall.
On that note, Visa’s IPO (Initial Public Offering is expected in early January 2008, I’ll be planning on buying up a little of their company and investing some of the proceeds from the investment to donate towards fighting the financial monster as I’m already doing with MasterCard. The credit card industry isn’t going away anytime soon, the least I can do is take some of its profit to fight it.
Be sure to check out Anya’sblog for more information on staying informed and becoming an educated member of generation debt.
Ramit Sethi’s article from his interview with Anya