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what percentage of your income goes to clothes? - Page 4

post #46 of 93
Thread Starter 
I am sad to say my own CC debt is many times that 5k - though I have been steadily digging my way out.

The sad part is I got my first credit cards at 20 (this was in the mid-1980s) and was very disciplined at first, only using them when I knew I could pay it off in two months tops. I had excellent credit and a zero balance - until I was 25 or so and went back to school.....I needed a new car because I was commuting 30 miles each way to classes and work and bought a lot of clothes (nothing pricey back then - my idea of splurging was to own a pair of Chuck Taylor Converse in every available color - something that wasn't so hard before Varvatos and whoever got their mitts on them.), etc thinking "I'll pay this off when I graduate"

well, 14 years after graduating I still owe roughly the same amount I did then....I've transferred several times to low or no interest cards but it is a drag and a source of stress having all that weight on your back. I've been lucky becuase I have no kids and a lot of my current debt is for musical equipment I am going to sell soon, so I can recoup my money and pay down the debt - not the case with vacations, dinners, clothes, etc. But I have boought relatively littkle of that on credit...(well, the cloithes thing has been bad - worse since the SF entered my life!!)

Point is, rich people are not rich because they don't use credit - they are rich because they use credit wisely, and that means not impulse buying for consumer goods. The gent who posted about saving early on and now having the means to pinch funds for his purchases had the right idea.

If you're a twenty something, get a credit card for emergencies and use it for purchases you can pay off immediately to build credit. And set aside as MUCH of your earnings as possible in diversifeid savings. Compunded interest alone from an early age will make you a happier camper when you reach my age.....

If I ever do have kids they will be taught from day one to manage their money, with an allowance and options on how they spend it. I never got one as a kid, and I think that contributed mightily to my dismal "hole in the pocket" finances later on.

and yes, by all means visit C21, filenes TJ maxx, etc. Ebay is tougher unless you can trust the seller and know what you are looking for.

also, don't leap in too deep at first - I always did this: decide you like sweaters, so you buy a dozen to start with......fun impulse shopping but much better to buy one and find you never really wear it than to have 12 unused sweaters taking up space and racking up debt. Take your time....the clothes will still be there tomorrow.
post #47 of 93
Yikes. I think I should change my signature to read:

DO NOT GO INTO DEBT BUYING CLOTHES. UNLESS YOU ARE NAKED, OR ARE BUYING YOUR FIRST SUIT FOR INTERVIEWS, YOU DO NOT NEED IT. STEP AWAY FROM THE REGISTER.

I went into a little debt last year because of the costs of relocating back to NYC, such as furnishing our apartment, compounded by years of living in Europe, (calculated) non-saving so we could travel, and expensive health care costs. 18 months of COBRA, in case you're wondering, is not fun. But the debt is gone, and it ain't coming back.
post #48 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger02
Dude. Stop. Now. I'm not so naive as to say 'all debt is bad;' but credit card debt is always bad, let alone when you're a student and trying to build a credit history. $5k in credit card debt is *not* displaying discipline and $700 on glasses is *not* exercising patience.

The way most people start--the responsible way--is thrifting, vintage, ebay, secondhand. Doing without the really expensive stuff. Paying by eating ramen for a month. But NOT going deep into debt--it's not worth it. Please, for your own sake, don't be stupid.

Tom

I don't really see how I'm being irresponsible. I guess I didn't fully explain, though. The only reason it's that high is because I've simultaneously had a bunch of things come up that I had to pay for and I've been building a wardrobe from scratch. I can't hit up thrift stores for anything decent because I live in Lincoln, NE (that should be sufficient evidence alone). I didn't really have a choice on the glasses (aside from getting one pair rather than two perhaps). My vision is -4.00/-4.75 with some astigmatism, so glasses are a must. I have a good supply of contacts left, but my eye doctor said I need to wear glasses more frequently because my contacts are fucking with my eyes. I do have a pair of glasses already, but the prescription on them is incorrect and the construction is pretty flimsy.

I'm working 40+ hours a week right now and I've cut down completely on nonessential spending, so it really won't be a problem paying it off. I've got about $500 coming in tax returns and another $560 at the end of the semester in tuition reimbursement, so that's 20% of it right there. My one job's paychecks are about $500 every two weeks, and the other job should be around $150 every two weeks. Once May hits I'll be working even more, so I'll be making anywhere from $1500 - $2000 every month (depending on how many hours I can get), perhaps more assuming I get some well-deserved raises (getting promoted at one job, 3 year anniversary at the other). My rent is paid through May, and June & July will only be $520 combined including utilities. As long as no emergencies come up, I should have everything paid off by July, August at the latest.

Hopefully you don't take my retort personally, I just needed to clarify. $5k really isn't that ridiculous these days, even for a college student. Also, I should mention that $2000 of it is interest free. $5k in CC debt isn't irresponsible, but not paying it off is, which was pretty much my original point.
post #49 of 93
Quote:
but credit card debt is always bad,

Even the most average of financial advisors will tell you that carrying revolving debt is pinnacle of financial suicide. Go to any of them, and the first thing they will do is figure out a way to get rid of it.
post #50 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYorkBuck
Even the most average of financial advisors will tell you that carrying revolving debt is pinnacle of financial suicide. Go to any of them, and the first thing they will do is figure out a way to get rid of it.
I've read multiple places that carrying a low revolving balance will reflect more positively on your credit record than carrying no balance whatsoever.
post #51 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctone
$5k really isn't that ridiculous these days, even for a college student. Also, I should mention that $2000 of it is interest free.

Perhaps if you're Lakshmi Mittal's kid. Regardless of whether a portion of it is interest free or not, $5 000 is a considerable amount for a college student who probably works for minimum wage and has to pay a portion of their tuition, books, food, residence, clothes, socializing, etc.

I speak from personal experience thanks to a CC debt I accrued during university paying for a new wardrobe after my initial sartorial awakening. I didn't pay that bastard off for years while I struggled to also pay my student loans and living expenses.

Sorry, but $5 000 is a lot for most people considering the median household income in the U.S. is $43 318 (2003).

At any rate, do not go into debt buying clothes. It isn't worth it.
post #52 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbc
I've read multiple places that carrying a low revolving balance will reflect more positively on your credit record than carrying no balance whatsoever.
No doubt that carrying a revolving balance will lead to more offers of credit, because credit card companies know they will make money off of you. I find it difficult to believe, however, that a bank would be less inclined to give a $300,000 mortgage to an individual who has demonstrated the fiscal discipline to pay off his balance at the end of each billing cycle than to one who has not.
post #53 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambulance Chaser
No doubt that carrying a revolving balance will lead to more offers of credit, because credit card companies know they will make money off of you. I find it difficult to believe, however, that a bank would be less inclined to give a $300,000 mortgage to an individual who has demonstrated the fiscal discipline to pay off his balance at the end of each billing cycle than to one who has not.
Sorry... what I meant to say is there's speculation that, all other things being equal, an individual with a low revolving balance will have a higher credit score than an individual with a balance of $0.
post #54 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorgekko
Perhaps if you're Lakshmi Mittal's kid. Regardless of whether a portion of it is interest free or not, $5 000 is a considerable amount for a college student who probably works for minimum wage and has to pay a portion of their tuition, books, food, residence, clothes, socializing, etc.

I speak from personal experience thanks to a CC debt I accrued during university paying for a new wardrobe after my initial sartorial awakening. I didn't pay that bastard off for years while I struggled to also pay my student loans and living expenses.

Sorry, but $5 000 is a lot for most people considering the median household income in the U.S. is $43 318 (2003).

At any rate, do not go into debt buying clothes. It isn't worth it.

My main job is actually $7/hr right now, and the other is $5.25/hr. Didn't I just explain how it's not ridiculous? Just because you couldn't discipline yourself enough to pay off your credit cards doesn't mean I can't. Maybe some college students pay for everything out of their pocket, but I and many others take out loans for tuition, housing, etc. For the most part, work money is spending money for me.

I'm sure my loans are going to get close to $100k by the time I'm done, since it's going to take me either 5 or 6 years depending on if I study abroad next year (two engineering degrees), but I'm not really worried because the engineering field is ridiculously lucrative right now, and both of my degrees are among the best paying (Computer & Electrical Engineering). Asssuming no major changes in my life, I'll be looking at $50k/yr to start AT LEAST with only myself to look after. I can pay $20k/yr towards loans and still have plenty of money to take care of everything else.

I don't understand why everyone is bitching at me. If I'm still mired in credit card debt by the end of the summer, THEN you can bitch all you want.
post #55 of 93
Thread Starter 
not bitching, friend. Just trying to give friendly advice.

I believe the national avg for CC debt is now 10-12 thousand? That may be 'avg' or 'typical' or not unsual, but this is not the same as saying it's okay.

Many Americans are also obese - many of them children, and the numbers - both in percentage of obese persons and the amount of extra weight they're carrying - is steadily climbing.

So if you're fat, congratulations, you are a 'typical' demographic. (I am too, btw) But you are not healthy.

If I can impress upon you what my own diatribe above was about more succintly: I THOUGHT I'd pay it off too. Back then, the avg American had maybe 2-3 grand in CC debt.....well, times have changed and so have I. In all that time I 'managed' my credit card debt I have bought lots of stuff I didn't have the cash or savings for.....but I also have been so busy chasing down the debt that I have never been able to save more than a few grand here or there. At my age I have lots of nice stuff, but no savings and I still owe owe owe. Not good.

Well said that any financial advisor will tell you lose the debt - just as any doctor or physical fitness trainer will tell to lose the weight.
post #56 of 93
Never compare yourself to averages.

They are exactly that, the average.
post #57 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgoat
not bitching, friend. Just trying to give friendly advice.

I believe the national avg for CC debt is now 10-12 thousand? That may be 'avg' or 'typical' or not unsual, but this is not the same as saying it's okay.

Many Americans are also obese - many of them children, and the numbers - both in percentage of obese persons and the amount of extra weight they're carrying - is steadily climbing.

So if you're fat, congratulations, you are a 'typical' demographic. (I am too, btw) But you are not healthy.

If I can impress upon you what my own diatribe above was about more succintly: I THOUGHT I'd pay it off too. Back then, the avg American had maybe 2-3 grand in CC debt.....well, times have changed and so have I. In all that time I 'managed' my credit card debt I have bought lots of stuff I didn't have the cash or savings for.....but I also have been so busy chasing down the debt that I have never been able to save more than a few grand here or there. At my age I have lots of nice stuff, but no savings and I still owe owe owe. Not good.

Well said that any financial advisor will tell you lose the debt - just as any doctor or physical fitness trainer will tell to lose the weight.


Aye, that sort of stuff is ridiculous. My $5k in combined balances is an anomaly, not a running trend. That's pretty much all that I'm trying to impress.
post #58 of 93
5k, wow. Being a college student myself, i can't imagine spending that much on clothes. But more power to you.

I've spent around a grand last year, most of it on a lp sweater.
post #59 of 93
Quote:
I've read multiple places that carrying a low revolving balance will reflect more positively on your credit record than carrying no balance whatsoever.

You need to read sources not provided by cc companies then. Your credit score is determined by the Fair Issacs model, or FICO. This model uses almost exclusively 5 inputs to arrive at the score. They are, in decreasing order of importance - Credit/payment history, amounts owed, duration of credit history, new credit lines (credit checks as well), and types of credit in use. Using and paying off each month a cc balance will help many of these. Carrying a balance will not.
post #60 of 93
Thread Starter 
My $5k in combined balances is an anomaly, not a running trend. That's pretty much all that I'm trying to impress.


If you can stick to that, great - but the plastic is seductive, from one who has been there....so ymmv, but be careful.
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