Updated: Dec 9, 2019
First of all, I want to start this article by stating that I am neither an economist, nor an expert in finance. I can only speak from my own personal experience and what I have been observing for the past few years.
See, I am originally from a country, Cameroon, where talking about money is taboo. In Europe, particularly in France, it's not any better. You are not supposed to ask people how much money they make, how much they pay for rent, transportation, school....You are not supposed to say that you are struggling financially or that you had to take a loan at some point to cover your bills.
That's why sometimes I like living in North America cause people have no problem discussing money related issues.
What if you are being underpaid? (and we all know it happens to a lot of women, especially women of color). Do you guys know that even a difference of $100 per month compared to your peers can cost you a lot? Yes, cause that's $1200 per year you are missing out.
If you are a student and you do not ask the right questions to the right people, you might be missing out on some scholarships or any other funds available to you that can help you throughout College or Gradschool.
We have all heard that economic term "the middle class". Indeed, in economy, if the middle class outgrows the rich and the poor, that's a good sign in terms of development. However, the reality in most countries these days is that is the middle class is progressively disappearing.
WE ARE THE MIDDLE CLASS and if we can't even keep up financially and afford to live in big cities, I don't know what going to happen in the coming years. It's even scary to think about it sometimes.
Rent keeps sky-rocking, tuition fees are off the roof, transportation costs and groceries are definitely not decreasing.
And let's not even talk about healthcare. I mean......... It's one thing to pay taxes, but at least something as vital as health should be better handled and covered, especially for us women who need our breast, thyroid and ovaries checked on a regular basis.
Just to give you an example, I have to do my eye exam and change my glasses this year, I don't even want to think about how much I am going to spend.
Now some people might judge you and be tempted to tell you: "maybe it's your spending habits...you need to learn how to do some budgeting".
My answer: "No, it's not!!!" (At least for most of us).
Let's be real, how much money are you left with at the end of the month, after you finish paying for rent, insurance, electricity, internet, your phone bill, food, transportation? NOT MUCH right?
Most people have two jobs in North America. One to cover their bills and the other one to be able to save up a little bit.
Do you actually think the majority of people like to swipe their credit card all the time? NO!
But sometimes, when you have an emergency situation and no other funds available, you are left with no other choice than to use that card.
Let's not talk about unemployment. When all of the sudden, you are out of a job because of budget cut and learn that you do not qualify to collect unemployment, you will use your credit card in case of need. And yes, that's more debt, but it doesn't mean that you don't know how to dome some budgeting. It just means that there are times when life can hit us really hard.
I used to think that having $10K, $15K of a debt was a lot until I lived in the US and I witnessed some students graduating with $50K, $100K or even more of student debt. By the time they get a job, interests have kicked a lot. They don't even get to really celebrate a job in their field of studies cause most of that money earned goes back to paying their debt.
Looking forward to hearing from you guys regarding that debt matter.