Living paycheck-to-paycheck creates countless terrifying moments.
via Doran / Flickr
Life is tough when you’re first starting out. Bills, roommates, low-paying jobs, car troubles … it all adds up to a life of constant stress. Sometimes it feels like no one understands what you’re going through. So here are 19 people sharing what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck.
The Boy Who Lived battles perhaps his most difficult foe yet — Hogwarts debt.
I had some vague idea that Hogwarts was expensive. But no one told me that when I graduated I would owe an amount equivalent to roughly 300,000 butterbeers. When I first embarked upon my wizarding degree, I had zero savings of my own and no one to co-sign my loans, so I took out a private loan on the recommendation of a “friend” who later turned out to be a Death Eater (long story). Anyway, after 10 years of fighting for my life, rescuing classmates and mentors alike, blah blah blah, my interest rate was the last thing on my mind. Frankly, by my final year I assumed I could just Expelliarmus any extra debt that had accumulated.
Little did I know someone had put a Cascading Jinx on those loans. So I decided to defer them for a couple of years while I figured out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life—turns out that the only professorships they give out these days are adjunct, even at Hogwarts. I slipped on a few payments, and now I owe 60,000 Galleons more than when I started. I’m getting Howlers every second from the Ministry of Credit. I can’t walk out my door without being accosted by a fucking owl!
The celebrated artist and technologist reflects on the best money advice he ever received
John Maeda’s work explores the intersection of business, technology, and design. A celebrated artist and technologist, he credits his winding career path—from academia (associate director of research at the MIT Media Lab and president of Rhode Island School of Design) to venture capital (advising startups as design partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers)—to always “confronting his own ignorance” with a sense of curiosity and humanity. Here he shares his best money advice:
I always go back to what Paul Rand, the famous graphic designer, told me in the ’90s when I worked on his last book—and I typed my name into his book because he wouldn’t pay me anything. He said, “Young man, I have something very important to tell you: Make lots of money.” I was a little perplexed because here’s the Yoda of design telling me to make money—what’s that about? You see, what he had learned is that everything he loved to do tended to not make any money, whereas there were things that he could do that would make money. So he would take the thing that made money to fund the thing that didn’t. For example, his famous book, A Designer’s Art, was a five-color printed book, which was very expensive to make at the time. The publisher refused to pay the extra printing costs so Rand paid them himself. I took that as a cue.
“Just hang up”
In 2003, when the Bush administration started the National Do Not Call Registry, it did a fantastic job at reducing or completely eliminating annoying calls from telemarketers. But after five or six years, the calls started happening again, and it wasn’t because the government stopped enforcing the law. It was because the internet made phone scams cheap and the perpetrators are mostly overseas and hard to track. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans now lose over $350 million dollars a year to robocall scams.
In a world that’s been overtaken by fake news and talking heads spewing “alternative facts,” people are falling in love with a used car salesman for his brutal honesty. Shelmar Roseman works at Journee Autos in Florida which uses Craigslist and Facebook to advertise their cars. When faced with getting rid of a beat-down 2002 Oldsmobile Alero, Roseman created the most honest used car ad ever written. And it’s been shared over 31,000 times on Facebook and retweeted nearly 75,000 times on Twitter.