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Get Out of Debt

You Can’t Hide From Your Debt


I love television. I know people say it is a waste of time, but I really don’t care. TV is freaking great. Not great enough that I currently have one, but awesome enough that I pay $16 a month to watch Hulu and Netflix on my laptop.

As I was catching up on my favorite shows on Hulu after getting back from FinCon (which was — spoiler alert: AWESOME!), the latest episode of New Girl, starring the adorkable (not a typo) Zooey Deschanel, came on. If you aren’t watching New Girl, I extend virtual pity hugs to you. It’s hilarious and every character is amazing in their own right. But I’m getting off topic here…

Spoilers ahead! The latest episode is about Jess’ (Zooey Deschanel) boyfriend/roommate Nick Miller getting an inheritance of $8,000 in cash from his late father. Why cash? Because his dad was a scam artist and the Millers don’t believe in banks.

The next scenes show Nick treating himself to lots of ridiculous purchases, including shoes that aren’t his size and a headshot of himself with a “glamorous” crystal frame. Their other roommate, Winston, reveals to Jess that Nick owes him a sum of $1,900.

When Jess suggests that maybe Nick should open his first bank account, he retorts that “a bank is just a paper bag with fancier walls”. And his money cluelessness doesn’t stop there. Jess discovers “the box” — Nick’s place where he keeps all his “junk he doesn’t feel like dealing with”. It’s full of past due bills. Instead of using his newfound cash to pay down his debt, Nick decides to continue ignoring them.

Speeding things up, Jess takes matters into her own hands and pays back Winston and the overdue bills with Nick’s money. He gets pissed and she writes him a check for the amount she paid. After an argument about accepting each other for who they are, Nick goes to the bank and finally opens up his first bank account.

You guys still with me? If you are, write the word “potato” somewhere in your comment. This will be a fun experiment to find out how much you guys actually love me.

The point of this episode recap is, how many people do you know that have some form of the box? People who prefer to stay in the dark about their debt loads instead of dealing with things that are hard? I know a few.

And I understand. I know that money management and paying down debt is really hard. It’s so much easier to stay ignorant about your debt situation. But as we all know, the easiest solution is often not the smartest or the healthiest.

You will never, NEVER reach financial independence if you are unaware of your financial situation. Unless you happen to be independently wealthy and someone else cares about keeping you rich. And, spoiler alert, no one should care more about your money than you do. Whether or not you are the CFO of your family, you need to know the following things at a minimum:

  • How much debt you have, who you owe it to, and the interest rates and minimum payments on that debt
  • How much money you have and where it is (investments, savings, etc.)
  • A non-credit source that you could get cash from in the event of an emergency (emergency funds, selling personal items, etc.)

This isn’t difficult stuff. But it is absolutely crucial to having good financial health. Grow up, get your head out of the sand, and take control of your finances instead of hiding from them. And go through that box.

Okay, my spiel is over. Now for your entertainment, a couple of my favorite quotes about money from the episode:

“What is money anyway? It’s just paper that a king on a mountain decided was worth something, ya know? Gold, I understand. It’s shiny…”

“You’ve never once done jury duty or paid your taxes.” “Not until gay marriage is legal everywhere. I stand by that. And I don’t want to do jury duty or pay taxes.”

To a bank teller, “I understood at least 30% of the financial crisis, and guess what I got from that? YOU SUCK! You suck so hard.”

Even though I recapped most of it, you still need to watch the episode for Nick’s rant on Jess’ vintage purses, “Bobby’s pins”, and night peanuts and Schmidt screaming “YOLO” at a Bar Mitzvah class…

Do you know people who take “the box” approach to their finances? Are you as obsessed with New Girl as I am?

[Image from Buzzfeed]

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on Cashblog.com is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. Cashblog.com strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.