Friday, May 26, 2006

There is hope...

I met a lovely young woman recently who said something that just made me smile. I was with a group of people in a bar, including some friends of friends that I'd never met. I don't remember how the conversation went but at some point it emerged that the young woman was a lawyer. Later, someone else said something to her that related to spending money and the lawyer said something about how she wouldn't do that because she was very careful with her money. The other person then said something expressing sympathy for the indebtedness that the young lawyer (YL) was undoubtedly struggling with. YL said that she was managing it-- though she'd borrowed the entire cost of law school, she'd paid off a third of her loans in her first year of working!
Aside from the fact that YL was smart and funny and great to hang out with, I just wanted to hug this girl when she said that. It was so nice to meet someone who didn't spout the same old tired lines about being broke all the time, but instead just said where she was at and what she was doing with straightforward common sense. In the world of personal finance blogging, that kind of comment wouldn't surprise me, but it made me realize how rare it is in the flesh and blood world of New York City. If people talk about money at all, they breezily complain about the cost of living and the emptiness of their pockets, often as if being broke is just another attribute of the exciting, creative, fast-paced lives that people like to think they live here. And then there are the lawyers that I was griping about in this post, who take it to a whole other level of crying poverty while living lifestyles that 99% of this country's population could only ever dream of. To hear someone openly describe their financial situation as YL did was just... nice.


James L said...

that's cute.

you should have hugged her. =)

NYC Money said...

It's easier to complain in a big group so you don't stand out. If you admit that there is actually money in your savings account people look at you strange.