I actually found out about the Equifax data breach on Twitter (because, you know, that’s where I get all my news), and while many brushed this off as another case of potential identity theft in a time of many, I knew it was so much more than that. And it got even worse when I verified that I was one of the 143 million people who had had their information compromised. Oy vey.
I know most of you think your credit score isn’t a sexy topic, but did you know having a crappy one could potentially cost you a year’s salary?
When I bought my home in 2013, we were just beginning the incline out of the recession that had blindsided (most of) us in 2008. It was a buyer’s market, meaning homes were priced to sell and there were a lot of the market. On top of that, my credit score was sitting pretty in the high 700s, meaning I qualified for the lowest interest rate on my mortgage. Did I know prior to that point how much money that score saved me? Absolutely not. But when I started crunching the numbers on my house situation, I soon found it.
One of the most heart-wrenching issues I have with our modern day education system is how little emphasis they place on money management. You’ll learn about the Baroque period, how to identify 50 different types of rocks (literally had to do this), and what Buddhism is all about, but money? Nah. We’ll skip it. And even if you do take a personal finance course, it’s all so academic that it’s hard to apply it to real life.
When I graduated from college and was in the midst of my first month at my “real” job, I remember heading to the movies and thinking how nice it was to not worry about buying a $5 Icee at the theater. The freedom! The liberation! The independence!
And then at the end of that month, reality smacked me in the face when I looked at my bank account and had no idea where all that money I had earned went. I thought I was making a killing, but I soon learned my salary didn’t get me as far as I thought it would. Cue a defeated 22 year-old and some sad, dramatic soundtrack.