I was right, but I overestimated my ability to quit when I came across a good idea. I take it that since your father is an entrepreneur, it wasn’t one where you worried about money or bills? Banker: It was the beginning of the Internet bubble, so that had something to do with it.
Banker: Correct, although my dad did run a few businesses into the ground, and he had a nightmare divorce that sucked time and money away until I was 16. My dad would teach me about stocks, compound interest, and investing. I think if stocks hadn’t been going straight up at the time, I might not have had the same level of exposure.
Clinginess, cooking at home, canceled credit cards...
these are just a few of the unfortunate consequences, these women report.
Money might have been tight once or twice, but it never felt like it when I was a kid. Banker: I mean, I remember teaching my dad how to look up his stock quotes on Prodigy in the early days of the Internet. In any case, when I would work summer jobs I would save it and invest it — even if it was only a couple of hundred dollars. Banker: Well, my first summer job was sewing buttons onto men’s shirts at my dad’s dry cleaning plant. It was hot — summer in the Deep South surrounded by steam-powered machines.
Mike: Did your parents talk to you about money while you were growing up? I also worked in restaurants, and later got unpaid (and then paid) internships at financial services firms. Banker: I mean, it doesn’t matter how responsible your upbringing was, there’s still the peer pressure to live extravagantly when you’re surrounded by it.
So I know many people, especially in 2006–2007, who were spending everything they made, and some were spending more than they made because they were betting on higher future income. So when there were big bonuses, that all went straight to savings.
DABA Girls was started by two best friends whose relationships tanked with the economy.
The return on investment for so many of the programs is negative, and the worst part is that the debt follows you forever. We learned from Keynesian economics that people get upset if you cut their salaries. I think this is the case in most large organizations, not just banks, and not just for-profit organizations either. If I moved away from New York to someplace with fewer good rental options and cheaper overall housing, I would buy a place. It’s not like I’m sitting in a dark room counting my money like Scrooge Mc Duck. Especially if you continue on and become a managing director.
It’s criminal that student loans are the ONLY mainstream type of debt that can’t be cleared by bankruptcy. And I use to track my spending — that website has changed my life. Any job with layers of bureaucracy is going to be mostly politics. Or if I found a place where I knew I wanted to be for the next 10 to 20 years (and could afford it even with much less income). Banker: Yes, I do consider myself rich, even if I don’t make it to managing director.
I was also a camp counselor, which was maybe the best job I ever had. So I would eat out at nice restaurants, and occasionally I would go to a club, but I was never comfortable with the idea of spending 0 on a bottle of vodka.
Mike: Sewing buttons and working in restaurants — it sounds like your family wanted you to experience good old fashioned manual labor. My parents always made sure that I knew not to take anything for granted, which is good, because that helped me avoid a lot of the problems that kids run into when they end up in high-paying jobs right out of college. Banker: I think most people get these banking or consulting jobs, and when you start out with a base salary of ,000 or ,000 right out of college, you probably have more disposable income than at any other point in your life. All of a sudden your bank account is filling up (unless you moved into a really expensive studio/one-bedroom apartment). Banker: Yeah, so, clothes, shoes, jewelry and electronics at first, and when you had the newest everything, then it was restaurants and clubs and trips to Vegas. Mostly, I think what helped the most was that I made a decision at the very beginning that I would live on my base salary.