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Chapter One: Beat the Bank
So there you are, swinging through life buying a teensy bauble here, an itty-bitty new purse there, and occasionally taking that hottie down the hall to a nice little din-din to cheer him up after a lousy audition. "Everyone deserves a little pampering now and then," you tell yourself. Your friends tell you the same thing, sympathetically -- especially when you're picking up the check. And that's when you get the call. You know the one -- it's usually from a Mr. Green or a Ms. White, and it almost always begins with something misleadingly polite like, "We'd like to speak to you right away about your credit card balance." "Why are they bothering me?" you ask. "It was just a pair of shoes!" you think. And finally: "What's with the color-coded pseudonyms?"
We hate to inform you, but you've fallen into the dreaded Deadly Debt Trap. All credit cards should come with a label: Warning! Warning! Credit cards are not free money! But they don't, and before you know it, you're maxed out and have zero money left over after paying your bills. How's a person supposed to lead a fabulous life with a budget of nada?
Stupid Reasons for Going into Credit Card Debt
1. Gucci brings out my green eyes.
2. With a big-screen TV like that, who needs a boyfriend?
3. My honey may be a deadbeat, but he's my little deadbeat!
4. Bloomingdale's is on my way to work. Like that's my fault.
5. By buying those Ralph Lauren sheets on sale, I'm actually saving money!
Having credit card debt is like wearing a heavy ankle bracelet (we're talking house arrest, not a fashion accessory) 24/7. It keeps you from building any kind of savings, including your See Ya Sucker Stash (see Hit the Road), and can make it harder for you to rent apartments, get loans, or buy a house.
Proper Credit Card Conduct
1. Transfer your balances to cards that earn you freebies, like airline mileage.
2. Transfer your balances to a card that has an extremely low APR* (like no interest for a year), then try to pay it off before that introductory APR is raised.
3. Always pay more than the minimum, but not so much that you don't have enough to pay other bills.
4. Finally, screen your calls -- no need to let "Mr. White" ruin your night. Just be sure to pay the bill the next day.
Tips for Getting out of Debt
1. Don't live in denial. Figure out everything and everybody you owe.
2. Lower your expenses. Tap into your inner Disciplinarian, who can slap down your inner Princess from time to time. When you start to whip out the plastic, ask yourself: "Oh, fabulous one, is this a need or an indulgence?" Learn to tell the difference between the two; indulge when you have the cash in hand, but try to do it cheaply. (See Blue-Chip Babes.)
3. Increase your income. Get two jobs (it can be done) or a higher-paying gig until your debt is paid off.
4. Get help. Call the Consumer Credit Counseling Services at (800) 577-2227.
Copyright © 2003 by 17th Street Productions, an Alloy Company
1. BEAT THE BANK
How to get out of debt without having to get out of town
2. BLUE-CHIP BABE
Tips for living large on a salary that isn't
3. BOSS FROM HELL
Tips on handling the most heinous of honchos
How to dump with your dignity intact‹and most of your good CDs
Chatting long-distance for the low, low price of free
6. DITCH THE DATE
How to break a bad date without breaking any hearts
7. EVIL LANDLORD
How to get what you need when your shower is cold, your apartment is hot, and the roaches are plotting a takeover
8. FIRST CLASS
Scamming your way to the free champagne, or at least saving enough cash to afford drinks in coach
9. FRIENDSHIP FIXES
Can't live with 'em, can't whack 'em upside the head: how to ease out of a friendship that's past its prime and fix one that you've dirty-dogged
10. FRONT ROW
How to score the Sweet Seats without selling an organ
11. GREASE THE PALM
Learn the subtle art of persuasive payola
12. GROOVEABLE FEAST How to get down without getting arrested
13. HIGHWAY TO HELL
How to stay on the right side of Officer Big Stick
14. HIT THE ROAD
Rev up for a road trip, an exotic getaway, or a break for the border
15. HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
How to navigate the rocky terrain of family events without getting disowned
16. HOME REMEDY
Easy outs for embarrassing ailments
17. J.O.B. BLUES
How to land a kick-ass job and survive the ones that suck
18. KICK ASS
19. LADY LUCK
If you're going to win more than free drinks, you have to know how to play the game
20. LET'S MAKE A DEAL
Nine savvy tips for your next negotiation
22. MORNING AFTER
Taming the hangover heaves after a night of too much fabulousness
23. PEE STANDING UP
How to answer nature's call anywhere, anytime
24. PINK SLIP
How to get‹or give‹the ax with maximum style. Extra points for poise; extra-extra points for unemployment checks
25. SCAM CITY
Front rows, free food, and the hottest fashion: our favorite hustles that will make them yours for the taking
26. schmoozing, socializing, and surviving the spotlight
How to make friends, influence people, and address a crowd without losing your lunch
27. STYLE PILE MAKEOVER
Redecorate your swankienda on a dime
28. SWEET REVENGE
How to revel in the joys of payback while staying on this side of psycho
29. TABLE FOR TWO
Get past the bitchiest maître d' without promising your firstborn
The right getup for every setting, from Meet the Parents to Lunch with Your Ex
31. VELVET ROPE
How to get past the Door Guy when you're not a supermodel, a celeb, or a sultan'sgirlfriend
Posted January 9, 2008
This little book was soooo amazing. Everything a woman needs to know, ever! I'm going to buy a copy for all of my fav. females!
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