I read this article a few weeks ago and was so inspired:
The New York Times: But Will It Make You Happy?
I made it its own paragraph is how much I'd recommend it. I'm very easily swayed by this type of argument against stuff: oh, I will throw out all my spoons (silver, get it, an allusion) and live a romantic bohemian lifestyle where all I need are my friends and my dog and my love and water when I go to bars and then I will kayak and hike mountains and pay off my bajillion dollar student loans in two years and live in New Zealand.
So, in those golden, hazy, few weeks ago when the world was new and I was young and New York was alive, I threw out a lot of stuff.
Then you start grad school (day two counts, okay). Then you just get all Curious George about the state of your affairs which is honestly a very stupid thing to do and go through your credit cards, your bank accounts, your student loans, and the money your wonderful parents loaned you for rent but has disappeared into groceries because you have to start a fridge all over, a metrocard, cab fares from places that look fine in the daytime but get Law and Order-y at night, laundry, a sweater, bus tickets, dog food for your beloved dog you would never regret for all the loan-debt forgiveness in the world, window blinds, notebooks, a haircut for the hair equivalent of a snaggle-tooth you keep on your head daily and textbooks, and you're like oh shit. This city has eaten all my money. There is no money.
Then you climb up to your mini-loft you use for storage for all that unnecessary stuff you threw away and have a little quiet anxiety attack.
I, and is everyone on the planet so at least we have something in common, am absolutely panic-stricken at the thought of being poor. Like beyond poor actually because you owe the Department of Education about a third of a large house. BUT. Butbutbut. I'm inviting you along on my attempt to not have hyperventilating freak outs in an empty bathtub or dusty loft (or the cold, hard, empty place of your choosing) when you have to face the fact that you have absolutely no money. And that you live in a city where "you can have anything all the time" and "it never sleeps" and "is the best city in the world" (thanks, I get it, rub it in).
This inevitably leads to the facing of other fears that subsequently are no longer scary because you are desperate, including:
-selling your beloved books you've amassed through a buyback service online for pennies on the dollar, and subsequently selling your main safety blanket for your intelligence (i.e. LOOK AT ALL MY BOOKS, I'VE READ THEM).
-not getting enough sleep in order to churn out those charming freelance articles which are your only source of income, which could logically lead to worse anxiety about everything and probably will (see the cycle there, I do).
Those are the main two. But still. At the same time, I'm not going to lie: my list-making and brain-storming has lead to a lot of -ing-ings, and generally, ing-ings (which could, I guess, be calling "being smart and doing valuable things with your life instead of mindlessly buying things and saying you owe it to yourself to not go more in debt") feel kind of satisfying.