Living with credit

Black Friday memories

Emily Crone

If you live in America, you probably stuffed yourself silly Thursday with turkey and pie. Perhaps you’re even still digesting. Did you also take some time to think about what you are thankful for?

When I was young, every year at Thanksgiving my grandmother would come over to the kids table and make us tell her what we were thankful for that year. I didn’t enjoy this practice at the time, but now that I’m older, I think it was wise to have us reflect on this. This tradition has fizzled as we have grown older, but I still try to do a self-check every Thanksgiving and think about what I’m grateful for.

This year, I know several people who have struggled to pay off their student loans. I am very grateful that I am not saddled with student debt. My parents started a college fund when I was a baby and slowly contributed to it over the years. Even when they stopped contributing, it still grew thanks to the beauty of compounding interest. When it was time to go to college, I realized I could either go to a state school on that fund alone, or I could go to a private school, and that fund would only cover about two years. I decided that I would rather be debt-free upon graduation, so I decided to attend the University of Texas. After graduation, I had my fair share of difficulty adjusting to financial independence and credit card usage, and I am still trying to wrap my head around budgeting. I am grateful, however, that I do not have to worry about student loans as many of my friends must. It’s easier for me to focus on my 401(k) and emergency fund. What are you thankful for this year?

Some people are grateful for today — Black Friday, whose madness was captured nicely in last week’s Saturday Night Live (story continues below).

Black Friday, besides being the relaxing day after Thanksgiving, it is also the day where merchants across the country offer blowout sales that generate enough revenue to put their red (negative) numbers into black (profitable) for the year. It’s an amazing opportunity to snag deals on holiday gifts, but it also involves crowds, long lines and, in the worst cases, stampedes. If you have chosen to partake in the madness, I wish you the best of luck!

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