That’s what this reader did, in part, and she’s not ashamed of it:
I didn’t realize how lucky I am until I read Neal Gabler’s article, “The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans,” about the financial insecurity that apparently plagues most of them. At this moment I am a 46-year-old single woman who could indeed come up with $400 for an emergency, or even $2,000. But to reach this place of relative security, I broke all the rules and violated just about every norm of stereotypical middle-class life:
- I never married and never blended finances with a romantic partner.
- I never had kids.
- I never bought a home; I’ve rented apartments for 25 years.
- I never bought a new car; I buy cars directly from previous owners and pay in cash. (The most I’ve spent on a car is $4,800.)
- I financed college and graduate school on my own with a combination of scholarships, savings, loans, part-time work and careful use of time-limited 0% APR credit cards. Although I’ve proven piss-poor at earning big salaries, I am absolutely stellar at paying off debt, so my credit rating is in the high 700s.
Still with me? You won’t be: