Make no mistake, this article is about what not to do.
But we thought it would be a nice group catharsis to send along some financial confessions. We advise you to read 'em, learn from 'em, and NEVER repeat 'em.
Rose, 25, New York, NY
"Even though my bank account has steadily remained at negative $8,000 since July (it goes up when I get my paycheck but always ends the month in the same place), I continue to be fully addicted to online shopping. On any given day I come home to up to five boxes waiting for me. And on an odd day when I have no packages, my doorman will announce, 'There's actually nothing for you today!' Because that is definitely not the norm..."
Talia, 27, Los Angeles, CA
"My friends and I take turns buying drinks each time we go out. I'm the kind of person who always tries to make people happy, so when it's my turn I want to be a sport. I start a tab and buy drinks on my credit card like nobody's business. I'll treat my normal friends, and sometimes I'll also treat their friends and friends' friends to rounds. I once racked up $1,500 on a tab—almost my entire paycheck in one night."
Katie, 25, Phoenix, AZ
“I missed a few tuition installments in college because I thought it wouldn't be such a big deal. Wrong. My school wouldn't let me graduate. It's so frustrating because I finished all the other requirements. It's been three years, I'm still behind, and I still don't have my diploma. I finished all my classes, but I don't know if I can tell employers that I graduated from college...and I'm too scared to ask.
Marianna, 29, Boston, MA
"My co-worker and I got our yearly bonuses from our jobs at the same time, so we took those checks shopping with us. We didn't talk about how much each of us got, but I think that she got more than I did. I didn't want her to blink, or worse, start telling other people that my bonus was low, so I spent the same amount she did. She spent a ridiculous amount on shoes and clothes. I spent close to that even though I can't really afford to, and I can't even return my stuff because she's expecting to see me wear it to work."
Jenna, 27, Seattle, WA
"I'll admit it. I'm a total shopaholic. I was spending so much that I finally had to do something. My solution: I go to the store and try on everything two sizes too small. My urge to buy anything evaporates after I see myself in the mirror."
Kavita, 23, Charlotte, NC
“I bought a Nintendo Wii last year for Christmas. (I said it was for my family, but it was really for myself. I wanted to use it to get in shape.) It's November now and I'm STILL paying it off!”