Recession Horror Stories Featured On MTV

Last night's True Life: I Can No Longer Afford My Lifestyle followed three twentysomethings who never bothered to save money for a rainy day, and have since lost their highly-paid corporate jobs. Now, they're scrambling to make ends meet.

Aja is a 28-year-old mother who worked in a real estate for a Fortune 500 company. She was making a decent living, but spent her earnings on designer handbags, clothes, and a pricey rental in Brentwood. Having not put any money away, she now is living in a one-bedroom apartment with her three kids, and looking for work. Her situation is everything Suze Orman has been warning us about.

Aja has had to pull her kids out of private school and receives aid from WIC, which oddly, has restrictions on certain cheeses.

Caitlin is 25 and worked in the subprime mortgage division of Lehman Brothers. She used to go out to dinner six nights a week, traveled extensively, and shopped frequently. Now she's working three jobs just to stay afloat.

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Lastly, there's Adam, 26, who once worked at a PR firm. In the course of this episode, he lost his apartment, was dumped by his girlfriend, and switched from fancy beer to 40s of malt liquor.


Erin Gloria Ryan

To everyone: If you have the capacity to set up 401(K) or 403(b) contributions to be automatically deducted from your paycheck: do it. I'm bad with my own money in that if I have it in hand, I will spend all of it, but if I never see it, I forget about it until I look at my quarterly statement in my invested super conservatively retirement account and smile with a sense of accomplishment.

It is extremely important for people in our generation to start putting money away early. Even if it's only like $20 a week. The money that is there to support our grandparents and parents in their old age will not be there to support us in ours.

(Also, Caitlin, if you think that the mortgage crisis began a year ago, then you are dumb. This has been in solidly in motion for two and a half years. I work nowhere near the subprime mortgage division of my company and even I know that.)

//bitchy mcknowitall #truelifeicannolongeraffordmyli...