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Old 12-17-2008, 12:03 PM   #31
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Education. Like I said, this province places little value on it.
Can you move to a province that does or do you have commitments in Alberta that keep you from doing so?
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:35 PM   #32
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People aren't evil for making mistakes but they should research more on employment opportunities before they plunge into huge debt.
But not everybody chooses a degree based on employability! For heaven's sake, I know a lot of brilliant people who are doing things like PhDs in English or who did fine arts degrees who would have killed themselves doing something like accounting. Hell, I'd kill myself doing accounting for the rest of my life.

There is something to be said for job satisfaction and happiness in life too, but it seems that you afford that absolutely no value whatsoever.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:47 PM   #33
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But not everybody chooses a degree based on employability! For heaven's sake, I know a lot of brilliant people who are doing things like PhDs in English or who did fine arts degrees who would have killed themselves doing something like accounting. Hell, I'd kill myself doing accounting for the rest of my life.

There is something to be said for job satisfaction and happiness in life too, but it seems that you afford that absolutely no value whatsoever.
Exactly. Right now, I'm nearly halfway through my first degree in a field that has limited employability straight out of college, and somewhat limited opportunities after a PhD. However, I'm doing it knowing this, and I realize that I wouldn't be able to do anything else, certainly not something like accounting or management. Since I plan to go on to get a PhD afterwards anyway, I'd rather do what I enjoy now and have the potential to get a job teaching at a university where I would get to teach what I enjoy than torture myself for a more practical degree.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:06 PM   #34
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Also at somepoint if people are making poor career choices since they can't get a job with sociology and psychology they are going to have to make "judgments" on whether they should stay on the same track or go to a sector with more labor demand.
I'm not sure what careers you have in mind, but the best ones I can think of don't come with less than 7 years of schooling anyway so, not exactly a money-saver up front.

Right now I'm lucky in that the qualifications I need for my job are not degree-related, they are technical certifications and my current employer pays for my training and testing so I'll try to rack up as many as I can while I'm still here. Getting an advance degree in my field would not get me a pay raise here, I need to obtain certain technical credentials and then I move up a step.

I get the point though. My mom is one of those with the psychology degree and is always joking about it, how it's basically worthless. Right now she is working part time for a non-profit that my family has always been involved in and also volunteers somewhere else, so it's not a big deal that she can't make heaps of money with her degree since that was never her intent in the first place. Pretty much everyone in my immediately family works to fund what we really love. Unfortunately our favorite things to do aren't things that can make you a millionaire, but at some level you can't exactly control what you like and don't like to do. So I guess in that regard we all kind of do what you say - pick something that allows us to live comfortably and fund what we really enjoy. Works for me but I've never had a problem being able to pay my bills and not over-extend myself.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:59 PM   #35
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Just assume from now on I'm talking about averages and trends. I know that some individuals do different. I don't have time to parse out individuals unless I know them personally. I'm sure savers look at these debtors and wince at the debt load they carry.
It's fine to talk averages and trends when you're speaking in generalities, but you have to realize that by doing so, you're leaving out significant portions of the population who also matter, as well.

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I think where people get trapped is when they take degrees in things like psychology where there are little employment options. I took an intro psych course as an option and the instructor callously laughed at students who could only get as close to a psychology profession as wiping the floors in an psychologists office after graduating.
Then that prof is either a dick, or he's using tough love to weed out those who don't really want to put in the work for the graduate level degree that it would take to become employed in the field and earn a significant amount of money. For example, from entry as an undergrad to practicing as a clinical psychologist takes 9 or 10 years of education, internships and board certification testing. Future employment trends in the field are good, but, they do require advanced degrees and a lot of money. No one is going to get a BA in psych and come out of school with a good job in the field, and good earning power. It just doesn't happen, the same as it doesn't happen with any field in the humanities or the social sciences.
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:30 PM   #36
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I can't believe how much stuff I have either, it is more than years worth so at least from that standpoint it's more understandable. It does still gross me out though. As I've been getting rid of some of it since September I realize that it's even worse than I thought.

I love to bargain shop, in the last couple of months I got 4 pairs of dress pants at Macy's for $9.99 each (one was 8 something with a coupon) and a jacket that makes a suit with one pair, the jacket was only $9.99. I buy Clarks shoes that last forever and have three beautiful designer bags that were gifts that I take very good care of.

Luckily I don't have to buy too many Christmas gifts
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:30 PM   #37
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I think someone in my life regifts, I gave her a necklace a few years back because she liked mine and I've never seen it on her. She never even acknowledges gifts either



Regifting Your Way Out of Recession Blues
Tough Times May Mean More Regifting -- Learn How to Do It Right
By ALICE GOMSTYN
ABC NEWS Business Unit

Dec. 17, 2008—

Barbara Bitela has a box reserved for vanilla-scented lotions, necklaces and white wine. They're the gifts people give her that the California resident has no use for- she doesn't like the smell of vanilla, she finds wearing jewelry around her neck uncomfortable and she rarely drinks white wine.

But Bitela doesn't let the gifts go to waste. When she's in a hurry and needs to find someone a Christmas or birthday gift, the box is the first place she looks.

Bitela is an avid regifter someone who gives away presents that someone else gave to her. Bitela is such a fan of the practice that she wrote a book about it: "The Art of Regifting."

"Like many families, during the Christmas season, we get so many things we can't use, don't want or can't stand to have around the house," Bitela writes, "that we have resorted to this precious activity."

Given the recession and the financial pressures facing many consumers this year, when it comes to holiday gift-giving, more people might decide to follow Bitela's lead.

"I think people will be looking this year to be more creative on their gift giving because of all the issues that we have right now in the economy. People are just more welcome to ideas and ways that they can actually cut back in the holidays," said Tanisha Warner of Money Management International, a credit counseling agency. Two years ago, Money Management created Regiftable.com, a Web site dedicated exclusively to regifting.

"We're always looking for ways to give people tips during the holidays to save money. This was just one of the angles we wanted to use," Warner said.

Juan DeCaprio, 24, said he planned to regift for the first time this year because he's worried about losing his job. The Southern California man will give his mother, father and girlfriend presents that he receives from others, he said.

"I'm just trying to save as much as possible," DeCaprio said, "in case I'm next on the layoff list."

The recession notwithstanding, not everyone's in favor of regifting. Critics say that regifting, especially when done carelessly, is tasteless.

"I don't think just because the economy's bad, it gives you a reprieve to regift," said Lizzie Post of the Emily Post Institute. "Do homemade gifts, cut back on your list and let people know that you can't afford to gift this year."

Bitela said that one of her primary reasons for regifting is convenience it saves her the hassle of driving to a store and waiting on line to return an unwanted item.

But she also said there's nothing wrong with saving money by regifting, as long as you make sure that the gift is "passworthy," which Bitela defines as "that which is worthy of being passed and the item should make a favorable impression."

"It's not really about the price tag but the generosity in your heart when you step up to the plate, take the time to wrap it, put someone's name on it, smile and present it," Bitela said.

Planning to regift? Here are some tips on how to do it right, courtesy of Bitela, Post and Regiftable.com:

Out with the old, out with the used: Regifted items must be unused and, unless they're antiques or heirlooms, fairly new. A Regiftable rule of thumb: "If you have to dust it off, it is not regiftable."

Give the people what they want: If you're regifting an item, it should be something you think the other party would actually want.

Say you receive a shirt that doesn't fit you, Bitella said. "Instead of being a Scrooge about it," she said, "you can take it and say, 'This is a really nice shirt. ... My cousin would really like it, let me wrap it and give it to her.' "

Nice regifts come in pretty packages: If the original packaging was opened, wrap it so that it still looks like new that means new wrapping paper, ribbons, tissue paper, etc.

"Do something to make it look like it hasn't been opened and rooted through," Post said. "I think common sense can dictate that."

Forever yours: When gifts bear personal inscriptions or monograms, passing them on is seriously taboo chances are, the regift recipient will figure it out. Regifting presents that are incredibly personal to you say a special dish or a handmade sweater -- is also a bad idea.

The original gift giver, Post said, "thought she hit the nail on the head."

"If they really thought about it and it's someone who you see regularly, she's going to be wondering where it is," she said.

Small circles, big trouble: Some people are fine with regifting others, not so much. And if you regift within a small circle of friends, the chances of getting caught go way up, experts say. The original giver for instance, may find your regifted item at a mutual friend's house.

"Regifting inside a very small circle," Bitella writes, "is discouraged unless you really know and trust the people not to react badly to some ill-perceived gesture."

No give-backs: Here's a surefire way to get caught: Giving the regifted item back to the person who gave it to you in the first place. To avoid that embarrassing situation, make sure to keep track of who gave you what.

Strapped for cash but not keen on regifting? Experts say there are alternatives: Consider frugal gifts such as homemade baked goods or personalized gift certificates entitling the recipient to your babysitting services, yardwork help or other chores. (Regiftable.com has ready-made vouchers for such gifts available here.)

"The holidays is a time about giving thanks to the people we care about and showing how we do care for others," Post said. "Let that be your guide for what you're giving, not materialistic stuff."
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:30 AM   #38
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Someone should write an article about all the gazillions of other Americans who didn't need to lose a job and a home to figure out a "want and a need".


I agree! Not all of us live beyond our means.
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:34 PM   #39
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I have two wedding gifts I'm waiting for the right opportunity to sell or re-gift - a set of wine glasses and a REALLY nice silver salad serving set. Phil can't drink b/c of his meds and I hate wine. We don't really keep nice serving stuff for company b/c if we do have people over, we're hanging out and watching sports or movies, not eating gourmet meals off silver. If it was a family piece that would be another story. Some people told me to keep the wine glasses b/c I might offer other people wine, but we aren't like that and neither are our friends, they would not expect me to be serving wine. I appreciate the gifts and the sentiment but I really don't feel like hanging on to stuff I'll never use, especially these boxes that take up space. I know who gave these gifts and they received Thank Yous like everyone else so I'd never give their own gifts back to them. I'm waiting for a wedding/shower invite where I'll know the person will enjoy these things that are just piled in the back of my closet.
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