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First Credit Card, Getting Fired, and Presumptuous Gifts

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Saying goodbye to my salary and employer-sponsored benefits should mean that I should be looking to cut back my expenses for a little while as I work on making up for that loss through increased income. This weekend I had my last hurrah, spending money for a new professional-grade digital camera. I had been saving up for a new camera throughout most of 2010, transferring money every few weeks into an account at SmartyPig, until the goal was fully funded last month.

The new lenses I’ve been eying will have to wait.

Here are some of the articles I enjoyed this weekend.

A 22-year-old MetaFilter user asks how he can get a credit card without any credit history, particularly after being denied by American Express and Citibank. The easiest cards to qualify for are secured (pre-paid) credit cards, but as an alumnus, he might also have success with credit cards marketed directly to alumni, branded with his former college or university. I’ve started getting new solicitations for credit cards branded with my former university, and this is after more than ten years since my graduation date.

One of my first credit cards was one of these branded cards marketed to alumni.

J. Money got fired! He was getting ready to quit his job anyway, but getting fired can sometimes be a better deal. His employer was in trouble, and he wasn’t the only employee to get laid off. Sometimes it’s easier when the decision to leave is made for you. I quit my job a few weeks ago, offering two weeks’ notice. I probably should have done it years ago, but it’s difficult to live life waiting for others to make decisions for you.

Have you finished shopping for Christmas gifts? A few weeks ago, I offered a number of gift ideas for under $100. Recently, Len Penzo shared three presumptuous gift ideas — gifts you shouldn’t consider. As Len points out, gifts should not cost the recipient money.

Consumerism Commentary participated in some carnivals: Carnival of Personal Finance, Carnival of Money Stories.

Enjoy the week!

Updated June 20, 2014 and originally published December 20, 2010.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

New camera? I smell a tax deduction. :-)

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avatar 2 eric

Student credit cards should be considered too. That’s how I got my first one.

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avatar 3 Anonymous

I was surprised to read that you used Smarty Pig to save for the camera. Why that vehicle to save?

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avatar 4 Luke Landes

SmartyPig offered a good interest rate (relative to other savings accounts — perhaps because it is somewhat less liquid), and I wanted to try out the service so I could properly review it for Consumerism Commentary.

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avatar 5 Anonymous

That makes sense. I’ll have to set up an account for one of my savings goals.

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avatar 6 Anonymous

I had luck getting approved for a Discover Student More card just a few months after graduating high school. I had no credit history besides being an authorized user on one of my dad’s cards. At 22, I’d think they’d approve most people for a low limit card if they’re income isn’t crazy low.

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