I started working for an HR Consulting firm in 2008 as an assistant to 8 very busy consultants. My initial salary barely paid the bills, and there was a stretch of time that I was making decisions like dinner or laundry? And had to eat spaghetti for a week if I wanted to splurge on a night out with friends. I have been super fortunate to have job security for the past four years and opportunities to move up and make more money. I'm now the company's Director of Finance and am proud to say that I'm *finally* in a situation where I can spend more freely. I still have debt like you read about, but have allowed myself a few treats and vacations. Surviving in NYC is a struggle! You have to reward yourself every once in a while for fighting the good fight. I recently bought my first designer purse-- the Marc by Marc Jacobs Petal to the Metal Natasha handbag and matching wallet. Although I had a stomachache forking over the cash, I'm grateful to have been able to give myself this pat on the back for working as hard as I have. Here's to more successful years to come!