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Face the Facts: Americans taking extra steps to save money

Last week, I committed the most grotesque and unthinkable act I have ever done in my life: I literally dove into a dumpster in order to save $500.

Well, I was prepared to, anyway.

The night before this certain experience, I had received one of the few packages my parents have ever sent me. It was a book and nothing else, or so I thought.

Turns out, I missed a little somthin’- somthin’, a $500 somthin’-somthin’.

So, what’s left to do in a situation such as this? Logically, dive into a large garbage-filled dumpster on a Sunday night.

In preparation, my faithful friends and I wore our oldest clothes, held tiny book lights as our guides, searched for sanitary gloves and even contemplated adding goggles to the ensemble.

Luckily for us, the box was right at the top of the pile of unmentionables from the past week.

But, the  almost experience taught me a valuable lesson. People, including myself, will literally do anything when money is involved, whether it’s earning a little or saving little.

Recently, an article posted on reported that a grandmother in Florida and a mother in Vancouver were caught trying to sell their babies for the bargain prices of $75,000 and $500, respectively.


Though this matter sounds laughable, I have to wonder what led them to the position they were in to try to sell their babies? How could they be that desperate for cash?

In this day and age, conversations regarding wacky ways of saving pollute the Earth as much as debt does. So, why is that funny? Why is sharing our crazy savings stories a common comical conversation topic?

Why do the majorities compare dumpster-diving stories or laugh at mothers trying to sell their children in order to save or earn a few extra dollars?  

Why is our nation’s lack of funding comedic, along with the desperate Americans who are trying to compensate?  

In reality, it’s not — especially for those living in today’s society, including young college students.

Issues of social security, retirement funds and even finding a decent-paying job plague the futures of college students around the world while our national debt continues to grow.

Even now, many senior citizens are forced to come out of retirement and look for jobs in a market in which half the nation is already competing.

In addition, a recent Pew Research study found that 75 percent of Americans say college is financially out of reach for most people, while The Chicago Sun-Times reported that student loans exceed total credit-card debt and will exceed $1 trillion for the first time this year — and it’s still growing.

So, what exactly does this mean for coming generations and our elders?

We’re so screwed.

So, as you giggle over thoughts of becoming someone’s sugar daddy, a woman attempting to sell her baby, or the fact that some people are readying to go dumpster diving, just remember this: You could actually be that exact same person in the future, willing to do anything for a quick buck.

Lindsay Friedman is a freshman studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. Tell her your crazy saving stories at

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