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I Lived Every Day Like It’s My Last and Now I have Crippling Credit Card Debt

We’ve all heard the adage that one should “live every day like it’s their last,” but what does it really mean? I’ll tell you. It means $300,000 in credit card debt and more than one antibiotic-resistant STD.

Like any self-respecting Millennial trying to find their way as they come of age at 34, I obsessively followed life advice from out-of-work Gen Xers on Instagram. I kept seeing this same idea, so I decided to take it seriously. My new morning routine was to have a friend call me and pretend to be a doctor telling me about a terminal diagnosis.

My friend Marian was the best for this. She spends a lot of nights on WebMD. Every morning she would tell me that I had precisely 24 hours to live, and I would spring into action, ready to reap the benefits of living life in such a way. Boy oh boy, was I not ready for the reaping.

Most mornings, after recovering from the shock of the news by taking a Xanax, I would think “Well, if I’m dying, I should do all the things I’ve been waiting for.” This included things like traveling all around Europe, quitting my job to spend time with my family, eating at Michelin restaurants, and getting more than half a tank of gas at once. It was fun, at first.

I started getting calls from collections agencies who didn’t seem to care that I was terminal or that I was just living life how we were apparently supposed to. Suddenly, it seemed, I had a mountain of debt I wasn’t able to pay off, not to mention a pretty intense Xanax dependency and a lot of discharge. But every morning I got the news that I’d be dying soon, so once again it didn’t matter. I’d go back to spreading the clap among all the aging rockers I’d never been able to see before money didn’t matter. Some days I would respond to the news by hiding in my closet and sobbing intensely. These days were cheaper.

I have decided that perhaps this advice is not meant for those who assume that other people use words properly.

Despite my struggles, I am finally on my way to paying off this debt with a deal for my debut self-help book “Live Every Day While Remembering That You Could Die Sooner Than You Think Due to a Variety of Factors, and Therefore You Should Keep Your Values, Goals, (And Budget!) in Mind.”