You’ll Want to Listen to Death, Sex & Money’s Series on Student Loans

How we deal with them, or how we don’t.

Photo credit: user2014, CC0 Public Domain.

If you need a good podcast for the weekend—maybe you’re traveling for the Fourth of July, maybe you’re folding three loads of laundry—a Billfolder suggested we all listen to the two most recent episodes of Anna Sale’s Death, Sex & Money.

They’re both about student loans.

I’ve listened to both 30-minute episodes, and it was interesting to hear so many people discuss how they dealt with their student debt. Some people avoided it. Others spent every penny they had to pay it down, even if it meant putting off other purchases or, in one case, living out of a van.

I don’t have student loans—I went to college in 2000, on a full scholarship—but I still found a lot to sympathize with in these stories. The interviews that resonated the most with me were the ones where people described feeling guilty about every non-essential purchase: spending $80 on a “really nice dishrack,” for example. Yes, that person’s apartment didn’t have a dishwasher and those dishes had to get done somehow, but… maybe that money would have been better off somewhere else. Maybe we should stand by our sinks and wipe every dish dry until our loans are fully paid, our emergency funds filled, and our retirements funded.

If you’ve had a chance to listen to these podcasts, what did you think? I’m especially curious about your thoughts on the couple who couldn’t agree on whether student loans should be fully paid off before having children—and feel free to weigh in on that whether you’ve listened to the podcast or not.

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