Confessions of a $635.79 Credit Card Bill

Farnoosh Torabi
Farnoosh Torabi

When personal finance author Farnoosh Torabi recently spoke with students at Penn State, her alma mater, a young woman asked for her best advice on the elephant in the room -- student loans.

"I said, 'Well let me ask you a question,'" Torabi later recounted. "'Do you know how much you're going to owe every month when the time comes to repay the loan?' And she said, 'I have no idea.'"

I can relate. Having long considered myself a penny-pincher, I was stunned to recently receive a credit card bill for a whopping $635.79 – an all-time record for me. Trembling as I wrote that check, I kept asking myself: Why did this happen? How did I spend so much? What do I do next? I, too, had no idea.