If the good fortune (literally) of others makes you feel bad about yourself, do not continue to read.

You have been warned.

I’m debt-free, folks. Mazda took my last car payment this month, and I just got the title in the mail. I just sent a lump sum for the rest of my student loans. A Christmas present to myself!

And yes, I was lucky enough to get through graduate school without adding debt, and I’m naturally pretty good at living within my means, and I HATE paying interest so I tend to pay off my credit cards. I’m not so on top of financial things as all that, though—in fact, I’m so not on top of things, I think I’ll make it a separate post. The list of my financial incompetencies got too long to mention here. They involve retirement, though.

In related news, every so often I calculate how much financial aid I’ve received over the years, including the cost of tuition.

Four years of chi-chi undergrad: let’s say at least $100,000. Seven years of graduate school: let’s say $150,000. Those are conservative estimates.

Am I really a $250,000-person? That’s a quarter of a million, invested in my education.What do I offer that is worth $250,000?