Originally from What do to? OK, again, there have been valid points made about the necessity of graduate students (and all Americans, for that matter) being reminded that living within one's means is a good thing. (We'll ignore for the moment the overwhelming cultural/media messages that we should get the bigger, better, "super cute" things right now because we "deserve" them.) But what concerns me is the strong sentiment that we should somehow feel guilty to complain when we make more than what a "single mother working full-time on minimum wage." First of all, some of the "single mothers" are your classmates -- look around. Let us not lose sight of the fact that to have gotten to graduate school, you have already earned at least a Bachelor's degree, possibly a Master's as well. This isn't about being "privleged" to be accepted to graduate school -- you have demonstrated some intellectual abilities and skills or you wouldn't be there! This isn't about being in the right place at the right time or (necessarily) being born into a good family. At this point, you have already paid some dues and earned a credential that should eliminate the need to accept a (near) minimum wage job in the first place. Seriously, did we all invest time and money in our educations so we could return from school and work for minimum wage? Finally, what sense does it make in any economic theory that I earned more as a BA milieu counselor than as a pre-doctoral intern twenty years later? Yes, we all could use a good dose of financial education. And, it may seem that we are crybabies when there are others making due with less than we are getting. But we didn't just get picked out of a crowd and delivered to the door of graduate school There is still more of the journey to complete and sometimes one must sacrifice today to benefit tomorrow. But let us stop selling ourselves short. We have accomplished things to get to where we are. Why do some seem to believe it is immodest or ungrateful to say we (and our accomplishments) deserve better?