And I hit rock bottomPosted: July 24, 2012
I started my slide into my debt lifestyle (here and here) and after college it just got worse. I graduated in May 2008 and couldn’t find a job. Part of it was the economy and part of it was me being comfortable where I was at. I had transferred to a retail store to live with my ex because I was just too lazy to figure anything else out. I was going to go back to school in order to finish off my other degree but never did. (Thankfully! I can only imagine the horrible school debt I’d have if I hadn’t decided to just stick with what I have.) But this is when I really crashed. It was my rock bottom. And I know it’s not as bad as it could have been but to me it was and still is my lowest point.
Here are some highlights from that time:
1) Bought books from the bookstore I worked at. Why? Because of the discount! I just had to buy something every single day I worked. Yes, you read that right. Every day I worked-not every pay day or every Friday. And it was usually just an armful of stuff that looked good so I wanted to check it out. I’m currently reading through these and some I’m just flabbergasted at why I bought.
2) Not finding a second job. I knew I needed more money because I “had none” (or you know, I spent it all on books every day!) but barely sent my resume out to anyone or even tried for a second part time job in the mall I worked at.
3) Continuing to use my credit cards even though I could barely make a minimum payment. I was that girl at the register in front of you handing over 3 cards to get a $25 purchase. Or smiling and taking back the “wrong” card that I thought I had “lost and canceled” and handing over the “correct” one. Really it was just a game of “did that payment go through? Did they not put through that gas purchase yet?”
4) Not moving back home when my mother was sick. Instead, I’d take off 3 or 4 days at a time (sometimes a week or so) because I needed to be with her. And yes, I did need to be with her. That is something I will NEVER regret doing but if I would have moved back home, I could have transferred and not missed as much work as I did. This cost me paychecks (or at least good chunks of them) and huge credit card bills. I had to have gas, food, and pay bills right?
5) Not calling my student loan companies more. I had all of my student loans go into default because I wasn’t making enough for a payment—which I wasn’t making enough for a big payment like they wanted but I should have put them into forbearance and not just ignored them. Communication is key—well, part of a key. The other part would have been showing them the fact I didn’t have a lot of income and working out a good payment schedule that could have worked for the both of us.
That’s the five mistakes I made while out of college. Okay the five biggest ones! I’m sure I have more (okay I know I do) but those really stand out to me. I’m fixing them slowly and feeling pretty darn good about myself though. Even though I made the mistakes, I’m owning up to them and getting them fixed. And, as always, hopefully someone reading this won’t make the same mistake I did.