I am 23 years old and graduated with my master’s degree a year ago. I worked through school (sometimes 3 jobs at a time) and was able to gain both my degrees as a first generation college student at a reasonable price. Because I was paying my way through school, I was never able to build up savings as everything went directly back into schooling. Luckily, I landed a wonderful full time job the week after graduation, and have been working there ever since. The past year was great, had even started developing a savings account for emergency and rainy day expenses. It wasn’t a lot, I was still living paycheck to paycheck essentially, but it gave me some sense of security.
But things took a shift about two months ago. I got covid, ended up missing almost 3 weeks of work (unpaid) due to my work’s covid policies. That left me to rely on my savings to pay for rent, the medical costs, and basic necessities for that considerably chunk of pay lost.
Outside of medical costs for covid, I am also dealing with a back injury that requires multiple procedures and a crazy amount of physical therapy to fix. The physical therapy alone (even with health insurance and copays) will cost me upwards of $1500 if I go as often as my doctor is saying is required for pre and post op care. This pain is crazy, constant, and sharp and greatly interfering with my daily life, and I do not wish to go on disability since I have a job I love and hoping to make a long term career of. But losing almost a month of pay has made this near impossible to continue to budget for, I am now at the point where I will not be able to continue treatment, and will more than likely have to start over at some future date if the pain does not force me to leave the workforce before then.
I started working a second job to try to make up for this, but my luck got even worse. I had a tire on my car blow on the highway while commuting to work. (yet another day of pay lost) and the tow truck and expense of putting a new tire, I ended up having to put all that and my expenses in the meantime on my credit card.
The final straw that left me in a desperate attempt for more funds is the fact that my landlord just confirmed that she is renovating my and my roommate’s apartment and we will not be able to continue our lease in the end of August. That has left us scrambling to find a place, but I now cannot afford moving costs and/or rent deposits or the now considerably raised rent prices that have hit this area in the past year. I already live in the cheapest apartment in town, and live 42 miles away from work (not odd in my area, the city where I work is beyond crazy expensive). I now take a 2 hour train every day to and from work in an attempt to save money now that all these expenses have come up. I cannot afford to move further away from work with transport costs, and definitely cannot afford to move closer even with a roommate or two given my current finances.
This series of unfortunate events has left me a bit hopeless, as I am already sacrificing my health (picking and choosing needed treatments), quality of life (living so far from the city where I work) and my housing security (not being able to afford moving) in order to avoid getting myself in bigger debt, but there is no light at the end of the financial tunnel yet. My family is in worse financial shape that I am and live 800 miles away, so I can’t even look to them for help.
Anything to help me break this downward cycle and build up of debt would be much appreciated. I will surely pay it forward for years to come.