As you are reading my story, please understand that I am not here because I messed up my life or because of unfortunate circumstances. I have worked extremely hard throughout my entire life to not be a victim of circumstance. I am simply hoping that you might remember how demanding life was for you in your early-twenties and that you might feel compelled to help me along in my journey.
At the age of 17 I was accepted into the college and program of my dreams, unfortunately I had no way to pay for it. I worked 2 – 3 jobs throughout my time in college, working overnight shifts, going to class, and sleeping in the afternoons. It was extremely challenging and forced me to become extremely good at managing my time. I was able to put myself through school, graduate in 3 years (at the age of 21) and begin my dream job in a promising career within 2 months of graduation.
I started working on February 13, 2020. As you already know about 30 days later, COVID-19 hit an shut down the world. Luckily, I am considered an essential worker and have been able to continue working throughout this time. Unfortunately, working full-time, plus overtime when it was offered, was still not enough for the bills that were piling up.
I will be straightforward and honest about why exactly I am here. I have ~ $2,700 in credit card debt as my bills had to be paid regardless of where the money came from. This is of course in addition to the ~ $12,000 of student loans I have remaining as I was responsible and have been paying on my original $25,000+ balance from the moment I began college. I have excellent credit and have not missed a payment because I understand the obligation and responsibility I have to pay that money back.
I will breakdown why this has been so difficult:
I get paid bi-weekly at $1,060. My rent is $925 and I do not have roommates as I live in a rural, not extremely welcoming community where I do not know a soul. My car payment is $315. I pay $200 every other week as I am pursuing my masters degree to fast-track my career in public service. My utilities fluctuate around $100 a month including internet, electricity, etc. I pay ~ $300 a month towards my student loan as I am technically 6 months out of college, but I am also still actively enrolled as a student so I am not penalized if I don’t pay. As we all know, interest is astronomical and will accumulate faster than I will be able to pay it off if I wait. I pay my own insurance (car, renters, healthcare, dental, and vision). I pay above my “minimum payment” for my credit card every month, again trying to reduce the amount of interest I will pay over time. I put money into retirement from every paycheck (have to take advantage of employer match right?) and I have done all of this entirely on my own.
Did I mention I am barely 22 years old? Yes, I work hard. Yes, I make the most responsible decisions I am capable of making. No, I do not drink/party/etc.
I’m trying and I simply need someone, anyone to resonate with my story and help to ease some of my financial stress. I am not sitting at home waiting for someone to fix my problems. I am actively going out and working hard every day to help myself. I know I will be OK, regardless of whether or not anyone ever reads this. I also know that all it will take is one person who is more well off than me to remember what it was like when they were just starting out, and to help push me along in my goals.
I want to buy a house, I want to be able to move to my dream city (North-western Montana), I want to build my savings. I don’t need a million dollars. I don’t even need $100,000. I want to earn that kind of money on my own. All I need is some help with my > $20,000 in student loans, car loans, & general debt.
$10 would help to buy groceries on my strict budget, $50 would pay my internet bill for a month, $115 would pay my car insurance for a month, $200 would pay my tuition for two weeks, $315 would pay my car payment for one month, $500 would pay all of my bills other than rent for a month, $1,000 would pay my rent for one month, $1,500 would pay every bill I have for one month, $2,500 would almost entirely pay off my credit card, $5,000 would pay off my credit card and give me the opportunity to build my savings back up, and $10,000 would change my life.
Anything helps, and every bit of help means more than you could ever know.