The current amount of student loan debt in my name, all for the curious pleasure of having B.A. and M.A. added to my résumé. I was always told student loan debt was “good debt” and that one should value education. To an extent, I still believe those things to be true. However, I don’t believe that education should be this expensive. Young people should not be saddled with this burden.
I could go on and on about the scam of student loans, the fallacy of grad school, and the overall business higher education has become. But this is not what this blog is about. It’s about something entirely different, because quite frankly the situation has become a Do or Debt situation. Debt simulating my very real, metaphorical and financial deaths; I must save myself from this fate.
This blog will be my attempt at keeping myself accountable for paying back this large sum of money. I am not waiting for any bailouts and I know full well the onus is on me. In addition, I am looking to create a community of like-minded people, to motivate and inspire each other. I am a personal finance nerd and love reading blogs and books on the topic. However, I never feel like I can completely relate to the stories being told.
The standard narrative is that people get into debt because of their lifestyles. I’ve read all the stories about people downgrading their lifestyle, selling their cars, homes, and electronics to become debt free. I’ve read about people making 100k, but can’t pay off 20k in debt. But what about the rest of us? I’ve always subscribed to and maintained a very minimal lifestyle—and in regards to income, I am barely making 20k a year (clearly, not by choice). Last year, I moved from one coast to the other with two suitcases to my name. I’ve never had a credit card and in general, I’ve never had a hard time paying my bills. I don’t have anything to sell or to downgrade.
So what is the answer?
My only real solution is to make more money. To increase my income potential and continue chipping away at this enormous debt, that keeps me up at night. In this moment, my work situation, like so many others, is unstable. Ironically, my income was much higher before I went to grad school and I am still transitioning into this new city. I’m very much into side-hustles and making it work. In my dreams, I will be debt free in 4 years. It’s an ambitious goal and with my current income, absolutely not possible.
But I am positive that 2013 will bring so many good things—a change in jobs, increased opportunities, community and an outlet for writing on this blog.
Tonight, I will rest a little easier knowing I have made a commitment to myself (and the internet) about my goals. Tomorrow, I move forward, even at a snail’s pace with my debt payoff.