I graduated from college with my bachelor's in 2013, and financial stability has been at the top of my list of priorities. No matter how diligent I was about budgeting with getting paid once a month, it became more challenging to manage unexpected expenses. My part-time jobs started as a fun way to make the time pass, but as I finished graduate school last year, I hit a wall. I worked with a financial planner to figure out realistic fiscal goals. It was hard work, and while I paid off quite a bit these past three years, the stress was still looming over me. A few sleepless nights turned into months of sleeping patterns being interrupted by worry and frustration. It was time to make some uncomfortable decisions and take a hard look at my spending habits and be accountable for how I handled money.
I looked into bankruptcy as a last resort. It turns out this is more common than people would like to admit. After talking it out, I decided to file for bankruptcy in January and have not looked back. There is no shame in doing what is best for you. Although, when I talk about it the reactions are always somber and concern. Accumulating over $20K in debt since college on top of unspeakable amounts in student loan debt weighed so heavy that I refused to be stressed any longer. By no means am I advocating for everybody to run out and do this because it does have repercussions, but my point is—WHY ARE WE NOT HAVING THESE CONVERSATIONS? More people think it is appropriate to ask me why I'm still single, but when it comes to finances, I'm up shit's creek? Not cool. There is no reason to be ashamed. I am tired of hearing about people saying they paid off $100K in three years or saved $20K in 10 months but fail to mention how they lived with their parents who pay for everything, did not have student loan debt, or were married and had an entire additional income. These narratives need to stop! It gives a false sense of hope that everyone is on equal ground as if other socioeconomic factors are not at play. I'm sharing my narrative to combat the Wake Up Now social media millionaires that have all the advice but no real money in the bank.
Thanks to the Rona, this time at home is a welcomed time for recalibration. I finally have money in my savings, and the only thing keeping me up at night is Netflix. I moved back in with my mom until I knew what my next steps would be, but now I have found it almost impossible to find a place to move. Being rejected for an apartment is a level of denial that completely blindsided me and I almost let it get me down until I realized the amount of growth that has occurred in only three months. When I say adulting is giving me a run for my money, I mean it! With that being said, I want this cautionary tale to be a real sense of hope. Not many people knew what I have been dealing with, and maybe those unresolved feelings are what kept me up at night. If this can ease the mind of the next person, even just a little, then my job is done. I'm sure others are making do with a lot less than I am afforded. I filed for bankruptcy—not lost two limbs in Vietnam like Lieutenant Dan—I promise you don't have to feel sorry for me.