I’m Broke and I’m Fucking Tired of It

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Something I didn’t realize could happen to an adult so often.

I’m broke, and I’m tired of it.

I’m almost 28 years old, I have a Masters degree, a great salaried job with amazing benefits, a pretty good deal on a place to live (for San Francisco, so I mean, highway robbery anywhere else in the world), and I’m still living paycheck to paycheck. I don’t even have a savings account.

I guess I always just thought adult things would come with time? Like, of course I’m poor, I’m in college. Of course I’m broke, I’m early career. Of course I have credit card debt and student loan debt, I’m in grad school in the most expensive city in the country.

But now I’ve been out of grad school for more than a year. I’ve had a great job for 13 months now. I’ve had a decent side hustle (whattup Lyft) for 9 months. And I’ve made literally zero progress on paying off my debt. Actually, I’ve made negative progress if you take interest into account, which is just incredibly frustrating.

What the heck?

How do I do better?

27 was supposed to be my year of paying off my credit cards and other immediate debt. The day I turned 27 (August, 2016) I was facing down the barrel of this poop gun:

  • Friend Loan: $2,400
  • Southwest Credit Card: $2,000
  • Big Credit Card: $8,700
  • Baby Credit Card: $500

$13,600. Goddammit that’s a lot of negative money. But I had a plan! $1,000 every month for 14 months and I’d knock it right out!

Yeah that didn’t happen even a little bit. I managed to pay my friend off by January. And I made zero progress on the rest of it. My Student Loans kicked in in November and I started driving for Lyft just to stay afloat, sort of. I put zero dollars toward my credit cards.

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This is garnering zero sympathy.

So I’m turning 28 and facing down almost the same barrel of poop. $11,200.

Apparently adult habits don’t form just because you happen to age and your body starts decaying. Apparently habits form because you are literally desperate and working yourself sick just to dig yourself out.

But goddammit these habits are going to form if it kills me.

I did get approved for an income based repayment plan, which cut my loan payments about in half. I also got a pretty significant raise at my 9-5, meaning hopefully a $500 bump in my monthly salary starting in August.

With those two encouraging first steps, I dare to hope.

July Goals:

  • Start by making a budget that fits inside my actual 9-5 income
  • Make at least $1,000 driving Lyft this month
  • Give myself Monday’s off from Lyft, mainly to watch The Bachelorette (PETER IS SO DREAMY).
  • Save $500 of Lyft earnings for an emergency fund, and then hide that wad of cash somewhere with a note that says “ONLY USE THIS FOR DISASTERS”.
  • Pay off Baby Credit Card ($420), and chop it into tiny pieces.

I’m totally new to setting goals like this, so maybe these are too optimistic. But maybe they’re possible?

We’ll see.

 

 

 

 

 

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