"Debt Out of College"

Getting Out of Debt Stories

The story of my problems with debt started when I was getting out of college.

Student loans aside, I was in very good shape financially. However, I ended up relying far too much on just the prospect of me getting a great job as soon as I graduated.

As you can guess, that didn't happen as I planned. I fell into the problem of being "house poor" without even having a house! I rented a nice apartment in the downtown center, furnished it with things I could never afford as a college student. Financed a new car. Acted like money was no issue at all.

And what can I say, it really wasn't.

I had got a nice job when I graduated so I was living the American dream you could say. And then I lost my job.

Rent, car payments, utilities, all became a struggle I could have never foresaw. Even just eating food had to be tamed down, as if I was living back in my dorm eating noodles every night.

I piled on the debt, paying for the things I had in hopes of getting another job. Well, it took too long. I was already headed down the wrong path. I had to take a step back, look at my life objectively.

I soon realized, with the help of my family at times, that I needed to live less ostentatiously. I sold my car, as much as it killed me to do so. I moved back in with my parents. I cut back, and it was a great first step. I started spending less and caring what I actually spent my money on.

Eventually I got another job, but I was already doing much better financially when I did. It wasn't my fault I lost my job in the first place. It was my fault, however, that I spent too much money, assuming I would never have to worry about not having the job that was providing for me. A valuable lesson was learned that I will never soon forget.

Contributed by Wayne from Arkansas