Now that I’ve told you my story, let me begin to share my journey through these past several months. One thing I can tell you is that it was no easy feat.
From May until August, I took an internship that paid me $500/month (yeah, I know!). I was not pleased about this and had set out to find a fully paid internship. Anyone that has done this knows that they are hard to come by in the communications industry. Cutting it close to the my coop term with no job, I had to take the one I could get and suck it up for a few months. Having worked as a hostess and server during my school terms, I knew that this meant I would have to keep this job to supplement my income. And so I began my journey of spending virtually nothing and working like a fiend. Luckily my internship wasn’t gruelling so I had the energy to give it my all on the weekends and make a good amount of cash.
Come June/July, I knew I had to hustle and get a full time job lined up for September. I searched and searched, had a few interviews but nothing clicked. Eventually I talked to my boss, who said he should be able to work something out for me. I was excited to have a prospect and waited hopefully for a response. When he finally got back to me, he explained that keeping me full time just wasn’t in the budget. What he had to offer wasn’t exactly rosy but with few options, I knew I had to take it. And so I extended my internship through ’til the end of December at $1200 a month. I managed to negotiate a 4-day work week and that was one of the smartest things I did. Because of my 4-day week, I was able to serve at my other job 3 days a week and make a good amount of income there. In fact, most weeks I made more there than at my internship.
I now funnel about 2k a month into my loan payments and feel a great sense of relief with each payment. Of course I would rather have my paychecks for myself but I know that I dug this hole for myself and I know I have the determination to get myself out of it and learn from it. I should also mention that I live with my parents – at 27 this has become more and more uncomfortable to admit but hey, I’m proud to say I have amazing, supportive parents and I actually enjoy coming home to them. I understand that not everybody has this option or sees this as an option but for me it is the best one and allows me to very quickly pay down my debt. No shame in that!