I thought that my student loan debt would keep me from being able to do many things that the American Dream promised that I could do if I went to college. I didn’t see marriage, children, or happiness in my future, all I saw was piles of student loan debt.
The end of my junior year in undergrad, I decided to calculate my college debts. I was left in disbelief. I would be in high 5 figure debt, about $80,000 after walking across the stage. This would include high interest. I know you are like “How Sway?”. I was asking my self the same thing. I signed my name to get whatever funds I needed for school and living expenses. I didn’t ask a lot of questions because I knew that I would pay the money back. I had a plan. My family, who were a part of the 57% of Americans that struggle financially, was not able to assist me in anyway financially. I depended on my loans and working part time. At the time I had a plan to be a psychiatrist so I figured that everything would work itself out. I mean college debt was good debt, or so I thought.
All of this sent me into a depression and anxiety that I would not wish on anyone. I was disappointed in myself. The depression/anxiety put me in a position where I didn’t want to think about the debt. I almost had a panic attack whenever I would put my hand on the notebook where I had written the debt down. Yes, it was that bad. Not thinking about it and reaching out for help at that time made the issue worse. I was in a financial literacy college group and had learned and implemented a lot of tools and knowledge. However when it came to school related costs, I pushed it to the back of my head. I felt stuck.
Well before I walked across the stage I had a change in the career path I would take which lowered my potential salary. I love my career field and am glad I went this route although I would love it even more if I didn’t have the student loans behind it. My financial health has improved overall but is still a work in progress.
To me being financially healthy ultimately means
- to be able to breathe, be free, and live out my destiny – helping others improve their lives-without the constant worry of finances.
- to go to sleep thinking about how I will take the next step in fulfilling life’s purpose instead of how I will pay bills.
- knowing my numbers (credit score, income, expenses, etc.) and knowing how to maintain and improve them in everyday life.
- having “ do what I want” money so that I can live on my own terms and live out my destiny.
This blog was created not only as a form of accountability but also a resource for women to gain personal finance and goal setting tips so that they can live financially health lives and reach their God given dreams.
Fincon and Center for financial Services Innovation partnered up for a contest to have bloggers explain what financial health means to them.