I has things planned out for myself way before I graduated. And I thought all I had to do was follow through with my plans and everything was going to be A-Okay.
It was a fairly simple and common plan: get a degree, get a job that will pay me 6 figures, buy a house, get a girlfriend, get hitched, and then it’s all rainbows and sunshine from there.
But one of the first things I realized when I was released into the real world is how hard it is to find a job that will pay me my dream 6 figures.
This was back in 2001, when the economy just tanked. I did everything I could. I filled out resumes and went to interviews, but I never got a call back from any of the companies I applied to.
I was a wreck and I didn’t really know what to do at that point. So I quickly fell into a depression and tried to cure it with some retail therapy.
I would just go in stores, find something I like, and charge it on my credit card. And up until that point, I was good with my credit card. I’d only used it for necessary things and I always paid my balances on time.
But now I was buying things left and right with no income to speak of. I started incurring a ridiculous a balance and had no idea how I was going to pay it off.
Until it reached the point when I had to stop and tell myself, “This has got to stop.”
Having a degree in finance, I knew that I had to find a card with a better interest rate. So I found one that has a 0% balance transfer offer and applied for it.
I got it and I promptly made the transfer. I started to feel good. Things were looking up. But I didn’t really change my bad spending habits. I would still find myself at the mall, charging stupid stuff on my credit card.
But because I didn’t have a balance, I wasn’t losing sleep. After a couple of months doing that, I had dug a pretty deep financial hole for myself. It was finally starting to dawn on me that I has a spending problem. I vowed to make some changes and get rid of the debt.
But I only ended up repeating the same process. I found a zero interest credit card and went through the cycle over and over again.
Things started to change
Later, I was at the mall again, looking at some shoes. For some reason, I took a breath and asked myself, “Why am I doing this?” That was the first time I had questioned what I was doing to myself.
I went home and finally accepted that I was depressed. And the only way I can get out of it was to get a job. I had to do something big to improve my situation.
The very next day, I looked for a therapist and started my journey overcoming depression.