Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 14 - "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work We Go"

Today was day 3 of going back to work, and this whole slowing down after summer is over really stinks. This week, I have a pretty decent number of hours, but there's nothing to do. There were a couple of times today where we stood around and stared at one another, praying that something to do would come along. Next week, I barely have 30 hours and I'm left wondering how I'm going to pay my student loans come the end of the year if my hours are all over the place like this.

Earlier this year, I wrote a column for my alma mater's newspaper about an initiative to forgive student loans in order to stimulate the economy. In my column, I decided that this may stimulate the economy, but this doesn't teach those who have student loans anything that loans teach us. There's no learning how to budget money, how to be responsible for personal finances, and above all, if loans are forgiven now, what's next?

While I'm not advocating the government forgiving all student loans and giving recent college graduates a bailout, I am an advocate for coming up with other ways to finance a college education. The average college student graduates with about $100,000 of student loan debt - that's not including about $3,000 in credit card debt and possibly a car payment or rent to pay. Thankfully, I graduated way below average with about $20 in credit card debt and a whopping $68,000 in student loans and I'm already flipping a switch every time my paycheck seems to get smaller, even with a recent pay raise. If a college education is supposed to be so necessary, then why does it keep getting more expensive?

By the way, if a student defaults on federal student loans, the student automatically becomes ineligible for any more federal loans until the loan payments are caught up. For me, the option to let it slide isn't possible. No loan payments means no more Stafford Loans, which means no more grad school, which could mean no more sane me.

On a brighter note, August was my best month for revenue from my writing gig. So far this week I've put out two articles and I have a couple of ideas for a third. Let's hope this productivity train doesn't kick me off because I could really use the money to put in the piggy bank.


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