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I have to work nonstop to pay off my debts and I feel very restless and hopeless sometimes. How do I keep this up for another 8 months?

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Question - (6 April 2018) 6 Answers - (Newest, 10 April 2018)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

How do I sta sane in this financial situation.? I am living in New York City I have a roommate and I am in debt - school - medical procedure and bills all amount to 3300 a month to stay afloat - I spoke to a financial advisor and the minimum payment until December is going to be about thag much a month to stay afloat . I have been working non stop for a year and a half - I just got a second job two months ago in retail so basiclalt I work m-f 6am -6pm and Saturday - Sunday 10am -8pm.

My school loans and past medical bills and rent utilities all add up to that (minimum payments)

I am motivated to get this off my back but there are moments where I question everything - I went to school to get a good paying job - I make 70k in my first job and can’t afford anything . My medical bills were for a procure I had and if I ignore them like I had in the past they will come after me .

I feel restless and hopelesss — there are moments of tears and I’m jot sure if I am tired - angry - or just plain sad .

I feel discouraged - I did everything by the book and here I am working and not accomplishing anything - my friends are going off starting families and I can’t even date or go out

Does anyone have any advice on how to keep this up for another 8 months ? I just feel so down sometimes - in the past year I have paid 69k I have half of the left

Any great advice would help - this has scared me bevause I fee so alone

View related questions: debt, roommate

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 April 2018):

Many women would simply find a 'rescuer' eg. a rich man to pay the bills. I really, really admire that you have NOT done this.

It won't help you much, but you are experiencing at 'front line' level, what it is for a woman to survive without financial dependancy on a man. The bigger picture is that it REALLY should not be that hard, but it is, because society is structured very much to help men and dumb down women and / or to ensure that women fall into passive roles.

Now, you may think that your gender has nothing to do with it, but I can tell you it does. The men all use patriarchy - generally speaking this is older men helping out younger men, to get ahead - to find ways to 'beat the system'; this could be tips and pay offs, extra but easy income, promotions that aren't really deserved but are given on the basis that the guy 'sees something of himself in that young man'. You writing to us is basically an expression of the lack of a female equivalent of this kind of "nod and a wink" system between guys.

I don't have a solution. But I am really impressed by what you are doing. I do think if you try to think differently about your suffering - and it IS suffering - and the bigger picture surrounding this, it could help you to see that it is a structural problem that you have come to embody, rather than it being a character flaw on your part. In other words, it's the politics that need to change, not you. At least be proud, be really, really proud of what you are doing.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 April 2018):

Working that many hours must be incredibly tiring. Can you rearrange the debts so that you pay a little less each month? In the longer term you will pay a bit more interest but at least you won't kill yourself trying to pay the debt off so quickly.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (6 April 2018):

Many people cut-down on expenses by living in Connecticut and commuting by train.

One of my friends is an attorney licensed to practice in NY, CT, MA, and California. He maintains an apartment in NYC (rent-controlled, inherited from a deceased aunt), but he lives in a city in Connecticut approximately a 30-minute ride to the city. I also know people who live in New Jersey and make their daily trek to NYC; and they save an enormous amount on rent or mortgage payments. That reminds me that I owe all of them a visit. I love NYC!!!

In NYC, you could pay $2800 per month for a closet! The rent is what's killing you!

Take time for rest. Burnout will ruin your job-performance. If you have faith, take time for meditation, worship, and prayer. It eases the mind when you don't have to carry your burden alone. I do it all the time. I'm under enormous pressure and it calms me down!

You go girl! Keep chipping-away at that debt! Give yourself time to breathe. If you don't, you will throw your hands up in defeat. You've come too far for that!

It might be time you found somewhere nice out of the city with cheaper rent. You'll feel the pressure ease-up.

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A female reader, Dionee' South Africa +, writes (6 April 2018):

Dionee' agony auntHonestly, so far, you're doing most than the average person would be willing to do. For that, you should be very proud.

It's understandable how you're drowning in debt, I mean, apart from what you owe, NYC is so expensive when it comes to the cost of living.

I suggest, focusing on your goals. Think about how free you will feel when you finally manage to pay off your debt? You will have the better half of your salary back to do with as you please. Nothing lasts forever. This is true for both good and bad things in life, in this case; you can find comfort in the fact that this won't last forever and eventually the sacrifice will pay off. I get how frustrating it must be that you've done everything the right way and in the correct order so that's why you're down but it WILL all pay off. Honestly, just hang in there. It will eventually pay off. IT has to. That much I believe. Keep your head up and grind. Eat your budget meals just to survive and one day; you will have the option of eating caviar.

Good luck dear. I wish nothing but the best for you and hopefully you will get through this.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (6 April 2018):

Honeypie agony auntI think you are doing great! While I can understand it feels too much at times you DO have a "end" point of being DONE with this. By December of this year YOU have finished paying all this off and can then drop the second job and reconsider where you stand. If NY is where you want to be (workwise etc) or if you are ready to try something else.

How do you keep it up? Maybe make a count down calendar. Set another goal - like AFTER you are done (in December) GO on a vacation (yes, you might have to save up for that) but something YOU have always wanted to do. THAT is your "reward" for having hit that goal!

While it may suck to live on a strict budget right now it might also teach you what you REALLY need in your life and what you don't.

And you HAVE accomplished something. Trust me, not many people have the willpower and the shear GUMPTION! to pay of $69K in one year!

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A male reader, Garbo United States +, writes (6 April 2018):

Garbo agony auntNew York is very expensive to live in. Assuming you have some professional degree/training, would you consider moving away from NYC and go elsewhere where coats of living are much less? There are lot of different programs where student loans can be modified in some ways to give you a reprieve on payments while you set yourself up in the new place.

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