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Don't grow up! It's a trap!

As a child, I looked forward to nothing than to being a grown-up, having my own house, decorating... ahhh. The life. If only I would have known then,
No one ever talks about the bills, and your income and how a lot of the time you will barely make ends meet! I mean honestly, I'd like to think that would have made a difference in my ambitions, but alas, I thought I was great with money and that would not happen to me. It's not that I am poor with money, but I go through little spurts of spending and can't walk out of Target with only what I went in for. I hate being on the lower income side of things. This makes things even harder because I love my job! I only make about 35 a year. That seems solid and my husband will be making about the same this year, and that should help.

Our student loans though make it so we can barely get through the month. I have called and called and just gone ahead and applied for help with our loans and to no avail we have gotten only one lender to work with us. It doesn't matter that we had a baby or could lose our home if they don't work with us. What gets me even more upset is that the US government bailed out all my loan companies, but they won't even bat an eyelash our direction. I don't mean to complain or try to scream to the world, "We are so poor!" because I know there are a lot of people who are far worse off than us, but it is a struggle. Every time I open my bank account, I cringe at the numbers. The numbers you owe versus the numbers you have... It's eye opening.

The biggest struggle really is our loans though. I blame a lot of our problems on Sallie Mae and the government. When my husband and I got our loans, we didn't really qualify for Federal Aid. A very small amount. When I sat down with my school's financial aid, they steered me towards Sallie Mae and recommended to get all private loans. I was told that when I have finished 5 years of teaching I could be forgiven $17,500. of my loans. I was told about a Special Education raffle the State of Illinois does where as long as I taught in Illinois for x amount of years, I wouldn't have to pay loans if I was drawn. Of course, you can't forget scholarships! I applied to any and every scholarship I could find; I wrote paper after paper hoping to get something. My husband's parents said they were paying for his school. Well here's the reality: Even though I was paying for my schooling solo, meaning my parents weren't helping, my parents made too much money and I qualified for like, $5000. For 5 years I applied to every scholarship I could find and received $500-ish in those. It covered books my freshman year. I took out the loans I was told to get and asked my father to sign for me... Unfortunately now I've been told you can only be forgiven for 17500 if you have federal loans. My husband's parents ran into financial hardship and couldn't pay the loans, so we are. That's just the reality of it. Oh, and while I applied for the IL Raffle, I never got it. Not once in 4 years of applying. That is my luck.

Now I know nothing will change a person's outlook; especially when speaking politically. I would like to say though that I am personally offended when people complain about how the late 20-somethings/early 30-something have no sense of responsibility and we dug ourselves into our financial pit. I worked all through high school and college. At one point I had 3 or 4 jobs. I was well-rounded; I was involved in school nonsense, had some friends who were super smart some who were sleazy, and earned decent grades. When I hear people complain that I knew what  I was getting into, I want to scream and hit people. I had no idea. No one in any class taught me how or what I was doing with loan money. If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken that measly 5k each year from the government loans. I went to school for one thing and never changed majors. I love my job. I can't imagine myself doing anything else; like ever. Tell me again how I messed up? Did you know there is a force-field around private loans? They are basically unmonitored and untouched by the government. They can raise my interest rates at any time and can make me pay as much as they want. Would they ever help me out so I can keep my home? Bahahaha. Heck no. Oh and if we filed for bankruptcy, we still have those loans. Everything else is wiped away, but that. How those execs sleep at night is mind boggling. We also thought we would just be paying my loans, when my husband's parents dropped that bomb, it was huge. I had no idea how we would be able to do things...

We make it work, but we have very little in the bank. We have a small retirement started in stocks and a Roth, but it's almost nothing. The State of Illinois also keeps talking about touching our pensions and that is horrifying. If they took my pension, all I would have toward retirement is that tiny little Roth and we'd have to keep working forever.

In short: Money is terrifying. Being grown up is terrifying. No one tells you how much stress you are under, how hard it is to get out of bed, how you might have to artistically pay the bills and write checks out for certain days when you pay so you don't overdraw accounts. No one tells you any of that. As a teenager and college student I worked my ass off and never had less than $5k in any account and now I can't even imagine that. I work so hard now and people don't understand. It's all teacher's faults... yadda yadda yadda. The big-wigs who are bringing home 200k+ all say it's government employees sucking dry the system, how does my $35K a year suck dry the system and their bonuses not? My pensions is paid out through my checks, are theirs? Nope. Are their bonuses? Nope. It's really easy to blame everyone else but man, let me tell you.

Anyhow, it helps me when I write things down. No matter how dry and boring things may seem. So let me liven up this post with a picture of Booger. As a 3 month old, I dressed him up like a grown up in dad's clothes, this was his reaction:

He's smarter than me already. He knows growing up is a trap.