By the time I was 26, my finances were a complete wreck. I was $30,000 in debt with no savings, but plenty of bad money habits.
How did I get into that position? For the most part, it was unconscious spending. The $29,500 I earned as an entry-level assistant in the television industry wasn’t enough to live the life I wanted, and I was dipping into my credit cards to support my lifestyle. I was spending a lot of money on entertainment, going out and even treating friends. I chose to live in Manhattan, spending more than an entire paycheck on rent, and I found myself running up the credit card tab each month.
When I got off the phone with a creditor one day and discovered that I had let one credit card go unpaid for so long that I didn’t have enough cash to cover the minimum amount — $2,000 — to bring the account current, I knew it was time to get serious about paying off my debt. I had let the problem balloon out of control and lived in denial for a long time, but I finally realized no one could save me but myself.