Depressed/Stressed about debt/income

IBM Blah26
Apr 28, 2018 34 Comments

I know it's not good to compare myself to other people, but seeing posts here on Blind makes it hard not to. Turning 31 this year, and I feel like I'm drowning in debt (~$175K). Most of it student loans, but a significant amount of credit card debt as well.

Given my circumstances (had a kid at 19, pushed myself through school while working full-time minimum wage jobs to pay the bills, five years of grad school, having second kid, and being underpaid/unemployed for a year after graduating), I know I'm actually doing pretty well. I make $100K/year, only a year and a half after graduating (in research), am able to support my family while my spouse is unemployed and waiting for grad school to start.
But man, it's depressing sometimes to see others my age or younger talking about having more money than they know what to do with. Sometimes I don't think I'll ever be debt free or able to buy a house.
I'm working to start consulting or teaching on the side in order to pay everything off faster, but I'm losing hope it'll actually happen. At the rate things are going, it'll be 20+ years before I'm able to pay off my student loans, at least 3 years to pay off the credit cards, and who knows how long to pay off my spouse's student loans after grad school. Which means I might as well forget ever buying a house.
I really do know it's all a matter of perspective, and not as gloomy as I might think. That things can change (new, better paying job in a few years, etc), and get better. But this was not at all where I'd thought I'd be at this stage of my life. And seeing other people where I want to be already... it's hard not to give up.
Like I said earlier, I know it's stupid to compare myself to others. That there are people who have it worse, that things won't always be this bad, or even that it's as bad as I think sometimes. But sometimes knowing that isn't enough to stop the thoughts of dismay.
At least there are 'anonymous' forums I can vent on, right?

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 34 Comments
  • New SwEL43
    Boo hoo life is hard. go offer people something of value that makes their lives easier and yours will be too.
    Apr 28, 2018 10
    • New SwEL43
      Good thing I hate my family. Don’t forget to change the shit bucket.
      Apr 28, 2018
    • T-Mobile
      Poibt

      T-Mobile

      PRE
      Microsoft
      Poibtmore
      Human-centipedes don't need shit buckets.
      Apr 28, 2018
    • T-Mobile r4i3me7s
      Can't have a family if you have no oxygen!
      Apr 28, 2018
    • New SwEL43
      I’m becoming more fond of you as this continues.
      Apr 28, 2018
    • T-Mobile
      Poibt

      T-Mobile

      PRE
      Microsoft
      Poibtmore
      Most of my friends are forged through some form of torture.
      Apr 28, 2018
  • New uVAi44
    No sympathy from me. People who make dumb decisions deserve whatever the consequences of their actions are. I can't even fathom why you would go 5 years to grad school and have a second kid when you're struggling to pay your debt. On the bright side, I hope what you're going through right now is a good lesson for you to make smarter decisions in the future.

    Another thing, if your wife is planning to get a useless major and you have to go into more debt for it, I highly recommend you persuade her not to do it.
    Apr 28, 2018 2
    • New SwEL43
      It won’t be useless to the bank that funds the loan :)
      Apr 28, 2018
    • New / Eng N0P
      Those art degrees with negative ROI need to go away. OP DO NOT DO IT! If your wife wants those kinds of knowledge, let her take cheap online courses or get her a library card.
      Apr 28, 2018
  • Expedia 🤕headache
    I’m sorry that you are going through such hard time. Kudos to you trying your best and support your family.
    I’m mid-30s and not like those Blind posters who easily make 6 figures. I’ve been studying hard and Leetcoding to move to a better job/company. It’s not easy and takes time butI believe that I will be there. Don’t give up. Sending you all positive energy and good thoughts.
    Apr 28, 2018 0
  • Pandora dipthong
    My god relatively speaking you have a lot of your shit together.
    Apr 28, 2018 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • New SwEL43
      Dude I’m fat as hell and I got a bombshell, just gotta stop giving a fuck. Works like a charm.
      Apr 29, 2018
    • New SwEL43
      Nope
      Apr 29, 2018
    • New SwEL43
      Man Francisco
      Apr 29, 2018
    • New SwEL43
      Lol mmmmkay
      Apr 29, 2018
    • New SwEL43
      Well that’s because the world doesn’t work in laboratory conditions. If you accounted for everything you’d definitely die alone. Good luck with that.
      Apr 29, 2018
  • Amazon / Other Kavuebt
    I was a shit student (Ds and Fs) but I liked to mess around with web code stuff in high school. Took out a loan to go to community college for tech stuff, I liked the topic so I got ok grades for the only time in my life. I racked up tens of thousand of dollars in credit card debt in my early 20s and that debt only grew and didn’t go away until I was almost 30. I worked honestly shit jobs in tech at shit mom and pop shops making like 30-40K a year for almost a decade with no prospect of anything better. I had no social skills therefore no relationships and very few friends. I focused on making myself better professionally by reading and observing and analyzing mostly because seeing shit decisions and shit outcomes around me at work made me think “this can’t be how success happens, it can’t be just this plus blind luck, there has to be a better way to do things.”

    I had one online friend who worked in tech and was successfully growing his career. He never really gave me advice or anything like that but just watching him kind of validated what I was thinking. It’s important to mention this because without seeing some first hand evidence that there is better I would have probably just adapted to be like the people around me. This drive also got me better at interacting with people professionally which very slowly I translated into my personal life too and have had some great relationships and friendships. Eventually got a good job at a startup where I stayed a couple years, making about 80k. It also wasn’t going anywhere big, after a while I saw their limitations and understood there was a ceiling for them. But still, I stayed and worked my ass off to at least help them realize their potential, this let me finish paying off my debts but I had zero savings. I parlayed this job into a great Amazon job a couple of years ago. This year I will make more money than literally all of my years before that startup added together. Think about that for a second.

    Find the thing that drives you, the aspect of your life that gives you the most conviction, or lights a fire inside you, it’s different for everyone. For you maybe it’s your kids or your wife, maybe not. Maybe it’s something related to your profession. But find that thing and nurture it. You already know how to not let your finances drown, you’re doing it, but you need to make sure there is something propelling you to do more than that, to claw your way into something better. When good things happen the impact on your life will feel like a step function, but it will really have been that fire driving you closer to it one day at a time.

    For my part, I’m not done. Already I see things here that smell like ten years ago, like too much shit decisions and assuming or hoping for luck. And when other people around me shrug their shoulders and settle, I think I’ve gone through too much shit to get here to just let it go. Today, all the bs I’ve overcome is what gives me strength to keep going.
    Apr 29, 2018 0
  • Palo Alto Networks wdcyjn
    Breaking 6 figures is excellent, whether you’re living in Idaho or the Bay Area. There will always be someone that makes more or less than you and be in a better or worse situation than you. Tackle down that debt in chunks. Yes, folks post about 200-500K TC on these boards, but most people in the US are not living this way. It’s depressing to see what others are making, but it’s also normal to to see the working class pulling in 20-40K/year. We have it good.
    Apr 28, 2018 0
  • Amazon RCMMT
    What are your majors that convinced you both to go to grad school with gaps taking in tons of loans?

    Also, 2 kids before either of you are starting your career???

    And you have credit card debt which has insane interest rates!

    I would expect a couple who both made it to grad school would understand the massive financial burdens that your decisions would entail.
    Apr 29, 2018 0
  • Facebook mUYx38
    you are so young. why feel depressed?
    Apr 28, 2018 1
    • Microsoft ANBUANBU
      31 is young in this game?
      Apr 29, 2018
  • PayPal TeterPhiel
    Sending positive thoughts your way! Mid 30s, and I still have student debt which I plan to clear off this year. No need to compare yourself with others. Don’t read threads as Blind can have some mean and nasty shit too. Just focus on making sound decisions henceforth with money and see your savings go up. If your spouse can work at least some job that will help a lot.
    Apr 29, 2018 0
  • GE USD$7
    There is always light at the end of the tunnel. You’re so much human to rant here but this phase will go away.

    Heard about Dave Ramsey? He preaches 7 steps to financial success and believe me that works!
    Look for his books (audio book) total money makeover and several others. Download app “every dollar” from his website to keep track of budget. You should be quickly on your way out of this financial mess.
    Good luck.
    Apr 29, 2018 0
  • Salesforce / Sales
    Dudette’

    Salesforce Sales

    PRE
    Enterprise
    BIO
    Many years in tech sales
    Dudette’more
    Student loan debt is a sign of the times unfortunately, that and ridiculous housing costs. Spouse should focus on generating income and not adding debt.
    Apr 29, 2018 0
  • Intel DSPN81
    Keep at it. If you maintain your current earnings, you’ve got another $2.5M in lifetime after-tax earnings coming. Once you get past the debt, you’ll be surprised how much compound interest helps you on the upside.
    Apr 29, 2018 0
  • Salesforce Ahhh
    On the bright side. Your kids are older now and you are not spending tens of thousands on IVF. Soon enough that older kid can already earn some money for you. You are only 31 and you got a graduate degree and work for a large company. You can move jobs every couple years and get huge pay raises. $175k debt really ain’t that bad when all these Bay Area MOFOs have millions in mortgage debt on a buncha mid century shacks in the middle of boring ass burbs. Don’t be jealous man but pay off the credit card debt.
    Apr 29, 2018 0
  • Revinate / Data JPQ
    Please watch a passive income video on YouTube. No seriously.
    Apr 29, 2018 0
  • Tintri / Eng sWarm
    The bay area job market has never been hotter in recent times. Do leetcode and system design for 2-3 months and start giving interviews. In fact you should start giving interviews at places where you are not too keen on joining right away. Your problems may not go away but once you get a 200k+ TC, your problems will at least be halved based on your current TC :-)
    Apr 28, 2018 0