My accounting skills are dismal. And so, now that I am unemployed and trying to pay my regular bills and then some (Welcome, health insurance bill! Welcome, tuition payments! Welcome, fingerprinting charges for substitute teaching!), I find myself curled in the corner, utilizing the fetal position, sucking my thumb, rocking back and forth, muttering, “When will it stop? When will it stop?”
Well, maybe not literally. But it’s still a scary sight.
I’ve come up to a few roadblocks in the last week or so:
1. I only managed to register for six credits. This means that although I am eligible for the school’s health insurance coverage, I am not eligible to defer my current student loans. I must be enrolled in 12 credits for that. So, I continue my astronomical student loan payments.
2. The good news is that I am eligible for the school’s health insurance coverage. The bad news is that it’s far more expensive than I anticipated. I will have to give up the prescription plan in order to make ends meet, at least for the rest of this year.
3. I had hoped to borrow from my 401k in order to pay off the balance of my credit card debt and this semester’s tuition, planning to pay it back with next year’s tax refund. But, since I am leaving my current job, they will not let me touch it until it rolls over into a new plan and I can prove I am able to make regular payments back into the account. This leaves me with hefty credit card payments. And no 401k, since I will only be working part-time.
(My eye is twitching again.)
4. I have the choice of paying off my tuition with my current credit card, signing up for the interest-free payment plan (which requires a hefty $500 up-front payment that I currently can’t afford), or trying to get an interest-free credit card to be used only for school and to be paid off within five months. Another large monthly payment.
5. If I want to be a substitute teacher in NY State, I need to be fingerprinted. This costs $115. That, of course, I don’t have.
6. Let’s not mention the regular monthly payments I have to make, like rent, electricity, gas, and food. Because that might just put me over the edge.
I may not have mentioned that I don’t yet have a part-time gig, and will be home three days without pay next week. Oh, and I will not have any health insurance coverage until September 1. So please, no one run me over with a truck.
Things are brewing, I’m trusting that everything will work out. I’m a capable young adult with lots to offer the right employers. But right now I am faced with the kinds of decisions I have never had to make for myself and to be perfectly honest, I think my head might be unscrewing from my neck and I’m not sure what I can do to stop it. Maybe wine and opera in the great outdoors tonight will help. I’ll be putting all my money on it.