The economy crash in 2010 was something that affected almost everyone. It was a year that affected me greatly. I was a sophomore in college at the time going to a public university that still had a pretty high tuition rate (like most schooling in any university). I was unfortunately within the margin of students that weren't studious enough to get scholarships so I had to depend on student loans and credit cards to help cover my tuition and fees. I did not have the luxury of getting assistance from my parents either as they were also struggling themselves -- my dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 which left him too sick to work and as a result, we had lost our house to foreclosure. The kind of pressure that I faced that year was greater than any I have ever experienced before. I was battling the weight of depression, the stress of school, and on top of that trying to support myself financially. Though as sad as it may seem looking back on it, it was actually the year that I gained maturity and learned to fight for my own financial survival. I knew that by relying on credit cards and student loans, I was digging myself a deeper hole that I eventually had to climb out of. This is what lead me to get a part-time job making sandwiches at a sandwich shop near my home town. Even though I was working for minimum wage, I learned to really manage my commitments and make the best use of my time balancing between school and work. Pretty soon, I was able to pay off some of my daily expenses that I had charged to my credit card but I knew it wasn't enough. That's when I started looking for other ways that a student like me with minimal work experience could make extra money.
Another one of my favorite hobbies is to check out used bookstores and see if I can find bargains of my textbooks that I used for my classes (because we all know those can get pretty expensive too!). Browsing through those dusty shelves, an idea came to my head -- I can buy textbooks at used bookstores for a quarter the price and resell them on websites like eBay and Amazon to gain enough profit to pay back my debts. I did this for about four years and eventually, I made a decent chunk of change enough to pay back my credit card debts. This side business, coupled with my part time job gave me the opportunity to pay back 80% of my credit card debt when I graduated college in 2014. So, this story has a happy ending after all.