Growing up, my family never had much money. There was never any question about college funds for the kids, there was barely enough to feed us. We all graduated high school knowing we had to get jobs. I started out at factory jobs. The work was mind-numbing and I knew I didn't want to be stuck in a factory for the rest of my life. I just didn't know how to change things. Finally, when I was 31, I figured out that I needed to go back to school to find a new career path. I had two kids and a husband. Things were ok financially but we didn't have the money for college. I applied for financial aid, and like everyone else, started worrying about the loans I would have to pay back. In the middle of my quest for a degree, my husband's job got cut. I wasn't working so I could go to school full-time. Unemployment wasn't enough to get us through. We ended up on public assistance with a food stamp card. Things were tough and every day brought new financial worries. We stacked up quite a bit of debt just trying to survive. My husband got a job with a temporary agency which allowed us to pay the bills, but it still wasn't enough and we had to depend on the food card to help us buy groceries. We had agreed that getting me through school as fast as possible was our best hope. I graduated this past May. My husband found a full-time job with great pay, and I found a wonderful job, in June, doing what I love. We are now able to pay our bills and I am happy to say that we have no more need for public assistance. I thank God that there is assistance out there, but the feeling of being able to pay for everything with money we earned is the best feeling. Now I have a budget to make sure that we get all of our current expenses taken care of, while putting money towards that debt we accrued and those student loans.I consider that a major success.