Jane was depressed. She was now in therapy and taking herbal remedies for anxiety, mania, and depression, but the depression herbs were only helping enough to get her out of bed in the morning. The crazy spending had been curbed — mostly because she had no choice, but Jane’s debt continued to creep up to the tune of $100 to $200 every month. Some of that was because she wasn’t making enough money. Some of that was because Jane liked movies and rented them on the regular. Hey, she deserved to pamper herself a little sometimes, right?
She rarely bought clothes. It had to be a need. She rarely went over $150 a month in groceries. Jane truly had an income problem, and now she could see it. Only now, she didn’t believe she could do anything about it. Every time she scoured the Want Ads she saw very few jobs that paid more than the $13,000 she was bringing home a year. Sure, she could try a lot harder, but one of the fun things about depression is that it zaps your energy, and between working retail for several hours a day and her horrible 3 a.m bedtime habit, she didn’t have much to spare.
In an effort to keep her spending under control, Jane had opened a second checking account. Anytime she had a little extra money from working more or from one of those glorious “extra check” months, she put it in the second account. This way, if she wanted to buy something, she could do so without guilt and without racking up anymore debt.
This worked out pretty well for Jane, especially since her credit cards were all loitering dangerously close to their limits. She was even saving a little bit money again!
Unfortunately, thanks to Jane’s high credit score, the bank talked Jane into opening up a new credit card account with them. “Well,” Jane thought, “It wouldn’t hurt to have a little bit more credit in case of an emergency.” So Jane opened the account and added another $6,100 worth of credit to her growing arsenal, because it seemed like every time Jane paid a fraction more than the minimum, they raised her limits a little bit more.
One thing was for sure, Jane was through opening up credit card accounts. But every time she had a mental slip, the balances rose that much more, and her stress rose right along with it.
To make matters even worse, Jane’s apartment with the pretty view had thinner walls than her dorm room. If it wasn’t music it was video games; if it wasn’t video games it was football; if it wasn’t any of that it was yelling and screaming because the couples around her just couldn’t get along. And if was none of this still, she could still hear people talking in the breezeway, their voices sliding through the cracks in her door along with their cigarette smoke.
Jane wanted to move. But she didn’t have the money.