I'm Drowning in Debt! Please help!
My name is Ashley, and I have got myself into quite a mess. At a young age, I was given far too much credit than I was able to handle. When I was 19, my father had a massive stroke. I quit my job and school to stay home to help my mother care for him. I drove him to his appointments, therapy, and eventually when he was well enough, I took him to work daily. I loved spending the time with my father, and I wouldn't trade that time for the world.
I never wanted to burden my parents or anyone else for that matter with the stress and the emotions that came from helping out my father. I internalized a lot, and found that I had started using shopping as my therapy. Anything I could buy, I would. Clothes, food, trips...anything. By the time I was 20, I had over $10k in credit card debt. No one knew about this. I would stay up at night with my stomach in knots over my secret. I started researching ways to make money online and fell for countless promises of easy money ranging from $19 with the most expensive at $3000. All of this charged, all while I still had a terrible spending problem. By the time I turned 22 I had over $25k in debt. My cards were shut down, and since I have been practicing responsible spending. Only charging what I can pay off at the end of the month, and no more frivelous spending. Now at 25, I am still trying to pay down my debt, but have hardly made any progress.
Once interest and late payments were tacked on, my debt peaked at $32k. I have it back down to $25k, but my life is at a standstill. I am only able to pay a couple hundred a month after rent, gas, food, utilities (I make $2k a month), which barely makes a dent. I have a car that is on its way out but my credit is too shot to get approved for a car payment, I can't afford to finish school, and I am stuck in my current job with no new prospects, and I am not able to save any money to get ahead and get my life started. My family now knows about the debt but are unable to help. I understand that no matter my excuse...there is really no good reason to justify the mess I got myself in. I only have myself to blame. I have never felt this sad or pathetic.
All I can say is I do believe in paying it forward, and as soon as I can afford to, I will be helping those out who have made mistakes and dug themselves in holes they can't get out of on their own. It can happen to anyone, regardless of their backround, upbringing, or situation.
Please help me get out of debt. Anything that can be donated would be so appreciated. I want to get my life started, I'm desperate.