Life punched me in the face

Addie Gall

My parents always worried about money as kids, but I never truly understood why until I came to college.

Growing up, I always thought my parents would be paying for my college. Then I picked Kent State — not where my parents wanted me to go.

“It’s your money, I guess,” they told me.

Honestly, I didn’t really worry about money until I moved off campus this past fall semester. I was too eager to move out and hadn’t learned how to manage my money. My dad told me he would not be helping with bills in anyway, and I thought I’d be fine. I was wrong.

The bills began to pile up: rent, electricity, internet, gas and various other costs.

I used my student loans to cover these expenses, but by the end of the semester, they had nearly drained my bank account.

The first of the month was nearing, and I found myself searching my apartment for any money I could find and going to anyone who owed me money and begging them to pay me back. I was short nearly $100 of my rent after already convincing my parents to help a little.

I could go back to them and ask for more, like my friends suggested, but I knew my dad would not bend on his decision.

Laying in my bed the day before rent was due, I thought about how I hadn’t managed my money properly. I had a job that paid very little, and I spent my money frivolously on things I didn’t need and had no idea where I was going to get the money to cover rent.

I wouldn’t be getting paid until after rent was due and was unable to pull money out of thin air, so I texted my best friend.

“I don’t know how I’m going to pay rent this month.”

Ten minutes later I get a call from her. She says, “My mom and I are going to be covering the rest of your rent. How much do you need?”

I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to have her and her family. It felt like an immense weight had been lifted off of my shoulders, and I could breathe again.

Lesson learned, though. I got a second job and watched my spending more over the next couple months. Paying for everything on my own is one of my main causes of stress, but once I started to manage my money more, it caused me less pain.

The bottom line: Manage your money and have good friends that watch out for you.

Addie Gall is the design director. Contact her at [email protected].