I am completely in debt. House, credit cards, car, and those darn school loans. I am almost 40 years old.

I have a plan to eventually pay those school loans back, it’s a 30 year plan. I will be 70 years old before I get my school loans paid off, unless I win the lottery or receive a giant raise from work. I am depressed when I see an email or call from Sallie Mae and I am demoralized because I am forced to live with my in-laws since my husband can’t find work.

I made my mind up that after February 25, 2011, I would start paying my loans back. The payments are nearly $500 a month – which is a mortgage for a fairly nice town-home or a car payment for a VERY nice, luxury car. I can’t afford an extra $500 a month while I am supporting my husband and child and paying all the incidentals of the house we are living in with his parents. To combat the loan repayment, I decide that entering Graduate School was a good idea – I can defer my loan payments without compiling interest as I did under those evil forbearances. This decision is certainly a downward spiral.

I am a molecular biologist – I have over 10 years of research lab experience and I am faster and stronger in the lab than most PhDs. This should account for decent pay, right? Absolutely not. What I didn’t realize when I went into this field is that labs funded by grants will never pay a research associate over $30,000 per year. This is what my salary became even after 8 years of experience, I started my “career” at $23K.

I am in a better job now and doing some freelancing by writing essays and research papaers for students, making more than $30K annually, and I can’t help but think what future is in store for me and my family. I imagined that by 40 I would well be into a career, have a decent home, a car, and I would be able to travel. All those things are not in the near future for my family, unfortunately, and I wonder how many of you out there are in the same predicament.

It’s depressing.