This is Part 3 of the series to serialize my book The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom. Click here to start reading from Part 1. Every other week will have another segment of the story of how a 23-year-old dancer struggles with and ultimately overcomes the burdens of her crushing financial debt. Look for posts on a variety of topics in the intervening weeks.
I think my downfall must have begun before the accident. It’s hard to be certain because I was vague about finances, numbers, budgets—actually, budget was not a word in my vocabulary. So when I put on inline skates for the first time and started downhill—without any instruction; I thought that with my dancer’s footwork and coordination I wouldn’t have any problems—I soon found myself speeding out of control. There was a moment of fear and an odd exhilaration when I knew that I had lost control and would crash, yet I was still flying on winged wheels down that slope. When it was over, I was sprawled out on the pavement and lucky to have nothing worse than a broken arm.
That was my first experience of being uninsured. When I added up the medical bills, I couldn’t believe the amount. I sat down and started to cry. I had accepted a bunch of credit cards in college so I could use their credit lines for just such an emergency. Unfortunately, I had used them for a lot of other things before the emergency happened, but I had enough left on the credit lines to pay the medical bills. Having a broken arm meant that I couldn’t waitress and I had to look for new work. I found a job as a receptionist at a small advertising agency. They had a health plan but no dental coverage, so of course the next misery in my life was an unbearable pain in one of my molars that eventually required an inlay.
I didn’t have a dentist in the city, so I asked Rachel and Tina, my roommates, and Tina gave me the name of her dentist. He was old, maybe over forty, and actually taught on the faculty of a dental school as well as having his own practice.
If you don’t want to wait two weeks for the next post in this series, you can purchase The Money Mentor on Amazon.