I graduated college with a tremendous amount of student loans.
I was also struggling to cover a car payment, insurance and living expenses.
I was delighted to be offered a job in my field in Fort Worth, Texas. However, the paycheck of an entry level position made it difficult to afford an apartment. Hoping to keep expenses to a minimum, I chose living accommodations within biking distance from my work. The apartment building was extremely outdated. Most of the windows in the apartment were painted shut and yet they all leaked air. Very few of the electrical outlets worked. Because of the age of the wiring, I couldn’t run more than one appliance at a time. If I tried to microwave something while also watching television, I’d trip the breaker. The toilet ran all the time and the kitchen faucet dripped. There was only enough hot water for a ten-minute shower and very low water pressure. I needed to tie the door to the refrigerator shut, and whenever I baked something in the oven, the smoke detector went off. My biggest complaint with the apartment was the heating and cooling unit. In Fort Worth, the summers are absolutely brutal. Temperatures are steadily in the high nineties and often soar above a hundred degrees. The humidity is excessive. The air conditioner in the apartment couldn’t begin to keep up with demand. I was always overheated and sweaty and found it impossible to sleep. I couldn’t run a fan without tripping the breaker. In the winter, when the outdoor temperature dropped into the thirties, I needed to wear a coat inside.