Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How American Girl Helped Me Graduate Debt-Free (Almost)

I just received my student loan payment plan papers a few days ago, and I will admit that my heart stopped beating for awhile when I saw how much is due for my first payment. I calmed down just a little thinking about my poor classmates who took out much, much more than I did. I went to Hofstra University, a private university in Long Island, NY, and their tuition was on average $36,000 a year. Talk about an investment.

If it weren't for the large amount of scholarships that I was given, there is no way that I would have been able to afford going to a private university.  I would have started at the local community college, and after two years I would have transferred into a less expensive, state or city four year university. After scholarships, and government grants and low-interest loans, I only had to pay $1200 a semester. And here is how I was able to do it, with the help of American Girl.

When I was eight or nine, I was inspired by the American Girl book, A Smart Girl's Guide to Money, to start my own business. From beaded key-chain animals, to beauty gift baskets, to a housecleaning company, to a customized jewelery business, whenever I wanted to buy something, I made it happen and in no time too. This ability to quickly find ways of bringing in income came in handy when it was time to pay my tuition bill. This time, I began buying lots of American Girl items from eBay and Craigslist for cheap and then turning around, reselling the dolls, outfits, and accessories separately.

There is no question that I would not have been able to graduate from Hofstra had it not been for my American Girl buying and reselling business. Even now, having relocated and having no job, I have managed to stay on top of my credit card and phone bill payments by selling off my collection. I'm so thankful that my large doll collection came in handy. I still have a few dolls who are currently in storage and will be sold in the very near future, as well as some clothing and accessories. But I really need to get on top of my game looking for employment now, because once my supply of dolls and clothing run out, I'll be out of luck!


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