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Maxed Out: 26-Year-Old Single Mom Spends Rent on Clothes

This episode of Maxed Out is about Crystal, a 26-year-old legal assistant and single mom with two kids — she also happens to be $50,000 in debt ($20,000 of that is from student loans). She's been ignoring the state of her finances to the extent of not paying some bills in four months and owing $200 to a gym she's never used. Everything is in crisis mode all of the time and Crystal is completely stressed out. She's still getting handouts from her father even though she's not earning much less than he is, and she's concerned that her neediness is damaging their relationship. Get more details about Crystal's finances and learn how guru Allison Griffiths tries to help when you

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Crystal says it all when she admits to consciously choosing to be short on rent to keep up with latest trends, and she avoids heavily trafficked areas while driving because she can't afford to update her expired license. When Allison investigates Crystal's situation by reviewing months of statements, she finds that on average, Crystal has a $430 monthly shortfall. To add fuel to the fire, Allison finds that Crystal is paying $0 toward her debts; at the rate she's going, the $50,000 debt will be $110,000 in five years. Allison finds a red flag number of $4,000: that's how much Crystal has in critical debt, meaning the amount she's behind on rent, daycare, and utilities. Besides giving firm instructions to slash her expenses, Allison tells Crystal to go to her landlord, daycare, and utility company, and say sorry about getting behind and ask how much she can pay every month until she's caught up and back on her feet. After three months, Crystal is saving over $300 a month and is determined to stop leaning on her father for handouts. She's taking control of her finances and able to set deadlines for herself instead of procrastinating and ignoring her bills.

Image Source: Getty
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Liss1 Liss1 6 years
Wow, she needs some serious help. She should not risk her children being homeless, that is so sad!
Smacks83 Smacks83 6 years
Was therapy mentioned? If this woman takes her RENT money to buy clothes, possibly putting her kids in the chance of becoming homeless then maybe she has some sort of spending addiction that should be address. And the fact that she is getting cash from her dad even though they make almost the same money is pathetic. I'm guessing if it was only her he wouldn't give so freely, but I doubt he likes the idea of his grandkids going hungry because of this. Bella, I'm with you. A swift kick in the behind may do this woman some good.
bellaressa bellaressa 6 years
My mouth is open, seriously, she is robbing her father and not even paying bills. She needs a swift kick in the a** regarding reality. When it's just you facing homelessness, I can see you working hard but when you have two kids you work harder to be better. What type example is she setting and what type of home is she creating. Hell if she is stressed how stressed are the kids. This is just a sad example.
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