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Category: Education / Topics: Change Education Financial History Memories Trends

Excessive Debt?

by Dan Seagren

Posted: April 16, 2017

At times I marvel at the debt accrued by so many students…

At times I marvel at the debt accrued by so many students (plus adults and governments). Let me share some of the jobs that allowed me to go debt free when I finished nine years of post high school education (college, seminary, grad school). My first allowance as a child: 5 cents upped later to a dime. A route of magazines lucky to collect 20-25 cents a week and my allowance ended. Then I took over a daily newspaper route for $2.20 a week and entered high school. A neighbor asked me if I wanted to work in his factory so I worked part-time for my Junior-Senior years and also yard work.

While waiting the WW2 draft, I worked for a contractor and in a Grainery which did wonders for my hay fever. Then the Navy paid me about $50 to $75 a month. College allowed me to work in its dining room the first year. The second year I teamed up with another student and we made home made candy, a Swedish hard mint, white with red stripes. We became so proficient that the boss asked us to make them look more home made. The GI Bill helped pay early bills as well.

Then off to the University for two years where I worked for three different Sororities. The third one kept me busy for all three meals including breakfast where I swept the sidewalk and shoved snow as well. Charming girls and a motherly-type cook were all a busboy needed. I also taught piano lessons to youngsters and finished my Bachelor's degree debt free with no assistance from home.

Seminary beckoned and I found a part-time youth pastor job which supplemented another church choir director's role and also drove a school bus. The second year I worked in another denomination as youth pastor and spent the summer in another church in a distant city. I then transferred to our seminary and again was supported as youth pastor in my third Baptist church and drove a Chicago city bus graduating debt free. My churches supported me for years as did the rest of my career as professor, international pastor, chaplain and author. My stay-at-home wife only worked part-time in a delightful gift shop during my last position before retirement.

Yes, it can be done. Sometimes 2-3 jobs at once probably didn't enhance my grade point average average but it was an enriching dimension as well as a debt enemy. I do recommend as it can be done and my son also did so many years later.

Whew. Now maybe you know Dan Seagren a wee bit better.


Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: April 16, 2017   Accessed 128 times

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