Friday, September 14, 2007

Being Poor

My school fees this term were $3,601 ... that covers half a year, and includes all the extras. It does not include food, shelter or other living expenses. I got lucky because I could cover $1,051 of it with a scholarship cheque I get automatically for being an MK. However, second term I will not be so lucky. And next year I probably wont, either. So I have begun to worry about money. I decided to write it down so that I can maybe stop having bad dreams and coming back to the thought 50 times during the day. My rent is $280 a month. Records for the summer months were a bit sketchy, because of inconsistent habitation of the house, but during the past 2 weeks, my share of the grocery/household item has been $78. My share of the phone bill was about $15. So lets say that per month, I will spend $160 on food. My share of Rent+food+phone+power($20)+water bill($18)= minimun spendings of $493 a month. Of course, the power bill will skyrocket during the winter, so that figure is hard to calculate exactly. If I multiply $493 (a very conservative estimate) by 8 (September through April) I get $3,977. That is how much it will cost me to live, bare bones (this does not include movie rentals, eating out, developing photos, rat expenses, clothing, etc). Plus, of course, tuition for second term, which will be if not $3,601, at least dangerously close to it. I add the two figures and get $7545. Let's throw in a $1,000 margin there for extra projected power expenses (winter is cold): $8,545. I currently have $11,678 in the bank. I have to buy a plane ticket to Ecuador in May (mental health trip, not optional), so that could take anywhere from $700 to $1,000 "latas": That leaves me with $2,144 to live on come June (optimistically). I hope I will get a summer job. I am, however, not hopeful about being considered for any scholarships for next year. I can't even figure any out. Better people than me have gone through school with no celestial nods from upper management. Even if I get a summer job, it would be unrealistic to assume I would make any more than $1500. That is not enough for next year (not even close). So, options: -Student Loans (I am a bit morally opposed to going into debt, personally... remnants of parental indoctrination, of course. I am a bit spiritually unsettles by it, which comes from the fact it seems a bit unfair to have to pay back more than I used, in a system where education should be free, and it isn't because THEY (the people I am paying) decide it isn't) -Taking a year off (and working at what? Pizza Hut? Maybe I am too proud). -Selling eggs (It's illegal to sell body parts in Canada, but it is possible through American agencies.I think you can get roughly $8,000 from submitting to this highly unpleasant, invasive procedure. They hormone you up so you are on the same cycle as the person you donate to, then pump you full of painful fertility injections that make you produce like 20 eggs in a period when you would usually produce just one. I hate needles and selling stuff to rich California socialites, but I obviously considered this one enough to research it a bit). -Living out of dumpsters and food banks, sleeping in shelters, getting social assistance cheques (good ol' Canada. Good thing most of my books are still in Caracol). Well, this is enough wonderings for today. I have class to get to, and I payed about $50 for the privilege of being there, so I better show up. If I made any miscalculations, or have another option for financing the business of living, do let me know in a comment. I love to hear from y'all.

12 comments:

Paul Artson said...

Whatever you come up with, please let me know as I am in a similar boat, as you know.

Maybe we could get into the import/export business together? Import matches, export corn chips, etc.

heidi said...

i will see you in may, then. one thing the caribbean has taught me in the mere 72 hours i´ve been here (who´s counting?) is that money will happen when and where and if it needs to. maybe thats me talking, not the sea. life is free. we are all connected, and hopefully we can be open and concious enough to help and ask for help when we need it. i dunno, baby girl. thinking about you.

Timothy or Lillian said...

Don't worry about anything but in everything....
Doors will open, things will come together. I know it looks like an impossible task but God is in that business.
love Dad

katie said...

Bethany, just so you know: your body doesn't "produce" eggs anymore. It just releases them from the ovaries. You have a set amount from birth, and then that's it, as far as we know. You should probably take that into consideration, if you're thinking of selling them :P
By the way, at Club Caliente they played "Amor Mio", by Mana. It was wildly exciting. Just thought I'd tell you by blog.

Béthany said...

Well, Paul, maybe you can sell your eggs, since you don't have a needle phobia.

Also, in their literature, they say they are looking for "tall", "attractive", candidates with preferably an undergraduate or higher degree. You have me beat on that one (on all three, some would argue).

Paul Artson said...

Maybe in the height and undergraduate degree categories.

pacha said...

On this topic, I will impart to you the wise words of Ken Hakuta (inventor of the Wacky Wall Walker).

"Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle."


But who am I to talk. I currently owe Dalhousie over $7500 and have not yet been approved for a student loan. I do not have over $7500.

Kent said...

Wow! There are already seven comments as I write this, and my Pammie Joy didn't even comment (sore subject for her). Pearl Bailey said, "I have been poor and I have been rich. I like rich better". Ditto for me. However, as a "rich" guy, I can tell you that it never stops. I appear to have sufficient funds invested for the next thirty to forty years and I own my house mortgage free. But guess what, money is an every day worry for me. Will the stock market go bust. Will the US economy collapse. Will I get to sick to enjoy what I have.
So I began to realize that it isn't money that I lack. It is trust in God to take care of me in the future that I often lack. There isn't enough money in the world to fix that.

Kent

katie said...

I suppose you were also hoping I'd comment on the fact that guys don't have eggs. Jerk.

Paul Artson said...

I like eggs.

Polythene Pam said...

I like eggs too. But not the ones in my ovaries so much. They tend to be a pain.
I'm not sure I understand why you think education should be free or is not free because the people you're paying decided. They didn't decide, the people paying taxes decided. And college being that cheap is basically unheard of where I'm from.
However, whatever the cause: money is stressful and loans suck, and I'm sorry that you have to deal with all that stress. I hate it.

luke streckfuss said...

i don't know. it could be worse. you're not stuck yet. at least you've planned it out somewhat before reaching the possibility of going under. that's good. give yourself some credit. you're quite a bit more on top of your finances than most folks your age. at least it seems that way.