Thursday, August 13, 2009

In which I talk about an issue you're supposed to pretend doesn't exist -


Ugh. Even the word is making me cringe. We're in that awful last month, where my student loans are so tantalizingly close to being disbursed and all the money from the last student loan is gone. The part-time job I got three weeks ago is a huge help in keeping us afloat right now but we're still definitely feeling the squeeze.

Case in point; within the next two pays, we have to find the money to pay for Keith's part-time course for the fall semester. These courses aren't cheap! Five hundred and some change a pop. Geesh. However, it's a super necessary expense, absolutely non-negotiable. Five hundred has to be found, and paid, and that's it.

Ideally it would be the next pay, but the next pay is technically rent. You know how they say your housing costs should not be more than 30% of your net income? Yeah. Right. Excuse me while I laugh. We don't live outside our means; we just don't make enough. I go to school full-time and work part-time, Keith works full-time and goes to school part-time. There's not much else we can do. (And I am, in NO way, saying we live in a fancy place. We don't. We actually live surrounded by a pretty bad area of town; our "pocket" is nice, but that's it. Renting in Ottawa is INCREDIBLY expensive.)

Add to the mix that paydays are wonky for the next little bit - as in, next payday is August 21st. Rent? Due Sept 1st. Payday after that? You guessed it. The fourth. Sigh. OF COURSE. And the fact that we're in a loop for payday loans right now adds to the stress.

On the 21st, we will not be paying rent. We will write a self-cheque for the amount on the 30th, put it in the bank account, and keep writing cheques until the payday on the 4th. On the 21st, we will be paying back the payday loan, the gym cheque, Keith's course, some groceries, and gas money for Keith's parents. That's all we can afford right now. The Rogers bill will go unpaid, as much as I hate doing that. Oh well. There's really nothing you can do if you don't have the money.

We can't afford to even go to the movies, or dinner out, because if we do, then we're scrambling for money for the next three pays. Yes, we go on "vacations" and trips home (and in all honesty, I've been home twice with Keith, 2 weekend-trips, and one week-long one. In a year and a half), but those are carefully planned, budgeted excursions. I think you'd all agree everyone deserves a little R&R. So please, no judgment.

It absolutely SUCKS living like this. I won't lie; the big draw to me to start working in a professional career when I graduate as opposed to going to University for another 3 years is the money. I'm so tired of struggling. I dream of the day we can pay bills and rent with ease. I dream of the day we can look at our bank accounts and have money left over for saving. I dream of the day we don't have to resort to a payday loan, cheques don't bounce, and we don't have to resort to writing ourselves cheques to cover rent.

Sigh. It'll get better; it has to. Some day.


Jess said...

Ugh. This is so frustrating. I remember being broke and in school so well. It is the worst. But you guys will eventually finish school and be working good jobs, and that will help a lot.

Britt said...

Not being able to pay bills sucks. I have definitely been there and while I'm not anywhere near out of the hole yet, I can make enough money to pay my bills and slowly pay my debt. (holy run on sentence batman!)

There is light at the end of the tunnel! Keep your head up through these rough times - it gets better!

Chelle said...

That is such a hard place to find yourself in. First of all, don't ever beat yourself up over doing something good for you instead of paying the fiddler. You have to do good things for yourself every now and then and you need to take care of yourself. Secondly, education IS important to getting out of tight places, so it is good to see that you guys have put such an emphasis on it and made it mandatory. It WILL pay off in the end. And you're right, you will get through this and it will get better. One day you will look back to your struggling student days and smile, glad you put forth the time, effort, and money.

Keep your chin up. You're doing great!