Broke Doper Sob Story

I’m so broke. I think all this suckiness ought to count for something. Let’s see who can come up with the best sob story. I’ll tell you the whole story, in list form.

(1) I’m $15,000 in debt. My parents told me to take out all the student loans I could in college and they’d pay them off in the end. Having no reason not to believe my loving family, I did. When I graduated two months ago, they sent me a letter saying my payments would be $150.00 a month for the next forty years. My parents say “Oh, well we thought the payments were only going to be fifty dollars. We can’t afford $150 (they can, but thats another story). Your on your own.” They arn’t even going to help with the fifty they had planned to pay.

The worst parts? Through childhood, they set aside several thousand dollars in savings bond for my college fund. They were expecting to have to fund my entire education. I ended up getting an amazing financial aid package, and they constantly bragged about how great it was that they didn’t have to tap into “their” savings bonds. You guessed it- those arn’t going to help out with this debt either.

(2) Naively, I thought until a month before graduation that I had my finances in good order. I lived extremely frugally, and managed to subsist entirely on financial aid. I didn’t work, but instead devoted myself full force to my studies. It paid off- I graduated with departmental and college honors. Thats earned me exactly nothing. Can’t find a job. I would have been better off spending all that time blowing off my studies and working- if at least to put money away for these lean times.

(3) I also won a scholarship- that was supposed to further my studies after graduation. I wrote a great essay on how I was going to use it to advance my future and all that. Guess what is being used to pay next month’s rent?

(4) I used to live on $500.00 a month after rent. Now I live on $100.00 after rent- and I can’t afford that more than another month or so (until my better-your-future-scholarship money runs out). I’ve been eating expired food that my friend gets from her job at a supermarket, and leftover food from parties at my boyfriend’s work. At this point I’m nearly completely depended on charity. I just sit around at home hating life all day because almost all getting out (and seeing my friends) involves the price of a matinee movie ticket or cup of coffee somewhere and I can’t even afford that.

(5) I’m going to have to move back in with parents (who I’m still pretty mad at for all this betrayal business). First I’ll go broke and dry up any reserved money I have, but it seems inevitable. Sacramento here I come! Exactly the place that millions of people try to get out of. I did it! And now I get to turn right around and go back. I’ll probably even get to work a crappy service job with all the people I went to high school with who didn’t go to college- except by this point they’ll be my manager and can make fun of me for living with my mom.

(6) I HATE IT! Why didn’t anyone warn me that life after college sucks more than anything on Earth? Why didn’t they tell me I’d be broker than I could ever imagine (this coming from a girl who grew up on welfare and knows what poverty feels like)? Why didn’t they warn me that I’d watch all my dreams drip slowly down the drain? That college was fun but fucking useless. That my family could betray me at any time. Ughhh!!!

Heh, I’m also so broke I can’t afford to format my posts properly. Sorry bout that.

I’m missing something here: At the end of your post you mentioned that you “grew up on welfare”. If that’s the case, then the above quote doesn’t make sense to me.


Never mind. I guess you must have been refering to your mother, right? Sorry!

Jeez, I hate that you’re going through this! But I don’t understand why they’re reneging on even the promised amount, but letting you move back in with them, which may cost them more than the 50 they promised you.

Good luck, and I hope you find something soon!


Please forgive my intrusions.

  1. It sucks that your family is reneging on what they promised you. On the other hand, it’s a harsh lesson on why it’s necessary to try to always be in a position where one can be financially independent. I don’t wish to be overly negative, but my motto is don’t count on money from anyone until it’s in your bank account.

  2. Yeah, I hear you there. I wish I had done the same thing in college. What do good grades and studying hard mean? Well, I have a special colored tassel. That’s it.

  3. One has to do what one has to do. It is advancing your future life anyway!

  4. That’s what the internet is for. If I’m on the boards, I’m not spending money.

  5. It may well drive you crazy, but look at it financially – moving back in with mom is a savvy financial move (for you). I’d take a good look at doing it before finances dwindled down to zero, if you can stand it. (I spent months after college trying to convince my mother to not move to a seniors-only community and to let me move in with her. Alas, I never got to move back – after all, she wasn’t in any way obligated to provide for me at that age, and she liked the seniors-only community once she moved there.)

  6. Well, now that you know it, be prepared to be even more broke. But to put a positive spin on things, it’s not watching your dreams go down the drain, it’s revising your dreams so that you can make a living. It’s about finding a job that you like, where you can excel and contribute to the organization. If that job is your dream job, super! If not, just make sure it’s a job that you enjoy, excel at, and can see yourself doing for at least a few years, and see if you can get into film (IIRC) as a hobby, if such a thing exists.

And hey, you can go out for coffee with friends, just bring your own cup and your own coffee! :stuck_out_tongue:

That does stink. I’m very sorry to hear of your troubles.

Is there any possible chance of you moving? Relatives you can stay with temporarily in other parts of the country, or a college roommate that got a job elsewhere? I know many parts of CA have a high cost of living and a weird job market. It’s not like that everywhere. :slight_smile: I don’t know what your degree is (do you mind sharing?), but there are some employers that just want anyone with a degree; they don’t care much what type it is. Then there’s my husband, who has no degree, but is close to earning 6 figures, just because of life experience and certifications he’s picked up along the way. He’s only been at his job for a couple of years. I know it’s trite, but maybe in your frustration you aren’t thinking outside the box.

I hear you on the deal with parents/and student loans. I had something similar happen, except that my parents spent my college money and earned too much for me to get financial aid. Grrr. I did get a full-tuition merit scholarship, but I was hosed as far as room and board, and ended up dropping out. Still trying to finish a degree now.

A lot of people have gone through a period like this in their early adulthood, whether a college grad or not. It does get better, I promise. If I were you, I’d set out on the road with as much cash and few possessions as you can, take a bus to someplace interesting but cheap, get the aforementioned crappy service job for awhile, and enjoy what could be your last and greatest adventure before settling down to Real Adult Life ™.

I wish you a lot of luck.

Things in my family (which usually means my mom and my grandma) were pretty bad as a child- single mother, welfare, the whole bit. In seventh grade my mom gave up some of her dreams and her education to work, and since then things have been getting progressively better. After a couple inhertences in my late teens, things suddenly got very good and now they are living it up with paid off houses, new cars, expensive clothes and travel around the world. I know that I’m not technically owed anything, but our family has always shared and it’s hard that that has all suddenly stopped when everyone is doing great except for me.

The whole moving in thing is about control. People in my family Don’t Move Away. They have kids at a young age, work boring paper-pusher jobs, live in cheap apartments within walking distance of their childhood homes, and spend all their spare time with the family. Even though they know I am capable of living an exceptional life, part of them wants to keep me back. It’s some sort of unconscious class thing or something. Thats the only explaination I can come up with. You gotta realize that logic is not at work, just pure maternal emotions.

I’ll give you some examples:[ul]

(1)Since I was in middle school, my family would buy me tons of “How to get into college” books and hassle me endlessly about “how is this going to look on your college application” and pushed me to no end about my grades. After years of pressure and hard work, I was ready to apply to the colleges of my choice- a decision they had up till them fully supported. As I was pushing the “send” button to submit my University of California application, my grandma walks in and says “You know, college is awefully expensive. Maybe you should go to a community college instead”.

(2)When I went to enter high school, we considered moving to get out of my abysmal bottom of the barrel school district. We found one school that had a cirruculum-wide internationally recognized honors program. I attended several orientations, and was pretty sure that this was where I was going to go. I looked forward to being in an intellectual atmosphere and being academically challenged for the first time in my life. Travel abroad was a big part of the program and I was already daydreaming about where I would go. At the last minute my mom convinced me that I wasn’t smart enough for the program (yeah, me, the girl who got honors in college). We never moved, I went to a crappy school, and I spent four years bored out of my mind and not learning a thing.

(3)I decided I wanted to go to New York after college, where there would be more oppertunities in my field and where I had access to a room that was actually cheaper than my place here in Santa Cruz. I told my mom, and she said “You have to save five thousand dollars if you want to go to New York”. In other words- I’d have to move in with her to save money. I honestly don’t see the difference between running out of money here or running out of money there. In either case the worst thing that happens is I have to go home. As long as I have money for a plane ticket home, I really don’t see any chance of the world ending if I don’t have 5k. And if I do fail, at least I’ll have done something fun- not pre-emptively given up. [/ul]

It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that my family might not have my best interests at heart. I’ve always thought of them as loving, sharing, and supportive. But Mommy wants her daughter back, and will apparently stoop to any level of bizarre emotional bribery to get me living in the spare room. I just can’t stand the thought of it, because it’s hard to “make it out” when you’ve got people actively working to keep you down. I’ve already made it out once, and I can’t see going back there, because in their mind it won’t be a temporary situation at all. And I didn’t work that hard and go this far just to repeat the cycle.

If you are out of college, why and how does your mother specify that you must save $5K before moving to New York?

Yeah, I was wondering what happened to the NY idea. It may be more expensive to live in NY, but at least you can get a temp job that doesn’t involve bussing tables. Why are you relying on the advice of someone who has done absolutely zero with her life that required any real motivation, and who has blown you off several times before?

Well, I think that’s unfair Eva. even sven just said that her mother motivated herself to go to college and get a better job so that they could get off of welfare. Doesn’t sound like a slacker to me.

Your mother may be “holding you back” because she’s a realist, even. She may be afraid of letting you get your hopes up in life, and wants you to consider being more practical. Lots of people do this.

You should resign yourself to going to Sacramento. Tell yourself that it’s only a year-long commitment. Set some easily obtained goals. Make a list of jobs you wouldn’t mind doing–including minimum wage jobs and/or part-time stuff. Forget that you have a college degree–employers won’t but if you’re always thinking about what you should* be doing it will distract you away from opportunities.

It’s a blow to your ego to live with your parents…especially since you have resolved never to go back. But at least you will get to eat. At least you will get a room over your head. At least you will have a support system (even if your friends aren’t there). It won’t be the worse thing in the world. If you want, everyone on the board can come up with worse things in the world to help you feel better.

“When I graduated two months ago, they sent me a letter saying my payments would be $150.00 a month for the next forty years.”

Wow, paying $72,000 for a $15,000 debt. Very harsh. Naturally there are free debt management services which can help keep all those vultures off your back.

Personally I would not move back home. In fact under those circumstances I would basically tell the parents that since they have refused to honor their commitment to me, I have no commitment to them - including visits, birthday phone calls, and any information on what’s going on in my life. Re-direct ALL conversations immediately back to your massive debt that they told you to take on.

Why treat them as your parents? They have treated you like a beggar you walk quickly by on the sidewalk. Fuck 'em … A few months of no contact with you and your mom will send you cash just to hear your voice.

I know it all sounds harsh but it is a cold motherfucking world out there and sometimes you have to be a ruthless ghostface killer.

PS There’s nothing wrong or shameful about food stamps, it is your right to receive them and the food tastes exactly the same.

Oh, stop your fucking whingeing. You’re young, you’ll get a decent job eventually, and at least you have the option of moving back in with your folks (however distasteful that might be) until things look up for you on the employment front. You should be able to command a decent salary being a graduate with honours, so your student debt will be a breeze to wipe off the slate. It might take some time, but be fucking patient OK?

You’ve got a whole wonderful life ahead of you…unless you sit around feeling so dismally sorry for yourself for the rest of it.


You have a degree. You’re of age. Seems like it’s time to live your own life and make your own choices. Decide what you want to do, accept that you have to live with the consequences of your choices, and get on with life.

If you’re smart and ready to work hard, you’ll do fine. Debt can be conquered. Accomplishing things on your own can be rewarding. So, are you ready to deal with the world as an independent adult? Only you can say…

Put me in the list agreeing with RTA. Your parents aren’t helping you, they’re just being controlling. You need $5K to move to NYC? How’s about the $5K that your parents told you was saved for your education? :mad:

I would say, though, if you need to crash at their place to save money while looking for a job, do it. Just make sure to get out once you have that job.

Let them know that you’ll scratch by any way you can. When they inevitably say you should move back to save money, tell them they HAD their chance to help you financially, and decided to keep their money instead.

even sven - it may be hard for you to wrap your mind around the idea that your family doesn’t have your best interests at heart, but given the list of examples in your second post here, I’d say that idea is late in arriving.

This doesn’t mean they’re evil - like most people, they’re a mixed bag. They’ll love you in many ways, but you’ve clearly got to watch out for the strings attached. At some point, hopefully, you’ll accept them for who they are, warts and all, but probably not anytime real soon, needless to say.

Eventually, the economy will turn around, and there will be jobs in your field, assuming your field’s not something like Medieval Croatian Literature. And at that point, your degree will be worth what you hoped it would be.

For now, it’s probably still worth something. The economy may suck, but there are still a lot of entry-level jobs out there, and employers would rather hire someone who graduated with honors than someone who just scraped by.

You seem to recognize that the “you need $5K to live in NYC” is emotional manipulation, not fact. If you’ve got a place to stay in NYC, and reasonable prospects of being able to support yourself once you get there, go. What you need now, more than anything else, is distance from your family and the experience of being on your own. And you could also use a little fun in your life.

Go to NYC, take that room, take Eva Luna’s advice and temp to make ends meet while you look for something in your field, explore the city and get to know the NYC Dopers in your free time (they’re a great bunch), and if you fall flat on your face, you can always go home then.

Good luck!

Hang in there, even sven.

I never meant to say that her mom was a slacker, but it sure seems like Mom’s universe is a lot narrower than even sven is willing to have her own universe be.

It takes work to get up every morning and go to a dead-end job, but some of us aspire to more, and sven seems to be in that category. She’s taken on the debt to get the skills to expand her universe, and put in the work, and I’d hate to see her resign herself to living in that smaller universe because of a financial setback, one which is in part the fault of her parents.

Plus it’s a lot easier to pay off student loans on big-city wages. Been there, done that. If you can get a job that pays decently enough, even a few extra dollars a month will pay off those loans a lot faster. The odds of being able to do that on entry-level minimum-wage service job wages are pretty slim. If you can conquer the rent issue in NYC, you’ll have a lot more disposable income to play with, even if the cost of living is higher. I’ve lived in a small town, and I’ve lived in NY, so I’ve seen the economic disparities.

Didn’t you have a thread recently where you quit a job and the reason was basically because you didn’t like your boss? :dubious:

Even though the stuff you mentioned in that thread was pretty bad, it least the guy gave you a paycheck every couple of weeks. You could have held on to that job while looking for another one.

Way to be a fucking jerk, Kambuckta. Maybe even sven is just discouraged and wanted to vent?

First off get ahold of the financial agency and defer the loans. It will add to the long run debt in the end, but right now you need some room to manuver.

Second, Get a job. You can wait tables you can answer phones, you can sell cars. (Having tried the kirby vacum cleaner route though I wouldn’t suggest that.) Your mother can’t dictate how much money you need to have before you are alowed to go to New York any more, but having a nest egg is a really good Idea.

If things are this bad waiting tables is really not a bad option. One free meal a day and you have your cash in hand when you walk out of the door is really not a bad deal for a bit. If you go that route though make sure you keep track of what you do with money, it can be really easy to spend. Stay as fruegal as you are now and within a short period of time you can have the cash to have a cushion. This really is important. It is always when you are brokest and have the least resources to deal with them that things like bronchitis, scarlett fever or clutches burning up happen (well they did to me anyway. The scarlet fever was from ignoring strep throat cause I was too broke to go to the doctor. I got lucky it could have been ruematic fever instead.)

It also can help if you think of these jobs as a means to an end. When I worked at a pewter factory for 9 months before I started university, I knew my timeline was temporary. That made it possible to put up with alot. Give yourself a deadline to save as much as you can and get out.

You can’t really do much about your situation with your parents. People can do strange things when it looks like they are going to loose their chicks. Possibly they are controling the money because it binds you to them. Possibly they are frightened of the great big world out there you have access to that they don’t. It really doesnt matter. They have said it isn’t your money any more, they are unlikely to change their minds, and cutting them off may take away your safety net.