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how do you survive?

raingirl
August 20th, 2005, 09:08 PM
Is it just me, or is anyone else finding it hard to make life work these days? I know, lots of people have been having rants, so here is mine.

I graduated in 2001 and figured by now I would be on my feet and have no problems, but I feel like I'm just scraping by still. My sister had a house, and her husband and her both had a car when she was my age, about 15 years ago. Man have times changed.

With student loans, bills, living expenses, my wages barely cover it. I just don't get it. In highschool they told us the only way we will make it in the world is to get a university education. Right now, it doesn't seem to be helping me at all.

Am I missing out on something? Are there any tips anyone can share?

I barely have any expenses (at least it seems to me), only a cell phone, basic cable, cheap internet, rent, food/health products (shampoo etc), travel (bus right now) and student loans per month (and a car soon, which will replace bus costs). I don't spend money on clothes, I don't eat out at all, never go to movies anymore or even rent. I don't buy CD's or makeup or perfume. I just buy the basic necessities of life. I see people who are in way more debt than me who are making less than me, but they have all kinds of disposable income. I know my student loans are the killer (almost $500 a month) but still...

My student loans won't be paid off for a while still (about 7 or 10 years) so I just feel so helpless...If I have to keep living pay cheque to pay cheque for much longer, I am going to go crazy! I haven't bought any new clothes in years, and I am really in need of some now. All my clothes are getting holes in them, I only have one pair of good pants now that don't have holes. Don't even get me started on my "unmentionables".

Let me just say this to any kids out there (who might read this) who are lucky enough to have parents help support them through life. TAKE IT WHILE YOU CAN! I have been on my own since I was 14, and I have learned a lot. No one taught me about how to manage money, or what credit is. No one told me how much school would cost (didn't even know until I got there) so I didn't have any savings for it. Now I am paying for it. But hey, that's life right? I can't change it now. I'm just sick of being responsible. I want a break.

Prin
August 20th, 2005, 09:14 PM
Amen sister!!! I'm still in school and I am lucky enough to be in Qc- the student loan program here is wayyyy better than any other province, as far as I know.

A lot of people do graduate with huge debt, and I find it so sad.

Hang in there. Network. Try to get friends in your field. What is your field? Is it in demand elsewhere in the country?

It's hard, but my philosophy is, it always gets better than this. And it will.

raingirl
August 20th, 2005, 09:17 PM
(I'm a Private Investigator...don't want to say it too loud, hehehe. It's a dream job...so I'm sticking with it. It will get better, I know, it's just I'm new at the job so I'm the rookie. I have a proposal for my boss on Monday that will mean a little more $$$ for me potentially, so everyone cross your fingers )

Prin
August 20th, 2005, 09:19 PM
Should you say that out loud at all? LOL

I will cross my fingers for you. Good luck. :)

raingirl
August 20th, 2005, 09:25 PM
haha. I know. It's kinda funny to say really. I'm still getting used to it. It's kinda nice having a job though, that you aren't allowed to talk about anything you do. BF doesn't have to worry about me coming home ranting about work. I just leave it all at the office.

Puppyluv
August 20th, 2005, 09:27 PM
I think she's safe so long as she doesn't include full photos (front and side view) phone number and address.... that may not help :D

I can't say any advice, I'm still in the "starving student" category, but good luck with your proposal!

Rick C
August 20th, 2005, 09:39 PM
Is it just me, or is anyone else finding it hard to make life work these days? I know, lots of people have been having rants, so here is mine.

I graduated in 2001 and figured by now I would be on my feet and have no problems, but I feel like I'm just scraping by still. My sister had a house, and her husband and her both had a car when she was my age, about 15 years ago. Man have times changed.

With student loans, bills, living expenses, my wages barely cover it. I just don't get it. In highschool they told us the only way we will make it in the world is to get a university education. Right now, it doesn't seem to be helping me at all.

Am I missing out on something? Are there any tips anyone can share?

I barely have any expenses (at least it seems to me), only a cell phone, basic cable, cheap internet, rent, food/health products (shampoo etc), travel (bus right now) and student loans per month (and a car soon, which will replace bus costs). I don't spend money on clothes, I don't eat out at all, never go to movies anymore or even rent. I don't buy CD's or makeup or perfume. I just buy the basic necessities of life. I see people who are in way more debt than me who are making less than me, but they have all kinds of disposable income. I know my student loans are the killer (almost $500 a month) but still...

My student loans won't be paid off for a while still (about 7 or 10 years) so I just feel so helpless...If I have to keep living pay cheque to pay cheque for much longer, I am going to go crazy! I haven't bought any new clothes in years, and I am really in need of some now. All my clothes are getting holes in them, I only have one pair of good pants now that don't have holes. Don't even get me started on my "unmentionables".

Let me just say this to any kids out there (who might read this) who are lucky enough to have parents help support them through life. TAKE IT WHILE YOU CAN! I have been on my own since I was 14, and I have learned a lot. No one taught me about how to manage money, or what credit is. No one told me how much school would cost (didn't even know until I got there) so I didn't have any savings for it. Now I am paying for it. But hey, that's life right? I can't change it now. I'm just sick of being responsible. I want a break.

Well, I hate to pull the "when I was your age . . " line but, your story pretty much sounded like mine a long time ago.

Poor as a mouse and no money for nothin' but the essentials . . . . and I grew up in a pretty poor family to boot as well.

In one of my first jobs, I remember calculating I could save $25 a month on my salary at the time which sounded swell until I figured out it would add up to $300 a year for a holiday or a splurge on something.

One time I figured out I had $20 for groceries for two weeks . . . . so it was Campbell Soup and Toast every day.

My wife and I had $50 to split between us for Christmas in one of our early years of marriage (20th anniversary this year was a lavish trip to London).

But you keep plugging away and through time, things change. Life is so different now for us and the people who were ahead of us economically are so far behind . . . . but you appreciate what you've gained because of the tough times you endured.

Unfortunately, the only cure is time and persistence which is no help with impatience. In spite of the tough times, enjoy what you have and then build on it.

My two cents (pun).

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

StaceyB
August 20th, 2005, 09:46 PM
What I can't understand is all the people who take post secondary programs for occupations that are going to net them 30,000 yr. That I don't understand. I guess the problem is that teens really have no clue about money and think this amount is great, later to find out it isn't. Kind of sad to have 2-4 yrs schooling, student loans, and for what.

Prin
August 20th, 2005, 09:48 PM
At the end of this year, I'll have my BSc and I'll probably only get $25000 a year if that with my degree. It's not that we pick a line of work with a crappy outcome, it's that the starting salaries are very low. I don't know of any career where the starting salary is huge...

StaceyB
August 20th, 2005, 09:50 PM
Personally, I think teachers should be the highest paid out of all occupations. Where is anyone w/o them. I do know that there are some that are not that good so they should be rated for abilities and pay to show it. my 2 cents

StaceyB
August 20th, 2005, 09:52 PM
If you have room for increase, great. Many though have a top pay of 30.

Prin
August 20th, 2005, 09:52 PM
I fully agree. Teachers should make more than telemarketers, more than car salesmen........

StaceyB
August 20th, 2005, 09:56 PM
My point, you have someone with a degree that makes less than a salesperson.

Prin
August 20th, 2005, 10:00 PM
Yup. A friend of mine thought it would be a good idea to have the tuition be lowered significantly for programs that lead into jobs in high demand. Like aircraft maintenance workers and teachers- there will a significant shortage of these within the next decade, so she feels that tuition in programs like these should be lowered, while programs like history or women's studies should have higher tuition. I think it's a good idea.

Puppyluv
August 20th, 2005, 10:02 PM
I agree! about the teachers that is! My cousin is a grade 2 teacher in toronto, and she loves it, but she says time and time again that there is just no way that she could afford to teach if it weren't for her husband having a decent salary. Now that is sad: "can't afford to teach" sigh....

Oh my, sorry Raingirl for the hijack :o

twinmommy
August 20th, 2005, 10:16 PM
As far as making more $ than your BF, been there, done that, and if you are ever going to stoop to pamper his ego---make this the one time.
Most guys HATE making less than the wife, even if they say they are cool with it ( and BEWARE the ones that are really comfortable with it as that's a whole other pot o' trouble. :D )

Sounds to me like your guy is not comfy with it, and as Prin says, needs a push. good idea. ;) send the CV.

As far as cars, arent' many dealerships having "zero down, zero interest rates" right now? It might be for only certain cars, but still.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 20th, 2005, 10:39 PM
WE have lived here for seven years. Ever since weve been here its been tough especially for me finding work. I worked fulltime in Vancouver with mentally challlanged contined do to it here on call (I hate on call its hard to drop things at a hat and get a baby sitter in a town where you dont know anybody. I ended up quitting because I didnt like my coworkers a first for me, I get along with everyone.

So I went back to school to got an administrative assistant diploma as I needed a change and some skills to get a job so I could help out our family. Took me 3 month to get my first job which was 5 hours a week. My second job was 20 hours a week and my boss was a witch. (ok I didnt get along with her either but everyone else I do except for my neighbour that is anal and hates animals) Now I am working fulltime+ and I am exhausted but I am getting some bills and debt paid down so I am happy about that. It never seems like enough though as my hubbie keeps reminding me of our bills, so I guess the renos still have to wait. Our deck is almost falling of our house and I hate even looking at it
. :mad:
Right now I would rather be working closer to home and a little less, for more money but I guess for now I can't have the best of both worlds. I am grateful to have a job now as I know they arent easy to come by.

Prin
August 21st, 2005, 12:49 AM
That's what I don't get. With all the baby boomers retiring, why isn't it easier to find a job? I know so many people who are having so much trouble. It really sucks. Good economy, my hiney!!

heeler's rock!
August 21st, 2005, 01:17 AM
Hubby and I have struggled this first year some too. When we decided to get married, we wanted to buy a house rather than rent. We also knew we wanted pets and renting is hard with dogs. So, we bought our house and then got a huge consolidation loan for our credit cards and his student loans and such! He had just graduated with his BSc in Zoology, and we were so sure he'd get a job in a related field, or something, so he could leave his crappy night time gas station job where he was barely making anything. Well, nothing. He applied EVERYWHERE, and for jobs he was totally qualified for, but no one wanted him. I had quit my job and it took a month to find a new one, and it was temping. After that, I decided to do dog walking which barely paid any bills. We also racked up our credit cards we just paid off, and were waaaaay behind on bills. I had to find a better job, which I did, but temping again. Now I'm going on EI for mat leave in 3 weeks, and I don't know how we'll survive. He got a new job in the Oil and Gas industry because here in Alberta, there's nothing else to do, except real estate! He's making more, but he's gone from home a lot to, with no steady days off. It's a sacrifice, but we need to focus on our baby.

One thing I'm grateful for are our parents. they've helped us so much this first year, it's insane! Hopefully now with hubby's new job, he can make more so we can pay off our bills. As soon as I'm able, I'm going back to work. Maybe only 3 or 4 months off for me, but it'll be worth it in the end.

raingirl
August 21st, 2005, 09:41 AM
Stacy and Prin, I know what you mean about going to university for only a $30,000 a year job. Even with a university degree these days, it's hard to find a job that's even that much! Now, are you taking before tax also? Because that's also the killer. To a younger person, they aren't taught the difference, and I only learned in my first salary job what a killer taxes are. 30% is WAY TOO MUCH but it's reality. So that's 30,000 a year job is really only just over $21,000 a year after taxes.

BF went to 3 universities over 8 years and finally ended up in the program he wanted and graduated. Took him a long time and he's in a lot of debt for it, but only makes about $24,000.00. Keep in mind, he only graduated a year ago so he's still at entry level. But he was working summers and PT during school years, so he has about 3 to 4 years experience now, so I'm sure he could qualify as an intermediate level graphic designer and get paid much more if he switched jobs. I am definately going to make some applications for him.

On a good note, BF's dad is helping us out by looking into cars for us. He has some "connections" and might be able to get us a deal. He's taken it on as his "Mission".

Once we have a car, I think I'm going to get a PT job too, on weekends, doing cake decorating. Some extra money coming in would help a lot.

Prin
August 21st, 2005, 02:40 PM
Good luck, raingirl. I hope it all works out.

On the flip side, because being a starving student is so crappy, getting $21000 clear for the first couple of years is wonderful.... :D I haven't worked since I got into school 3 years ago. I take the craziest course load to make up for it (to punish myself), and finally the government took notice (I got a moderate scholarship despite my not so wonderful marks). So if I get out and make anything more than $11000 a year, I'll be rich!! :D

Karin
August 21st, 2005, 08:55 PM
Change your focus on what you want out of life career wise. Take the blinders off just for a reality check.

For instance, right now there is a huge shortage of air traffic controlers. The Us and elsewhere are on a hiring rampage. The top age limit is 34 years of age, I missed this boat by one year back in the 80's.
You need no aviation experince nor are you required to fly. The pay is outstanding, benefits galore, major paid time off (required by law in this profession) Most ATC people retire in their 40's too.
Paid training to boot. You do need good eyesight or corrected eyesight within the limits. It is a high stress job but has a lot of cushion and promise.

I know many people who have gone this route and they are retired now.

This is only one example. At your age the world is at your disposal...you can do what ever you set your mind to do.

Prin
August 21st, 2005, 09:54 PM
LOL Karin. You're my new Tony Robbins or Richard Simmons... :D Just when I was feeling old, too. :) Thanks.

Jazz&Cricket
August 21st, 2005, 10:32 PM
When my daughter graduated she couldn't find work in her field at all. (tourism and outdoor recreation, and health sciences) She scraped by on bartending jobs in a small N. Ontario city. She didn't want to leave the north for work out west where she might have been successful. She had taken 3 months off after her final year to visit Finland because she had met a number of exchange students who invited her to visit.

Well, she applied for a position teaching English to students at a nursing college in Finland. It was a 6 month position....7 years later, she's still there working for a software company. She travels alot! (trans-Siberia railway from China to Moscow) and comes back to Canada every 18 months or so. She has a BF, new house, and lots of friends.
She also had heavy student loans which she managed to pay while working in Finland.
I guess all I'm saying is.... look outside the box, there's a great big world out there...and you're young enough to make life an adventure :)

chico2
August 22nd, 2005, 07:54 AM
Prin,As for Baby-Boomers retireing....My husband just did,from a popular Toronto Newspaper.The problem today in any business is cut-backs.My husband and others like him had excellent wages and benifits,their replacements of younger workers will get half the pay and less benefits,often only part-time positions.
It's unfortunate,but that is the reality today. :evil:

Vas
August 22nd, 2005, 07:22 PM
Is it just me, or is anyone else finding it hard to make life work these days?

You're not alone. My friends and colleagues also are sinking in debts desperatly trying to save money for their kids. They have houses, cars, their kids go to school but they never put money aside, rarely enjoy vacation, or even go to the restaurant. I think the biggest culprit is this socialism regime that is destroying economics and families under the claim of "uniting" them. And taxes, no need to talk about them ... So those who vote for Paul Martin, enjoy his fruits!

Am I missing out on something? Are there any tips anyone can share?


You could change places and search for new opportunities elsewhere. Go for some period of time to work somewhere( for example in US) where you could rapidly make money and then come back to pay your loans , etc.

All I can do is to wish you a very good luck and lots of patience.

Lizzie
August 22nd, 2005, 07:49 PM
I have to agree with the few who have suggested moving and starting out somewhere else. It doesn't seem to me that Brampton has been treating you well...there is a wealth of opportunity in this world. It's up to you to find it. I hear you when you say that your new investigator job is a dream job, however, sometimes we have to wait for our dream job until we've climbed out of the financial hole and can actually enjoy it. There are a tons of jobs around....esp in graphics and for general workers elsewhere...where you will also pay less rent.

I'd up and move!

kandy
August 23rd, 2005, 11:34 AM
I have to say that in the area where I live, we have 2 1/2 pages of help wanted ads in the newspapers. We are in a 'boom' right now (mostly Oil & Gas Industry) and because the oilfield companies are paying more than $18.00 an hour (US) to start, the smaller places can't find anyone who wants to work for only $10 an hour or so. I think the lowest wage I've heard of around here is $7.50 an hour at Arby's (fast food) but you also get a free meal. Also, our trona mines figure that they will be losing almost 50% of their workforce to retirement in the next 5 years. They start at $22.00 an hour.

Companies here are begging for people to come to work, no experience necessary, all they care about is if you have a pulse and can pass a drug test.

So for all you guys who can't find work - or want higher pay - COME ON DOWN! :crazy:

And as far as being young and broke - been there, done that. I couldn't earn more than about $6.00 an hour doing clerical and bookkeeping work, so I went back to school to get an Accounting degree. 15 years later, I'm still not working in any accounting function - but I do have a good job now. It took me a while to find a decent job after I graduated, and my idea of decent back then was alot different than what I would consider decent now. I didn't find a job with any benefits until 1997. I also think that it's a mistake to limit yourself to a specific profession (at least now while you're young). Although being a PI might be your dream job, very few people ever get to have their dream job and buy groceries too. I gave up on my dream job a long time ago, but I'm happy with where I ended up.

Beaglemom
August 23rd, 2005, 12:42 PM
It's never easy when you are first starting out. The first few years are the hardest, but it does get better. I've been there, numerous times!

I graduated from a 4 year university program with student loans, car payments, vet bills, credit card debt, etc. Luckily I lived with my parents at the time and was able to pay some of it off. I worked jobs that I absolutely hated! I mean, I would literally cry and be so stressed out because I had to come in to work. Finally I got a decent job that paid well, not in my field of study though. Now 6 years later, most of my debt is gone.

It's also extremely hard for the first years of home ownership and marriage. I've been there too, still am somewhat. I got married 2 years ago and we bought a house 3 years ago. Trust me, it is not easy planning and paying for a wedding while building a house! Then when we moved in, all the furniture and appliances! It took us 2 years to get the house fully furnished!

Of course, I did have some help along the way. My parents helped me tremendously and my husband is a great financial advisor! He has helped me create a budget and has advised me as to how to pay down my debt quicker and still have money for savings and vacation.

Sometimes cutting out certain expenses is all it takes to make living a little easier. Bringing lunch to work instead of buying it for example. It all adds up at the end of the year. Making cuts now helps in the long run.

Prin
August 23rd, 2005, 12:47 PM
I've seen so many episodes of Dr Phil where he takes couples that are hugely in debt and figures out where they're spending too much. I've done that. We don't go out often (hardly ever) to eat or to movies etc. We have the most basic satellite package. I have my internet and phone bundled so they're cheaper (I need the high speed for school though). We have no car payments. Our mortgage payments are cheaper than most people's rent- which is why we got a house to begin with. The only thing we splurge on is the doggies. And we're pretty well broke all the time... That's being a student I guess. Being broke and not being able to cut anything out. :D

Rick C
August 23rd, 2005, 12:50 PM
As I was driving in to work today, a news announcer was saying Australia is looking for 100,000 people with any skilled trade.

And there is no shortage of jobs at the oil sands in Fort McMurray if you don't mind living in a tent when its 40 below zero!!!

Sometimes you have to go where the opportunity is.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Beaglemom
August 23rd, 2005, 12:56 PM
And we're pretty well broke all the time... That's being a student I guess.
It is never easy being a student. How many people do you know that are where you are right now? Not many students can say that they own their own home at your age! I know that when I was a student, there was absolutely no way that I would even be able to pay rent, let alone own a home!
Our mortgage payments are cheaper than most people's rent- which is why we got a house to begin with.
This is also one of the reasons why we bought a house. The interest rates were really low and the house was a very good price since it wasn't even built yet. It was buy when we did or not for a very long time!

Prin
August 23rd, 2005, 01:14 PM
I know we're lucky- I think it's partly because I stopped drinking when I was 16. No money wasted since then. :D The house wasn't really a choice. We had to get out of the apartment because it was affecting our health (mold everywhere and next to a highway and a busy road...), and no apartments would take us with Jemma and Boo. I'm just lucky that my man had good credit too. :) The only problem now is paying for repairs... :rolleyes: I think we got the last house under $100 000 in the Montreal area but it has since slowed down enormously. :)

Karin
August 23rd, 2005, 08:47 PM
Since the horrible hurricane season of 2004, flocks of construction workers are coming here in droves for work...there is still too much work to be had. great money, but still not enough workers to go around. And now we are in another season with 50% of repairs not done yet. I hate to say it but it is sooo true, natural disasters do stimulate the economy. Only this time we are also in a shortage for materials to rebuild.....I won't go there...it's another topic having to do with wars and stuff.

Raingirl, a very dear friend of mine is also a Private Investigator..part time. He is doing very well...he is semi-retired from the FBI Miami and is still does contract work for them. I worked with him in south Florida way back in the 80's. His sideline PI business is doing great but it would not have been if he did not start out first somewhere else. He is who I call if I need too.

Sometimes you have to work your way down to your dream job. Sometimes your dream job is right in front of your face too, but you just can't see it.

You can do what you want to do. Someone once told me "the sky is my limit"....I learned how to fly on that note. Made me some money doing it too.

Rick C
August 26th, 2005, 09:18 AM
An update of my earlier mention of lots of jobs available in Fort McMurray . . . . as long as you don't mind living in a tent. The housing situation is critical . . . . but man, do they pay a lot up there to just about anybody.:

http://www.canada.com/calgary/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=9f26904d-4f75-476b-9e16-6e9328a50f95

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

heidiho
August 26th, 2005, 09:54 AM
What a thread,you are not kiddin,i am can hardly make it anymore,my friend just gave me FOOD,my rent has went up,gas is killing me,i dont know what i would be doing if i did still have my dog,there have been a few nights when i have skipped eating dinner because i just dont have enough money to buy food.....I do not know how anyone makes it on ONE income,.,,,, :grouphug:

MollysMommy
August 26th, 2005, 10:30 AM
I am a student too, graduating this spring. I am in the US, and it's not exactly easy to find a job outside of the sciences. My engineering boyfriend has people already asking him to work, while I am terrified. I want to be an editor at a publishing company, and I am scared that I will be stuck working somewhere that makes me miserable. My whole life people have been telling me that I can grow up to be whatever I want, but I am not seeing how that's possible now. All these people graduating with liberal arts degrees are stuck with debt and no steady job. I'm not a bad student...I've got good grades and work experience, but for some reason, that does not make me feel reassured. I hate relying on my parents to pay for some things, and I really wish I could economize like you Raingirl. No makeup or movies?! Now that takes some serious willpower. I look at my friends who have serious credit card debt, and am glad that I do not, but everyone's posts have made me realize that it might be time to economize some more if I'm going to make it in the REAL world. But then again...I could always marry someone extremely wealthy. :D

heidiho
August 26th, 2005, 11:47 AM
You know the saying it is just as easy to marry someone rich as it is poor.. :D

yvonnem
August 26th, 2005, 12:40 PM
Confession time for me -- my day job is as a financial aid officer at a post secondary institution in Ontario (no booing or hissing please!)

So for those of you who are/were Ontario students and who are looking at ways to reduce your loans, let me say this: there are ways to reduce your loans but you need to research the (always changing) rules on the OSAP website.

If you want a hand getting going, pm me.

Yvonne

nymph
August 26th, 2005, 02:34 PM
So many immigrants that I know of have to start all over again in this country just because their degree is not recognized in Canada. Pediatricians are working in assembly line; university professors delivering pizza; Ph.D. graduates washing dishes...Life is not fair.

Not to trivialize what you are going through raingirl, just want to show you another angle. I've personally gone through what you are going through now, living from pay cheque to pay cheque. At one point the combined monthly income of both my husband (boyfriend then) and me was a little over $700, this was in the late 1990s. I've always worked part-time throughout my university years, worked as much as 35 hours per week on top of a full-time semester. I can definitely relate to you.

My best advice to you, don't despair and never lose hope, persist and you will see the light at end of the tunnel.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 26th, 2005, 10:02 PM
We are finding it tough, but we are doing better now that I am working. I felt bad before not being able to contribute my whole child tax benifit would go towards bills, gone pretty much in one telephone banking call.

We live in a town though where people like to show off their money if they have it. A guy we know came into the pub where my hubby works that used to live in our neighbourhood and was bragging about his new boat and his new houses, vehicles, and monster RV, and F350 truck needed to pull it. My neighbour lounges in her backyard all day and drinks Smirnoff Ice, while her hubby goes to work 2 hours a day.

We have both worked pretty much fulltime all summer and dont have much time for anything. Maybe one day we will be able to afford something. Even a rusty old camper would be nice. :)

Prin
August 26th, 2005, 10:09 PM
You know the saying it is just as easy to marry someone rich as it is poor.. :D
Not if you pick 'em when you're young... Then it's pretty much a lottery unless you're a fabulous motivator... ;)

CyberKitten
August 26th, 2005, 11:12 PM
I am not sure marrying a rich spouse (It does work both ways yaknow, never assume it is just the woman looking for that megabucks knight in shining armour, lol) is the great solution. One of my best friends is someone I became close to in - and we are still close friends (I honestly think those wonderful friendships that one makes in university - living on campus for the first one or so yrs - are some of the best that you ever make!). She was like me, from a middle class professional family and she married a gazillionaire. She did not plan this - they fell in love and were and still are absolutely perfect for each other!

Now, they still have money - much more than I have - but I have never been much of a material girl (Never was, never will be - I do like certain consumer items but it is not the objective of my life) - and they have been through some difficult times over the years. Some of it is reading about yourself in the newspaper all the time (Been thru that to some extent but not as much as her, even if she is the spouse of sort of thing) and while it all looks glamourous and sounds exciting, I would never trade my place for her. She does have two wonderful children though!!

yvon, do you actually know of any pediatricians seeking work? I say that because that is my field and we have a pretty good program for pediatricians who want to become Board certified in the Maritime provinces. And it is essential that doctors from other countries become Board certified in this country - there are some procedures they do not learn and some of the cultural ways in which other societies treat children is not the same as what we would do. Not to say anyone is better or worse, just different. It is actually sometimes more difficult to be certified in other countries if your degree was from an American or Canadian university. My grandmother had an excellent nursing diploma from Ireland (the top school) but it was not reognized here. So she went back to school. There was virtually no prob with my gfather's law degree. He simply wrote the bar admission course and later went to grad school and ended up a professor and a Judge. I have some Residents in our program who are from other countries and they are doing quite well. My own family doctor is a Cdn who went to medical school in Hungary b/c she did not get into med school here (and no Prin, I don;t know if they have vet schools there, :p ) . She did her Family Medicine Residency in Sask, a program where last year not one single person applied to that program - fewer docs want to be family med practitioners! (That is another compicated take of woe). I have worked in many countries (with Drs without Borders) and we are poaching all kinds of doctors from those poor countries, leaving those people without doctors, certainly without some of their best and brightest so to speak. How ethical is that????

I recall what it was like to live from month to month as a student and I know it is not easy. I recall one month having $20 to finish out the month. Fortunately, I was never big on eating and one could grab somehting at the hospital if no one was looking or be invited out to dinner. And my tuition was then $14,000 a yr US (worth $31,000) - I know my nephew paid $28,000 last yr for an undergrad year!!! But he has my sister, his father, me, his grandparents to help him!

I was big on economizing. But I worked ungodly hours so there was little time to think about shopping or movies or rsetaurants or any of those things. But I was too perpetually tired to care anyway, lol I have to say though I look back on those years as wonderful and so much less stressfree than now. At the time, I thought I'd never survive it all but in retrospect, they were the best years of my life in so many ways. I am sure Raingirl when you look back on this time, it will seem that way for you as well!! I hope so anyway! I was lucky in that I had no student loans (scholarships, many jobs, a little help from home) to pay off and that was a great start for me. I do not want my nephew to have to pay any loans either! And I never had a VISA as a student - only when I was on my feet financially would I apply for one. I was shocked when my brother - who is younger than me - was solicted by VISA! I honestly think those companies make megabuks off these kids. Living off other people's money as my mom would say and she's right. Banks provide no services for free - it is small wonder they have rising profits every year!

Anyway - good luck to anyone trying to make it as a student ir recent grad these days.