I did a lot of virtual running today. Money issues have been pressing over the past few days, really made manifest by the current frustrations in collecting the funds for the upcoming semester of school. There were several emails batted back and forth trying to confirm little details and to get the process under way, a process further delayed by the fact that tuition apparently went up this semester, a notice of which I have not yet received, due to the additional time it takes from mail forwarding.
Then came the calls, contacting the bursar, confirming that yes, the tuition DID in fact rise. Then getting back to the Bank to let them know that yes, it did in fact go up (they refused to do any of the running around on this, even after receiving an official bill from the school and then being confused by the information therein). I am not happy with the bank, and I’m less happy with my aunt, who acts as trustee to the account (if you’re reading this, sorry, but it’s the truth: this sort of bullshit pisses me off).
I’ve been contemplating graduate work after getting my Bachelors. Really, the thing that has been holding me back the most is that I’m not sure if I want to have to deal with fighting for every penny out of a fund explicitly created for my education. I do not feel that the intentions of my grandmother when she created the trust are being upheld. Unfortunately, I am unsure what, if anything, I can do to correct that.
Financially, I am at a bit of an impasse. Expenses for living have been more than the bank has been willing to give for several years now, so I have been supplementing it with my own money. This is as it should be: not all expenses are educational in nature. The issue is that the expenses that ARE educational and thus in theory covered, are still much more than the bank is willing to give. This isn’t even delving into the things that the current trustee has declared non-educational, in direct contradiction to precedents set up by my grandmother herself. Let me ask you this: if you are doing a photo imaging study, and Photoshop is determined to be a required application for the study by the school, would that be an educational expense? Apparently not. Despite the technical and directly computer related nature of the past few semesters, I have not requested one dime for hardware or software, and have used every cost-cutting measure I can short of warez (which I flatly refuse to do) in order to allow me to still pursue my desired course of study. Whatever, there are bigger issues at hand. My grandmother has taken it upon herself to buy me computers in the past, and to a certain extent I can see that perhaps I’ve used up that quota because of this.
The real big issue is health insurance. Anyone who isn’t on a federal or state funded system understands what I’m talking about here. It’s fucking EXPENSIVE. Hell, most of the time, you don’t even need it, but heaven forfend should you NOT have it for even a day. You are legally required to have health insurance in order to attend school. Some universities have even taken it upon themselves to require a certain level of insurance, and access to immunization records for all students. This is an expense that I have not once asked for money for, despite the fact that it’s pretty obviously a required education expense. (Auto insurance, another required “insurance”, isn’t even a subject of debate. While I needed a car in Vermont, and still have that car and often find need for it out here in Washington, it is NOT an educational expense.)
The bright side of all this is Mickey. As my resources dwindle from covering these expenses for some time now, Mickey has begun working, and bringing in money. Admittedly, work is not steady yet, but progress is being made (she spent most of the day today working on resumes and such, in fact), and the money is certainly helping. Between her work and the money from the trust, we should do alright. Not great… but alright.
This makes me feel like I should be contributing. In a lot of ways, I’m a money pit. I’m the under-25 male looking for car insurance, I’m the guy who has half a dozen hobbies that all involve collecting things (games, anime, movies, comics, sci-fi, computer “stuff”), I’m the one that picks up the tab at dinner nine times out of ten because I’m too nice for my own good. I’m the one that drives 45,000 miles in a year not for work but because I find something zen in long drives. I’m not surprised that the trust fund inheritance I received is now essentially gone. I’ve got the stock, and I’ve got $25,000 invested. The rest went to a car, and the stuff I listed above. The new laptop (which has already logged so much use that the paint has completely chipped off the frame), the regular trips down to DC to see Mickey, car maintenance, insurance (auto and health), supplemental costs of unexpected overages in education expenses, being able to go out to eat (admittedly far too often), pursuing my hobbies of games and music. The stereo. The “Oh my god you spent HOW much” stereo. Hell, the honeymoon to Hawaii that we did prior to the wedding. Oh, and mustn’t forget the root canal.
If you extract the stock (which came to me as stock, and is part of the family business), the $25,000 investment, and the car, I actually only spent about $30,000, for everything else (and most of that “everything else” was actually legitimate expenses like the root canal, car maintenance, and the insurances). The market tanked as I was dissolving the trust (read the archives to see my rants on that), so that pretty much sums up where all the money went.
So now I’m trying to find a job. I feel it is premature, and I would certainly like to really just focus on school as the trust originally was intended for, but there are things that both Mickey and I would like. We’d like to be able to travel. We’re planning on buying Mickey a car. And I’d like to finally get that new Apple G5 (after selling off a whole bunch of stuff earlier this year to save up for it, the entirety of those funds have gone to paying insurance instead).
I’m keeping my prospects open. I’ve lodged my resume with Apple to work at the Apple Store just down the street. I’ve submitted my resume to Microsoft, in particular to several promising looking positions. At the same time, I’m picking up an application for the Barnes and Noble up the street, and will probably get one from Circuit City as well, despite the horror stories I’ve heard. I’m writing up an internship resume to submit to OmniGroup (which I hadn’t realized was based in Seattle). The real kicker is the job posting I came across asking for submissions for an episode of TLC’s Faking It (paid gig… they want to see if you can fake it as a model in this particular one). I’m not holding my breath, but it’s worth at least putting together a bio and submitting it.
We’ll see what comes of all this. For now, though, I’m done ranting. Uri hasn’t updated in a day or two, Eli still hasn’t updated (we should see how many legitimate comments we can pile onto the current August 22nd posting until he finally updates), and Adam has posted twice just today. Latecomer to the blogging scene, he does seem to be updating pretty regularly. Kudos to him :). My darling wife Mickey has been more regular than any of us, though she hasn’t posted tonight. She does say to check it out tomorrow night, though, as she does plan to post soon.