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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Austerity 
17th-Sep-2014 09:15 am
Hearth
A thing I haven't written about because we have been way busy...

Elayna transferred schools this year, from a private college to a state college. Which should have been less expensive, given also that she was accepted there for freshman year and offered a generous financial aid package.

Reader, they screwed us.

Elayna knew early on that she wanted to transfer. She contacted her new school to ask about the process and was told not to apply until after she'd been to their Transfer Students Day. Which was seven days after their preferred financial aid deadline.

Adam double-checked with them. They told us yes, that's correct, the procedure for transfer students = apply after that day, don't worry, it's just a preferred deadline.

I think you all see where this is going. Yes. She got nothing. Last year they offered her thousands in aid. This year, zero. And what else could we do, send her back to the school that was making her miserable?

So this is why we're paying $400 a month for tuition here (after application of the appropriate sliver of her insufficient college fund), as opposed to $150 a month last year.

And yes, this is in addition to the $600/month hole in our budget left by Judah. We're still paying that portion of the rent on the second paycheck of the month; thank goodness for an understanding landlord.

*wry smile* If we didn't have those things, we'd actually be in a really good financial situation right now.

Also, Judah's deposition has been scheduled, and I have to find $500 to pay for *that*. Which... I can't even think about right now. And winter is coming, and, with it, the skyrocketing of our gas bill...

I am putting this all out here because it is a major undercurrent of stress running through every aspect of my life right now, and because I hope that putting it here will stop the panic-loop in my head. Yeah, we're screwed. We will be slightly less screwed in the spring, but still screwed. Summer is really the earliest anything can get any kind of manageable unless something really big changes.

Whee?

(Yes, I continue to look for jobs. Why does everything part-time require the ability to drive, even office work?)
Comments 
(Deleted comment)
17th-Sep-2014 03:22 pm (UTC)
I'm currently doing my damndest to try and find work from home as well. So here are the places I've come across on the internet that seem to have honest job leads and aren't just filled with scams:

www.flexjobs.com
http://realwaystoearnmoneyonline.com/

And this looks right up your alley ($50 for personal essays):
http://www.bloggingpro.com/jobs/view/looking-for-edgy-honest-personal-essays-about-dating-single-hood-motherhood-cooking-design-and-fashion

Land's End is hiring work-from-home customer service (though you do have to go to their office for training, so there would be that expense at the start):
http://workathomemomrevolution.com/customer-service-jobs/work-home-lands-end-home-agent-jobs/

I'm also planning on creating accounts at the following (even though I suspect these will involve wading through a lot of chaff to find a few bits of wheat - and I suspect the competition for the wheat is ridiculous):

Elance (already did this)
Freelancer.com
Guru.com
Fiverr.com (this is low on my list, given you have to start with $5 jobs)

Anyway, hope those help - and if you come across any other good sites in addition to the above, please let me know!
17th-Sep-2014 04:13 pm (UTC)
I will send you $$ to cope with the Judah shit as soon as I get my next deposit. Hopefully by the end of the week.
18th-Sep-2014 12:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, hon, thank you. I wasn't posting to ask! But would be a fool to turn that down.
18th-Sep-2014 12:49 am (UTC)
When Elayna was a senior deciding what school to go to, the schools wanted her to pick me! pick me! pick me! As a transfer, it's all, "Oh, so NOW >you< want >us<. The shoe is on the other foot!" Just about every transfer I know got screwed on financial aid. It is worth continuing to pester the financial aid office. Sometimes money frees up, even mid-year.

Office people are expected to drive so they can get stuck running errands. They get petty cash if the errand involves buying something, but nothing for gas.

Unfortunately, ADA-friendly employers tend to want their ADA employees to >look< like they have a disability. They want their diversity to be obvious, so they can get proper credit. Perhaps you could drool a little at your next interview?

Hang in there.
18th-Sep-2014 12:36 pm (UTC)
I was never expected to run errands when I worked admin jobs, though?

Edited at 2014-09-18 12:37 pm (UTC)
20th-Sep-2014 01:16 am (UTC)
The deeply cynical me suspects it might also be a screening mechanism. But in a big city like Boston, with decent public transit, that doesn't make sense either. Unless transit goes on strike regularly.
18th-Sep-2014 01:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, colleges really screw transfer students with the financial aid. I transferred after my freshman year and got zilch when I applied as a transfer (except lots of loans). Keep asking the financial aid office and the department she's in for help - my Dad got them to squeeze out a few small scholarships for me that way. It wasn't much, but it helped nonetheless.
18th-Sep-2014 02:16 pm (UTC)
It was very irresponsible of them to tell you it was ok to apply after the "preferred date," which is code for "actual deadline." I am sorry! (and feel your pain - I'm looking at my D's looming tuition bill and biting my nails and eying things I can sell)
18th-Sep-2014 11:19 pm (UTC)
We have like nothing else to sell. It's going to be a very lean year.
22nd-Sep-2014 05:14 pm (UTC)
This is terrible! I wish I could help, but I'm really not in a position to. (I know that's not what you were asking for here, but really, like you said to goddessfarmer, you'd be a fool to turn down help.) I hope things start looking up soon, and if I hear of anything I think might help you, I'll be sure to pass it on.
23rd-Sep-2014 12:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks! This month is better than last month, but the big heating bills are coming. :/
23rd-Sep-2014 02:03 pm (UTC)
I looked this up for you this morning: http://www.massresources.org/liheap-eligibility.html

I don't know if you'd qualify, but it can't hurt to look. :)
23rd-Sep-2014 02:06 pm (UTC)
Nope. Problem is that Adam makes enough money for us to be quite comfortable if we weren't carrying massive debt and if we had a more affordable house (remember Judah was paying $600/month rent). Programs like that don't take debt or percentage of income that goes to housing into account.

(We're not moving for a lot of reasons.)
23rd-Sep-2014 02:27 pm (UTC)
I kind of figured that was your situation, but I thought I'd pass on the link anyway.

And I wasn't even thinking of suggesting moving, because:
A. Moving is hell (my personal hell, at any rate), and
B. Even though moving may save money in the long run, it costs money in the short run, which is precisely where you're short of money.

Best of luck with everything.
5th-Nov-2014 09:47 am (UTC)
She might do better with scholarships for next year. Scholarships are recruitment tools. The big years for scholarship money are freshman and junior. Sophomores and seniors get diddly. Most schools don't plan for sophomore transfers--they are looking to scoop up junior year transfers from community colleges and 4-year colleges lower on the food chain in your state (as well as preventing current rising juniors from being scooped up by schools higher on the food chain.)

Edited at 2014-11-05 09:47 am (UTC)
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