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It Could Always Be Worse…

by J. Money on Tuesday, July 19, 2011

yum yum ramen beef
You know how when you were a kid and complained about something, your mom always said “It could be worse. You could be so and so down in such and such land!”? Well, now whenever I hear that phrase I think of Tim who once left this comment down below on my blog.

Every now and then one of you says something that really sticks with me (and pops up in random times, like today!) and I always try my best to re-share it in hopes it’ll affect you in the same way. Or at least give you something to think about for a few minutes :)

This guy, Tim, was a brave soul for telling us about it originally, and every time I re-read it I get inspired again to really appreciate what I have and not take everything for granted.  At one point he was living off of 50 cents a day (to eat, drink, everything!!) and was even forced to HUNT for his food eventually.  That’s crazy.  I can’t even fathom that… I literally spent $130 at the grocery store today, and it’ll last us 7 days max! It just goes to show how drastically different our stages in life can be sometimes…

Here’s Tim’s story (which he thankfully overcame!). It was in response to a guest post on the poorest times of our lives:

My worst time was in college. I came from a working poor family. Both my parents were teachers so they made just enough that I didn’t qualify for financial aid, but didn’t make enough to actually help out any with school. I had to pay for college out of pocket. I would work through the summer and one semester, and go to school the next semester. I could only afford to take classes one semester a year. I was managing ok this way until my car died at the beginning of a semester and it cost every cent I had to get it fixed, including cashing out my tiny IRA. Living without motorized transportation in the South West is just not an option with the huge distances involved. I could not work and be a full time student at one of the toughest engineering schools, as I was already spending 10-12 hrs a day on course work.

At first I swallowed my pride and tried getting food stamps which sent the ladies there into a tirade. “See here you are trying to better yourself and they won’t even help you out while any (expletive! *shouting at everyone else in line*) can sit on the couch and don’t even have to show they are trying to find a job!” Wow sorry I asked. Turns out any full time student needs to be working 20 hrs a week minimum first before they qualify for food stamps. If I was working that much I wouldn’t need money…  I tried finding a food bank, but there was none in the area.

After being without food for a week I broke down and pawned some very old sentimental tools that had been passed down 3 generations, and after bills I had $50 to buy groceries to last for the next 3 months… I bought 50 lbs of pinto beans and 40 lbs of rice and some soy sauce. I already had a well stocked cupboard with spices, otherwise I wouldn’t have lasted near as long as I did. I ate rice and beans for the next 90+ days and lived off of less than 50 cents a day. When the loose change I would find would be enough to buy a packet of Ramen it was a day of pure heaven. One day I found a dollar and was able to get a pack of hot dogs to cut up and cook with my rice and beans. OMG! When you are starving, even a small piece of hot dog tastes like the best T Bone you’ve ever had.

Whenever I would get low on gas I would have to drive 180 miles round trip into the city to donate plasma for gas money, which would not get me that much after the 1/3 a tank it cost to drive there.

About a month and a half in I couldn’t take it any more and was dying for just a taste of anything. My kingdom for a soda! I kept my Grandfathers old 30.30 Winchester in the toolbox of my truck, and scrounged up anything left of value I could find to pawn. I bought one box of ammo – 20 shots only to put some food on the table. I know exactly how you felt with the the donuts. Everyone around me seemed to happy without a care in the world while I was secretly depressed any time they ate around me. Here I was a student at a prestigious engineering school having to sneak out and hunt my own dinner to survive. In five hunts I only got 3 rabbits which yielded very little meat – a 30.30 is not good for rabbits. I later decided that the energy spent was not worth it. After the trip for plasma/gas money, and the effort to find them and dress and cook them after, I was probably spending more calories than I was getting.

Throughout all of this nobody knew. Nobody knew how horribly malnourished I was. I was a long distance runner and pretty thin to begin with, but ended up growing a pot belly like you see in those African charity commercials and I guess they thought I was drinking a lot of beer or junk food.

If you’re still reading this blog, Tim, thank you so much for sharing this with us when you did!  It took balls laying it all out there like that, and it still inspires me to this day :) I’ve never heard of anyone stretching their money to that extreme before! Freakin’ incredible man, and I think it’s a great lesson in doing WHATEVER it takes to make things happen for ourselves. Wherever you are, I hope things are a thousand times better for you bro.  I imagine once you accomplish that, you can overcome anything :)

For those who weren’t around when this was first published, what was YOUR poorest moments of your life? Did any of you have it just as bad? (I hope not!)

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(Photo by Like_the_Grand_Canyon)


{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 No Debt MBA July 19, 2011 at 7:55 am

I’ve never been that poor. Though I’m on a tight budget to pay for business school over the next two years, there’s no question that I’ll be able to feed myself and when I eat beans and rice it will be by choice, not because I don’t have another dime to put anything else on the table. The next two years will likely be the poorest of my life since I won’t be working full time. I’m very, very fortunate and I try not to lose sight of that.

Like the women in the food bank, I also feel frustrated at our society’s inability to direct aid to those people who would truly make the best use of it.

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2 LLF July 19, 2011 at 8:12 am

Tim’s story is very inspiring. Here is a situation where I would advise getting into debt and would be better if he did. No, not the kind of debt with credit cards and crazy spending, but student loans. If Tim could not get financial aid for free, he could get student loans for cheap and defered interest and payment. This way, he can work full time during summer and winter breaks and take the minimal full time student work load(15 credit hrs I think) during the semesters while working a few hours.
Here is another story of inspiration. We are all a lot stronger than we think we are.

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3 tom July 19, 2011 at 8:34 am

I agree with LLF. It sounds like Tim was completely emancipated from his parents, and if that’s the case, you can get subsidized student loans on your own.

It’s a very tough story to hear. We don’t know the full back story, but it seems like there were better options than what he endured. Why not get a job on campus at a small restaurant to eat healthy and cheap/free, that way you can eat and not have to drive?

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4 CrystalH July 19, 2011 at 8:36 am

Thanks for such an inspiring story! I bet Tim is a baller now!

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5 Melissa July 19, 2011 at 9:47 am

Thanks for sharing this story. It was definitely inspiring, and brought me back to my poor student days. Would love to hear how Tim’s doing now! Tim, are you out there? Tell us!

The poorest I’ve ever been is nothing compared to Tim’s story. It was the summer after my second year of university, I’d just moved into a new apartment and had taken a full-time, unpaid internship. Smart move, right? I was waitressing and then lifeguarding 16-20 hours every weekend just to make ends meet. I averaged about $2 a day on groceries, and it was tough! (Wrote a blog post on it here: http://www.broketo.ca/2011/03/unpaid-intern-diet.html) Not 50 cents tough, though, by any means. It’s always great to look back on where we came from. Whatever budget issues I have now, however hard, are not as bad as what I went through then, and I survived that!

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6 Gerard July 19, 2011 at 9:57 am

Wow. That is all I can say. This story breaks my heart and I admire the drive and tenacity of Tim.
It also makes me realise how lucky we are in Holland.

I do not know of anything else to say. This post has left me speechless. Sorry.

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7 Jenny~Z July 19, 2011 at 10:10 am

I’m in tears.. I can’t imagine living like this. I’d also like to hear from Tim, I hope he’s doing better now.

My poorest time was when I returned from Europe 1.5 years ago. I had no money and after 2 months searching for a job the opening got delayed and that meant we were all out of work for an additional month. I was fortunate enough to have credit available (because I left for Europe debt free besides my student loans). You can read the full story here: http://a1000pennies.blogspot.com/2011/06/giving-back.html

My heart goes out to people in situations like Tim’s (I couldn’t imagine life like that)… I hope others are also brave enough to share their stories!

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8 Edward Antrobus July 19, 2011 at 10:21 am

I find it interesting that people assume that Tim had options that he could have chosen, like getting a job at a restaurant. Sometimes those options just aren’t available. I know a person who was homeless for a while and wasn’t able to get a job or public assistance. He subsided off of ketchup packets and corn that he stole out of farmers fields for three months.

Meanwhile, just before my wife declared bankruptcy two years ago, our debt was so high that we only had $50 to spend on food each month.

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9 Gerard July 19, 2011 at 10:35 am

Like I said above, this story broke my heart.
But I would also like to make a point not intended for this post. There is something seriously wrong with the US if a son of two teachers has to live like this to be able to attend college.

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10 Alysa@ImpulseSave July 19, 2011 at 11:39 am

Tim, this story comforts me so much. My husband and I had a similar experience and it warms my heart to know other people have been there!

It was May and we were getting married in August. There are a few things you need to know up front. My mom is a designer and planned my wedding and my parents only give us a set amount for school, no exceptions and I had used mine up.

People already thought we were crazy for getting married because we were still in school (and no I was not pregnant thank you very much!) we were just in love and we don’t believe in co-habitation (call me provincial). Even if I did the college we attended had girls in one dorm and guys in another.

We were both in school taking summer classes, which were 50% off tuition. We both took two, which meant that we were in school from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, and then 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. we worked as much as we could sacrificing all studying time to be paid $8/hr.

After we paid $90.00 for my rent every week we only had $15 left for groceries and gas. I had one meal included with my rent and we chose dinner. We would hang around and take what the kitchen was throwing out and eat it for lunch the next day.

The worst part was my husband had to sleep in our car or in the woods behind the college. Now at first he was all excited and into the wild about it but after a month, he was hurting.
When we went to our college dean about our situation (thinking he would help) he threatened to arrest my husband if he stayed out in the college woods any more as it was private property. So, he had to stay in our car.

Then one morning on his way to work a Ford Expedition blew a stop sign and totaled our little Nissan Sentra sending my husband to the hospital in an ambulance. He was fine, no major injury but we were without a car and now had ER bills to pay.

A woman at my work lent us her extra car, but it was stick shift, which neither of us had ever driven before. We quickly learned and two weeks later our parents flew us home where we attended our $40,000 wedding where we would have gladly traded the ice sculptures (it was AUGUST mother!) for a little help with room and board.

We still look back at that time with shudders, maybe one day we’ll laugh?

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11 Joseph July 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Wow. Just wow. I wondered while reading that if his parents ever knew that he was starving.

I am so glad that he made it through those tough times, I don’t think I would have survived if I had to live off beans and rice. I hope wherever he is now he’s in a much better spot financially.

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12 Meredith July 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Woah. Thank you, Tim, for sharing this story.

The poorest time of my life was post college, right after my final semester. I had a housing scholarship and was able to live in the on-campus college apartments, but when school ended (and I graduated) there was a two week lull where I had to wait to start my “real” job. Luckily I was a manager at our campus rec center at this time, so I would work my shift and then go upstairs and sleep on the third floor with the ping pong tables and couches. I ate leftover pizza, soda and cake from the birthday parties we would host, and would shower in the locker rooms. The worst part is that I was too proud to tell anyone what was going on. To this day, nobody knows. Like another commenter said, I’d like to laugh at this one day, but I still can’t believe it happened.

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13 Elise Adams July 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm

It’s an amazing story of determination in super-tough circumstances. I can relate–but not from any principled position because my poverty always came from bad choices. For 3 years I was actually homeless, following a petty criminal around from city to city while he shoplifted for our food/hotel money. I think the toughest message to get to those WITH resources is how people can become stuck in such addictive, negative places. Frankly, I think many MORE PEOPLE are suffering from their own bad choices than from the limitations of our society or system or whatever… I wrote about this (Two Myths about the Homeless) http://adamsorganizing.com/2011/07/07/i-miss-being-homeless/

Thanks for reposting this, as I’d missed it the first time around :-) ~Elise

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14 Jennifer July 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Tim, I’m glad you made it through.

But I do have to say that I have some trouble understanding this story.

He couldn’t even ask his parents for $50 or $100? Or get one of those on-campus jobs where you sit at a desk, smile at people who walk in the gym/office/other area where you work occasionally and study the rest of the time? Or get a small loan? Or ask some friends for help?

Besides the food stamp thing, it sounds like pride may have gotten in the way.

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15 First Gen American July 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I went through times without money, but I never had times when I was hungry. First off my mom would always feed me if I was hungry. I didn’t live far from home and she had a garden. She did starve growing up, so food was never something to be compromised on once she had the means to buy it. She’d probably have her electricity shut off before going hungry again..after all, she grew up without electricity and survived just fine.

I also had an abundance of food because I worked in restaurants in college and so did my roommates and a few of my friends. We would always share the end of night leftovers with each other.

Although the story is inspiring to some, it makes me sad to know that tim didn’t have the support network I did when I was in school. It’s sad that he couldn’t be open with his friends to get the help he needed. There were always people willing to feed me and vice versa. I would have given him food if he was at my school and knew of his situation.

I hope he is doing well now.

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16 mints July 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm

The poorest I’ve ever been was during my 2nd year of college and it’s still a hard story to tell. (please keep in mind that the average wage where I live is 5 dlls a day)
I was living in a really abusing situation and found my way out of it, but that left me with 20 dlls and a backpack full of my stuff.
I didn’t have a plan, and I didn’t know what to do next. I sit and cried outside of a church trying to think the pros and cons of going back home and trying to escape when I had something planned. Then, the most nicest lady in the world saw me and without thinking it twice she gave me the keys of her house without even knowing what I was crying about (I guess now she saw my backpack), she had a spare room and told me if I wanted to stay there for a few days while I found out what to do (I already knew her and crossed some words with her, but never really told her anything else than “hello/good afteroon”, she just happened to be around that day). I saved up those 20 dlls I had and lived with her and her family for a month, that gave me the opportunity to search for housing and a job.
My campus had a program for low income students ran by a group of alumni and I fitted in perfectly. I’d only have to pay 150 dlls for housing per semester, but of course that was a lot when you don’t have any.
I got a half time job at the campus and that gave me 20 dlls a week and they gave me free physiologic therapy (I was really messed up from all the physical and emotional abuse) and also the program gave me food-aid because I needed to spend more time in therapy and I couldn’t do classes, therapy and a full time job (only half time) at the same time so I had 14 dlls daily to spend on the cafeterias from mon – friday.
I’d go and spend 4 dollars every friday on cookies and juicies and then stock them up in a box under my bed to get through the weekend.
I was so lucky! I had a paid job (sort of speak, at least I was able to pay my share of bills and gas and save up for the $150 of housing, which left me with literally zero money) and was getting free food! (even though I struggled to buy simple stuff as toilet paper/shampoo/soap … I admit it now, I stole toilet paper from the campus for over 1 year) still…. I felt I was doing better than never…
But then I had 3 other roommates who were doing worse than me and I felt it was my responsibility to help out, so I shared my $14 with them. We had about $5 each and we could only spend it at the cafeteria (where a cup noodle would cost $2) and had to manage it that way for about a year.
I eventually grew out of that situation and so did my roommates, we all graduated and they all now live in different places, sometimes we talk about it and get really sentimental…

I’m now part of the philanthropic alumni group, the very same group that helped me back then and I will always be thankful for.

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17 Laura July 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I came from a poor family too and was lucky to qualify for grants (I received the maximum amount available) and scholarships. However, it wasn’t enough to cover living expenses–just tuition. I took out a small loan to pay for living expenses because for me having a very small, manageable student loan vs. being nutritionally deficient for several years wasn’t worth it. I don’t really find this story inspiring, he could have caused himself long-term health problems by eating this way. This was a financial choice, not a necessity.

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18 retirebyforty July 19, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Wow, that’s nuts. I hope Tim is doing better these days.

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19 LB July 19, 2011 at 9:19 pm

I could never say I had it worse, but I can say at times life sucked. I was kicked out of my house on my 18th birthday and did everything I could to survive. Jobs paid minimum wage, but still paid more than most government help liked. I couldn’t get any help with food or housing and my father, who doesn’t believe in college, made too much money so I couldn’t get help with school. I was too scared to end up permanently homeless to take out school loans.

To shorten this I have to say, I survived, and by the end of this year, I will be debt free and my way to paying for college with cash.

I wouldn’t say I could ever laugh about my experiences, but I did learn a lot and am very happy with where I am today. I bet Tim is happy with where he is today also.

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20 LLF July 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm

@ Alysa@ImpulseSave – that really sucks that your ‘rent rather give you a set amount for school and spend the dough on the wedding.

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21 Tim July 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Takes quite a dedication to go through such rough times and stay motivated to stay in school. I’ve had my times in college when I had to bust out the ole rice and beans but never for that long. It makes me think of how cheaply we can eat and still survive without all the fast food and restaurants. Next time I see someone paying for their meal at Old Chicago with a credit card I’m going to tell them this story.

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22 Ornella Grosz July 19, 2011 at 11:23 pm

My lowest point doesn’t compare to Tim. It would be interesting to know what Tim is doing now. He is so inspiring. What an amazing individual. He has an amazing story to tell.

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23 John July 19, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Way to go Tim, that is a really inspiring story. I had my own struggles with money while going to engineering school, but in no way do they come close to yours. Those classes kill you when you have to work part-time. I commuted 60 miles each way to school (because it was the closest state school that had an EE Program) and worked 20+ hours a week doing pizza delivery. Luckily my dad taught me enough about cars to keep my cheap under 2,000 dollar beater running, while putting about a 1000 miles a week on it.

The poorest I probably felt during during those my colleges years was when my clutch went and I didn’t have enough money or time to have somebody fix it. So I had to drop the transmission myself (with very little tools) and try to get the whole thing back together before I had to go to school to take a test the next morning.

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24 Travis @debtchronicles July 20, 2011 at 12:37 am

In college my girlfriend at the time (now wife), had a bunch of bills come due at once and had $11 for food for a week. I had a cafeteria plan, but didn’t have any actual money to give her, otherwise I would have helped out. I tried to sneak food out of the cafeteria for her, but that didn’t go real well.

Through coupons, sales, and creativity, we were able to get her enough food for the week. It wasn’t the best stuff in the world, but it was food.

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25 20 and Engaged July 20, 2011 at 2:17 am

This post made me cry :( I have absolutely never been in this situation. Here I am, complaining about my financial situation, when there’s people like Tim who have to survive off beans and rice, struggling to get through school. I’m disgusted with myself. The “poorest” moment in my life is currently, which is no where near the hardship Tim went through. I have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, reliable transportation. I also have parents who are willing to help. Sure, expenses are more than income at the moment but man… I’m so blessed. Thank you Tim for sharing your story. I’m truly humbled.

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26 J. Money July 20, 2011 at 10:26 am

@No Debt MBA – I love the plan that you have, you’re totally gonna rock it!
@LLF – Interesting, yeah – I wonder what the situation was with loans or even credit cards/etc. Obviously it’s no good to rack up debt when you can avoid it, but I would have totally caved in here if I were him and woulda just owed a bit of money down the road… but hard to say without knowing all the details :) Also, he’s a LOT stronger than I am! Haha… (btw, just left to go watch that video… I cried :( which doesn’t happen often watching youtube! thank you so much for sharing that with us, that was an absolute joy to watch)
@tom – Yeah, tough call w/out knowing anything more. I have to imagine he tried whatever was possible if it resorted to killing animals for food and risking his health. I’m just gonna assume he did everything he could and that was that.
@CrystalH – Haha, I bet too!
@Melissa – Yes!!! If you can keep that frame of reference going throughout your life like that, it will always help put things in perspective!! Thanks for sharing that, great great point.
@Gerard – Me too, he is MUCH stronger than I am!! :) Cool you’re reading this in Holland too!
@Jenny~Z – Yes, credit CAN be a life safer sometimes for sure — which is yet another reason I advocate having one, and using it wisely. It’s a nice emergency-emergency option.
@Edward Antrobus – Wow, ketchup & corn?? That is horrible :( Sorry to hear that – I hope he’s doing better now! I’d ask about you and your wife, but I’m pretty sure you guys are doing well now :)
@Alysa@ImpulseSave – WOW. I just don’t know what to say to that… really I’m just SO GLAD Your husband was okay after that accident!! Man that is scary… and all of it just so sad when there was all that money for the wedding :( I hope you both are doing much, much better now and are still just as happy when you guys first met!! I like hearing stories of love like that :) I still believe in it, even tho there are haters out there.
@Joseph – For real, I couldn’t do it. Well, I guess if it was either that or dying, I could do it, but either way just a $hitty situation.
@Meredith – Man, that’s good you got away with it and didn’t get in trouble or anything too! We had one of our employees sleeping at the office for a few weeks cuz he was homeless and never told anyone, but it just made it that much worse when he got caught :( I think people have good hearts in general, and if they DID know about your situation (and others out there) they’d do their best to help :) We ended up helping our employee find a place to stay and get on his feet in the end, but just like you we wouldn’t have ever known unless he said something! (or we caught him! haha…)
@Elise Adams – Thanks for telling us YOUR story Elise! I didn’t know about that homeless stress, that’s so sad :( You’ve come SO FAR since then!!! I love your stuff, keep writing about it and getting the word out there!! You’ve totally found your calling :)
@Jennifer – It would be interesting to find out more, for sure… I can’t imagine going to that length without trying everything first, but I guess we’ll never know unless he pops back up here… no sign yet :(
@First Gen American – Yes! It is sad he didn’t have a support system in place like so many of us are fortunate to have, good point :( I only wish he’s surrounded by tons of loving people right now in his life :)
@mints – That is a beautiful story Mint!!! You are such an angel!!! Wow… way to pay it forward and be so wonderful to your other roommates like that. You make me smile :) I’m so glad you got out of that abusive place and into your brand new world – you are truly an inspiration.
@Laura – I actually cut out the last paragraph he wrote (it got long) where he mentions the long term affects. He still has to deal with some of those things now :( But without knowing his story fully, w/out the details, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt as I can’t imagine anyone going to those lengths if they had other options. But we may never know…
@retirebyforty – Me too!
@LB – Wow, he didn’t believe in college? I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of that before, esp from a parent. I’m sorry :( That’s so awesome you’ve overcame it and now doing college w/ cash!!! Man, that is incredible.
@Tim – It’s a story that’s stuck with me for all these months so far :)
@Ornella Grosz – I know! I feel like he’s doing much much better now, if he could go back and share that story with us like he did, but hopefully we’ll know one day for sure :)
@John – WHAT??? Oh my gosh I would have totally been F’d. I don’t know jack about cars! haha… and you had to deal w/ the pressure of fixing it up AND studying all in the same day! Man…. good for you for making things happen, that’s great.
@Travis @debtchronicles – Emergencies def. bring out the creativity in us!! :)
@20 and Engaged – Awwww, it’s still okay to be sad with your current situation, we all have our own stuff to deal with :) This just shows we are very blessed to even be IN the places we are in our lives right now. I think it def. helps with complaining too – I try to come back to this whenever I catch myself bitching about some sort of nonsense going on.. good to keep things in perspective.

And if you REALLY want to cry, watch this (happy tears, courtesy of LLF above in the comments): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BewknNW2b8Y

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27 Crystal July 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Holy crap. I am so glad he made it through! When I read the gun part, I didn’t think he was going hunting and then I realized he was trying to get rabbits with a deer rifle…poor guy.

I knew someone a little like him in college – not enough to eat but didn’t know how or where to find help. He didn’t tell anyone but I noticed he never ate around me and we were around each other a lot in the same group. I started asking if he wanted my “leftovers” all the time since I was “too full” (I wasn’t and never have had a leftover I wouldn’t eat later, but hell if I wanted someone to starve while we were hanging out!!!). He always asked like 3 times before he’d eat and we never talked about whether I was the only place he was getting food or not (we were friends of friends and never got very close). I really hope I wasn’t the only one who was helping or that poor guy only ate 3 times a week when I hung out in the dorm next door.

Wow, I went off on a tangent. Sorry you went through that Tim. I hope your future is full of happiness!!!

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28 J. Money July 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Yeah, I thought he was going to pawn the gun at first – it shocked me too :( That sucks for your friend as well, is he better now do you know? Do you guys ever talk anymore? Would be interesting to see what the case was :) Thanks for sharing!

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29 Crystal July 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm

@J. Money, I saw him at graduation and he had a great job lined up for the next week and was engaged just like me. I like to think he’s having a great life!

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30 J. Money July 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Awesome! I’d like to think so too :)

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31 LB July 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

@ J. Money-I have actually had a lot of people in my life tell me they got to where they are today without college and see no reason for it. Good thing I have always been strong willed ;)

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32 J. Money July 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Yeah, no kidding. There are tons of people who are successful w/out having gone to college, but I think it’s a lot rarer than we know, and either way they wouldn’t advocate going that route for others anyways. Maybe they wanted to go and didn’t have the opportunity, or gave it a shot and realized it wasn’t for them? Regardless, most people I know who’ve skipped would still tell people it’s a good idea to do. It’s something you carry with you forever. I’m glad you’re going!! :)

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33 Elise Adams July 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Sorry to disagree with you Mr. Money…but I am one of those how is opposed to college UNLESS you have a clear career path. Some may mock my choices–but I have every capacity for academia and have chosen the entrepreneur track because I know that the years I’d have to put in in order to get to a place where I’d be my own boss would probably KILL ME before I got there! In addition to being a misfit for my personality and skills I think that the ‘higher education’ propaganda has cost many a young person years and years of slavery to debt. As Dave Ramsey says, those stats about folks who go to college making more money may just as easily have more to do with their character than with the education they receive. If more people did a TRUE cost-benefit analysis of education I think there would be a lot of second-thinking about blindly going for a college education.

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34 J. Money July 24, 2011 at 9:50 pm

It’s okay, we can agree to disagree :) I think you’re certainly right for those types of personalities, but overall I’d say the average person does NOT fit that bill. And I’d place my odds on better education than the chance of working for yourself based on a lot of things — mainly laziness. Lots of kids graduate high school and just want to play and do fun stuff, and if it weren’t for our parents forcing us to go to college, we probably wouldn’t have. Which would have been a huge waste of our youth. Again, not for everyone, but for more than the average I’d say. Entrepreneurs are slim in the general scheme of things,so my vote always goes to college degree. Shoot, even for me – I never had an inkling of working for myself but it took college and 10 years in the workforce to realize what i want to be doing w/ my life. I wouldn’t have gotten here if I didn’t go through all that first. Sure it can be a crap ton of money, and yeah – maybe financially it’s not worth it in the end for a handful of people, but you learn MUCH more from school than just knowledge on subjects. It’s an experience I think most kids should go through before heading off into the “real” world. But again, that’s just my opinion.

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35 Elise Adams July 25, 2011 at 1:06 am

Can’t resist :-)

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” – Albert Einstein

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36 Gerard July 25, 2011 at 1:37 am

I strongly agree with J. Money. Sure there are people who have succeeded despite not going to college, but are they the rule or the exception? And are they in any way different from the average person?
Bottom line, it is easy to look at those who have succeeded, but also look at all of those who have not succeeded.

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37 Elise Adams July 26, 2011 at 1:12 am

Yep…this info-graphic might even change my mind! *ooops*

http://www.onlineeducation.net/the-state-of-education

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