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Thread: A year with no salary :( Advice?

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    Smart Canuck natynat's Avatar
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    For those of you who do not know, I am a full-time student at McGill University in Montreal. I'm in the Education program to become an ESL (English as a second language) teacher. Normally, to get a Bachelor degree it takes 3 years. To become a teacher it takes 4 (and yet we still get crappy salary).

    I live with my boyfriend and a cat in a 2 bedroom apartment. He pays the rent, heating/gas, cable/internet & gas/maintenance for the car. I pay the car (it's under my name since I had it before we met), groceries and necessities (i.e. clothing and hygiene products). It doesn't seem fair...I know. But I do have to pay my tuition and books, as well as bus pass, etc. And I only work 20 hours a week because I'm doing a full load of 5 classes.

    Here is the dilemma: starting in the spring of 2013, and continuing until summer of 2014, I will be doing 3 internships BACK-TO-BACK. That's a year and some of NO PAY. I will be working in a school...8:30am-4PM & doing corrections/lesson planning/etc Monday to Friday. Yes. It's a full-time job with no salary.

    I will be working full-time (secretarial work @ min pay) during the summer after my Spring internship, to save as much as I can, and I know that I will be applying for loans and bursaries...but the final point is: I'm FREAKING out about how we are going to live. My boyfriend does not make enough to support us both. And no, we can't get a cheaper appartment...we've considered this.

    I coupon a lot (check out my tradelist!)...and stockpile as much as I can in an apartment with limited space. We practically don't eat out/order take out, or go out. If I have friends over (which I do because it's cheaper than going to a bar, etc) I ask that they supply the alcohol & I cook...or we do a pot-luck (by the way I'm 24 so my social life sucks lol). I have looked at sites that "pay"...but the best (i.e. Swagbucks) aren't available in Quebec. So far I've only gotten a $10 Amazon card...which I traded for stuff that I need.

    What advice could you give me? It can be anything from where and how to get coupons, to which sites I could profit from, etc. I think I do it ALL! That's the scary part I need your help and wise words fellow couponers!
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    Luv Saving People Money MortgageQueen's Avatar
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    Natynat, I would've thought there'd be grants or government assistance for this situation?? I hate the idea of student loans. . .but in cases such as this. . . it's what they're there for, no?
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    Ok Im on a fixed income very low I shop for clothes at thrift shops mainly I get new things if they are a gift.I dog sit for a months coffee and my entertaining is minimal I have literally eaten mustard sandwiches and oatmeal refried with a few vegtables When I see a sale I got the things if I have the money If I have loose change it all goes into a jar Local store has a coin counter and gives you a voucher towards your purchase I use the coupons for websaver.ca save.ca manufactures coupons evrything matched to sales to save a buck I design the menu around it I send for freebies all the time as all the little samples add up Your education will pay off and keep that in your mind It will be a tight year but it will be a good discipline for future Its not the big purchases that get you its all the little ones that are untracked I use scoops and measuring spoons for everything so I dont waste anything even shampooI dont go trash diving but I am always trying to get things cheap thank god for all those dempstrs coupons and nordica and even the pineapple coupon

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    Smart Canuck natynat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MortgageQueen View Post
    Natynat, I would've thought there'd be grants or government assistance for this situation?? I hate the idea of student loans. . .but in cases such as this. . . it's what they're there for, no?
    There are bursaries that students can apply for. My first year of University, I lived with my mom and her boyfriend. I was not eligible to receive a bursary because my mom's and her bf's combined income was taken into consideration. I applied for a loan, but once again, because of their income the loan was pretty crappy. Last year I received a bursary from the University for a $1000, and my loan was increased slightly. However, the government does not see me as independent from my mother for as long as I am not married or have children. Therefore, even though I live on my own & my mom doesn't pay my tuition, the government will continue to look at her income...it's pretty rediculous. That being said, with the bursary AND the loan...I barely have enough money to pay tuition & my books. Everyone knows that Quebec has low tuition...yes...but our minimum wage is roughly $10/hour....and the salary that I will be getting as a teacher in Quebec is the lowest from all the provinces. It's really sad...lol. I will be taking a break from school after my Bachelor & then thinking of whether I want to get a Master's or go into Law. Sooo to answer your question...YES there are bursaries that a school can grant me, and it's great, but with a thousand dollars, I'm still a grand short...so I have no choice but to get a loan. And as of now my student loan is at about 12 grand. Reality sucks.
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    Smart Canuck natynat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by connieharrison View Post
    Ok Im on a fixed income very low I shop for clothes at thrift shops mainly I get new things if they are a gift.I dog sit for a months coffee and my entertaining is minimal I have literally eaten mustard sandwiches and oatmeal refried with a few vegtables When I see a sale I got the things if I have the money If I have loose change it all goes into a jar Local store has a coin counter and gives you a voucher towards your purchase I use the coupons for websaver.ca save.ca manufactures coupons evrything matched to sales to save a buck I design the menu around it I send for freebies all the time as all the little samples add up Your education will pay off and keep that in your mind It will be a tight year but it will be a good discipline for future Its not the big purchases that get you its all the little ones that are untracked I use scoops and measuring spoons for everything so I dont waste anything even shampooI dont go trash diving but I am always trying to get things cheap thank god for all those dempstrs coupons and nordica and even the pineapple coupon
    I know that this might sound bad on my part...but I am unable to go into a thrift store. There is like a psychological barrier between me and that store lol. I've had bad experience being harassed as a kid for having shopped there (even though EVERYONE was shopping there...but no one wanted to admit it) so I can't go in those stores anymore. I do buy things from liquidation in stores like Winners though And I've drastically cut down on the amount of purchases that I make for clothes in comparison with when I lived with my mom.

    And YES! I do believe that things will get better when I graduate. Education HAS to have some value left in today's society.
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    I was in this situation 3 years ago while in Ottawa University. I had to get a government loan to supplement my living costs, I was taking Law, so it was quite the price tag. The funds from my loan just skimmed the top of all my living costs, rent (campus,books, food etc.) I had no time to work, let alone have any spare time to read a book of my choice. I didn't rely on anyone, and my mother was with her bf living her own life. It was very hard, and I do know what your going through...I eventually graduated with my Law degree, met my now, fiance' had a baby, and have no time to work...Its funny how life works out. Im 26 Y/o now. My suggestion to you would to move back in with your mother. You have a lot of stuff on your plate right now, and Im sure your not getting married anytime soon with your bf. If I had the chance back than, I would have moved back in with my mother, in a heartbeat, but the option was never a choice. If its a healthy place to be (at your moms) it will take a lot of stress of your back. I don't know much about Quebec's Bursary's but it sounds like because you JUST moved out of your mothers house, they dont see you as an independant yet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by natynat View Post
    Here is the dilemma: starting in the spring of 2013, and continuing until summer of 2014, I will be doing 3 internships BACK-TO-BACK. That's a year and some of NO PAY. I will be working in a school...8:30am-4PM & doing corrections/lesson planning/etc Monday to Friday. Yes. It's a full-time job with no salary.
    Does the three internships have to be done back-to-back?
    Is there a way to extend your schooling so you can work in the summer or one semester per year, so you don't need to look into more loans?
    Is there a job where you can work a couple of evenings and also weekends?
    Last edited by Shwa Girl; Sat, Oct 27th, 2012 at 12:43 PM.

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    Smart Canuck frugal50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by natynat View Post
    I know that this might sound bad on my part...but I am unable to go into a thrift store. There is like a psychological barrier between me and that store lol. I've had bad experience being harassed as a kid for having shopped there (even though EVERYONE was shopping there...but no one wanted to admit it) so I can't go in those stores anymore. I do buy things from liquidation in stores like Winners though And I've drastically cut down on the amount of purchases that I make for clothes in comparison with when I lived with my mom.

    And YES! I do believe that things will get better when I graduate. Education HAS to have some value left in today's society.
    your education does comes first!
    try finding a weekend gig
    and just live as cheaply as possible
    no cable, no entertainemnt, no restaurants, no buying new clothes....
    that's how i live, and i work part-time.
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    I dont have cable,magic jack for phone and internet Since Ive left Bell and Rogers behind I have saved alot I bought an old stereo from 1967 for 40 dollars so,listening to radio and playing old records again
    My daughter bought me a 300 dollar dress for her wedding with a 100 fascinator and I nearly fainted I hope I will be able to use that dress again .She has a thing about thrift stores too because when they were young we got them things at Bargain Harolds and Bi Way(very ancient history)so she likes nice things Shes a teacher so she deserves them She lived out of a microwave at teachers college as her meal plan didnt line up with her placement times You will get through this
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    Your schedule sounds like it may work for a part-time job. It is hard work, and you will be tired but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I paid for a lot of my master's degree that way, working 2-3 jobs and going to school. I did still have to get a student loan to cover tuition, my part time jobs covered my living expenses, 4 year masters degree here with education placements, on top of a 4 year BA. I am currently working only 30 hrs per week, and in the process with the military reserves, as my current job I need to be available almost 24-7 so it would be difficult to have another part-time job with a changing schedule.

    I think worst part about my schoolwork and working was banquet serving shifts which started at 5am until 8am and then classes at 9am until suppertime.

    Good luck, and look into bursaries and scholarships, it never hurts to apply. There are websites like scholarships canada etc.
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    Smart Canuck natynat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZombieMakeup View Post
    I was in this situation 3 years ago while in Ottawa University. I had to get a government loan to supplement my living costs, I was taking Law, so it was quite the price tag. The funds from my loan just skimmed the top of all my living costs, rent (campus,books, food etc.) I had no time to work, let alone have any spare time to read a book of my choice. I didn't rely on anyone, and my mother was with her bf living her own life. It was very hard, and I do know what your going through...I eventually graduated with my Law degree, met my now, fiance' had a baby, and have no time to work...Its funny how life works out. Im 26 Y/o now. My suggestion to you would to move back in with your mother. You have a lot of stuff on your plate right now, and Im sure your not getting married anytime soon with your bf. If I had the chance back than, I would have moved back in with my mother, in a heartbeat, but the option was never a choice. If its a healthy place to be (at your moms) it will take a lot of stress of your back. I don't know much about Quebec's Bursary's but it sounds like because you JUST moved out of your mothers house, they dont see you as an independant yet?
    Thank you for your feedback. In December it will be a year and a half that my boyfriend and I are living together. I live 20 minutes away from my mom so I go to see her often and she helps me out in whatever way that she can! I also have an amazing grandmother in Russia who sends me her pension savings to help me out. And this has helped me a LOT. T

    he thing is...I can't move back. It would destroy our relationship and put a strain on the one with my mom. If I were to move back, it would be because my bf and I decided to break up. He's turning 31. So yes...we're planning to get married when I graduate. And start a family. We're living somewhat comfortably now...new furniture, food on the table, etc. It's just this one year that I will be doing an internship that will be super hard...so I'm looking for ways of stretching out our income.

    It is funny...indeed...that we study so hard to become workers and end up realizing that work is not all that there is to life.
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    Smart Canuck natynat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shwa Girl View Post
    Does the three internships have to be done back-to-back?
    Is there a way to extend your schooling so you can work in the summer or one semester per year, so you don't need to look into more loans?
    Is there a job where you can work a couple of evenings and also weekends?
    Technically, there are 4 internships for the 4 years that I am in school. It was supposed to have been 1 internship per year. I switched programs last year, and went from teaching kindergarten & elementary into TESL. I did not do an internship last year because I didn't have enough credits. Therefore, I'm done all my courses next semester, and then have to catch up with the internships. I don't want to stretch out the time because it's a 4 year program, and I took a year and a half off after college...so I should've already graduated if I didn't take that time off. I just want school to be done and over with lol (until I go back later).

    I will most likely work on a Saturday...but I don't think that I will be working evenings because I really don't want it to affect my internships. In this program, it's very easy to fail these. I don't want to have to spend an extra 2 grand on tuition because I decided to work while doing the internships.

    However...I will look into tutoring after school. The salary is decent...and a couple of hours can help out
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    Smart Canuck natynat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugal50 View Post
    your education does comes first!
    try finding a weekend gig
    and just live as cheaply as possible
    no cable, no entertainemnt, no restaurants, no buying new clothes....
    that's how i live, and i work part-time.
    That's how we live too (mostly) but I will definately have to round some corners even more! Thanks for the reply
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    Smart Canuck natynat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matrix82 View Post
    Your schedule sounds like it may work for a part-time job. It is hard work, and you will be tired but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I paid for a lot of my master's degree that way, working 2-3 jobs and going to school. I did still have to get a student loan to cover tuition, my part time jobs covered my living expenses, 4 year masters degree here with education placements, on top of a 4 year BA. I am currently working only 30 hrs per week, and in the process with the military reserves, as my current job I need to be available almost 24-7 so it would be difficult to have another part-time job with a changing schedule.

    I think worst part about my schoolwork and working was banquet serving shifts which started at 5am until 8am and then classes at 9am until suppertime.

    Good luck, and look into bursaries and scholarships, it never hurts to apply. There are websites like scholarships canada etc.
    Thank you for the reply. It actually sucks that you know what I'm going through lol....Hang in there!
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    Mastermind Shwa Girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by natynat View Post
    However...I will look into tutoring after school. The salary is decent...and a couple of hours can help out
    Really great problem solving -- I did not even think about tutoring. Great idea!

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