Previously on The Billfold
I’m a failure at age 25. I have failed at my career, I have no other skills, no prospects anywhere else, and no one cares enough about me to hire me. I just have to face this. Unfortunately, you can’t just be a failure. Even if you are a failure, the world still expects money out of you. And right now, if I don’t come up with $800 by October 31, I will no longer be able to pay rent. I have put this off as long as I possibly can. have no money in my bank account and no job prospects. None of my clients answer my emails anymore. I need $750 for rent, and I can try to live on $50 for the month. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to do this, and I’m terrified.
At Ask MetaFilter, a young woman with zero dollars is asking people to give her advice on scrounging up $800 this month so she can pay her rent and eat. She says her roommate will not give her any flexibility on the rent, that she has signed up for every temp agency she could find, and can’t rely on family members to help her out. “I would prefer not to do sex work, and I don’t have the looks for it, but again, if that is my only option, that is my only option,” she writes, which, oof.
The advice from commenters are numerous: Apply to all the retail jobs, get a job at a call center because they’re always looking for people, call the city hotline for job resources, sign up for sites like Taskrabbit, and sell your plasma (which, according to the story Lynn wrote for us last year, can get you around $40).
Personally, when I was in a situation where I needed to make some cash to pay my bills during the financial crisis, I started going through my contacts to see if anyone could give me a lead on something. It was a rough time—lots of people I got in touch were were having similar difficulties scraping by (it seemed like the whole country was back then). That’s when I found a gig driving a truck around the city delivering newspapers and other goods. That’s my “Mike Dang: Trucker” story for you.
What advice would you give? What would you do if you had zero dollars and seemingly few options?
Photo: Craig Sunter