This is very interesting- almost all of us have had pretty significant help from our parents. Personally, it's hard to imagine where I'd be without that help. Much more in debt, of course, but I could also be in a different city or even career. My parents paid for almost all my undergrad tuition and housing (including a summer abroad in Ireland). I'm guessing that was about $40k total- maybe less. It was a state school in the late 1990s. I worked all through college, but that money basically went to "fun" things. I was very lucky that I never felt like a stereotypical broke college student. I ate a lot of Kraft mac and cheese because I wanted to, not because I had to. After college my mom put me up for 3 months and then booted me out, but she also payed for my move to Portland (a 2000 mile trip). I still owe her that $2k (15 years later) and am currently "paying her back" by taking care of her cats for a couple years while she lives with my sister in Germany. Eight years later I took out $40k in loans (if I only knew then what I know now), and when I couldn't get a job after graduation I lived with my mom again for about a year. I didn't pay rent but did chip in for groceries and bills. I have also received gifts of cash here and there (usually about $100 a year), and plane tickets from my dad to see my family in Europe. My sister has asked for and received much more money from my dad for things that I haven't wanted, like a wedding and a house. I used to be VERY uncomfortable asked for financial help, and still avoid it as much as possible. If I do get married I will not plan a wedding that I and my partner can't afford. I feel very, very lucky to have had the help I've had, and to have the luxury of knowing that if my life falls apart my parents will be able to help me out.
While I'm not 100% happy here, I should put in a plug for Duluth, MN (no weather jokes, please!). It is small (85k), but cost of living is ok (rents are kind of expensive, but buying is cheap), there's a good music scene, and BEAUTIFUL scenery and lots of chances for outdoor activities. And Minneapolis is only 2 hours away! But yes, a car is almost a must, especially if you ever want to get out of the city. And speaking from personal experience, the dating scene is rough.
@andnowlights I am torn- my plan is to have the remainder forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which only makes sense if I pay less than the straight amount. But I don't trust that program, and my balance is staying about the same which is really disheartening. But once I get my emergency fund up to where I want it I do plan on putting more towards the student loans.
Emergency savings goal: $7500 October 2014: $5025 November 2014: $5329 Savings for travel, etc October 2014: $269 November 2014:...$269. Paid higher student loans the past couple months because I didn't do my IBR paperwork on time, so all extra money went there. They actually went down with the extra money! Which felt really good, so I might have to reconsider how I'm paying them off (or not, as the case may be).
O'HARE. I think I've said it here before, but I seem to always wind up running through it and then missing my flight/bus and am angry and panting. I do still like the United walkway with the neon and the music (I mostly like watching other people groove on it, especially kids). And when I discovered the garden area they talk about it was life changing. It is mostly airline staff hanging out there so you know it's good. And the sushi place near there is also good! Overpriced of course but good. To sum up- O'Hare, I hate you but you're trying.
@andnowlights Omg yes. Especially when you're accepting both a recent weight gain that means you can't fit your old winter stuff, and that you live in a winter hell-hole and really need warm stuff AND winter sport stuff. So that you don't go crazy.
My my, the time does fly. Emergency savings goal: $7500 September 2014: $4672 October 2014: $5025 Broke my original goal of $5k!!! Big milestone for me. Savings for travel, etc Septmeber 2014: $20 October 2014: $269 (My renter's rebate check came and went directly in there.) Things might not progress much in November cause I've been shopping like a mofo (I'm actually fine with that- I rarely do and need all kinds of winter stuff) and the 6 mos. car insurance payment is due. The student loan payment should be back down to a more reasonable level though.
I should be getting $30 from Oregon soon. I put off doing the paperwork- it seemed so hard! I had to photocopy passport and ID and get something notorized. They wanted an ID with the address from when I should have gotten the $ (2003 in my case) but also said you can just write a note saying why you don't have that. It still seems like kind of a lot of work for $30/but damn it that's my money! That I earned from being a good citizen and going to jury duty! I think.
@madrassoup Or sometimes the recipes have changed! I swear Kraft m&c is different than it was when I was growing up. Or is that the taste of nostalgia? It doesn't make it taste better.
Late late late but: Emergency savings goal: $7500 August 2014: $4369 September 2014: $4672 Savings for travel, etc August 2014: $650 Septmeber 2014: $20 (went on vacation!) Student loans: Trouble this month. I didn't re-up my IBR in time and payment is doubled for a couple months. I can afford it for that short time but it makes me nervous. But I'm also a little happy that I'll be chipping away at it a little more. Plus I got a statement showing me that I've paid $3k in interest and $7 on the principle. Sigh.