I return them but only when I am super duper broke. It's about 3 cents a bottle in NYC, and the stores all use this wonky system where you shove the bottle in to a machine and 90% of the time the machine tells me it's an invalid barcode for no reason. If I don't separate the bottles and cans out the can ladies will tear holes in curbed recycling bags to look for them if they hear a clink in the bag. It makes a massive mess. Either way someone profits since the bottle tax is designed to generate revenue for the state on the assumption that not every bottle sold will be redeemed.
Check and see what your state or school guidelines are for filing your Fafsa without your parent's income information. The state that I went to school in waived the parent's income info if the student earned more than 10k a year, was over 24, or was signed on to a lease. I had a few friends who took the lightest course load possible for a semester and picked up whatever full time job they could manage to wipe out that big parental income requirement in basically a summer. It made a very big difference in the aid package to have Federal and State aid calculated on 10k a year rather than one or two mom and dad size incomes.
On Burning Out
I burned out at my last job and it was so scary. I started to see literally no point in doing my job at all, there was no sense of worth in my tasks, and I was in this constant cycle of exhaustion and putting pressure on myself to perform on the job lest the bottom really fall out from under me. I was not in a supportive workplace to say the least. I wound up being fired from the burnout factory a week before being offered a position doing the exact same job with better pay with nicer coworkers. Timingwise I had 5 weeks off before starting the new position and I seriously needed that amount of agendaless space in my schedule to recover. I think I'd be handling workplace issues a lot differently if I wasn't able to get space from them before starting to work again. This was incredibly lucky though. I couldn't have possibly planned anything that smoothly on my own. Not everyone gets to do that.
@garli amazing right?
I know I'm lucky to have my roommate. She's one of those 'literally only home to sleep' urban legend roommates.I've been the main tenant for 4 years and I don't even want to know how much a two bedroom would be in our area at market rate. I could afford the whole rent myself but it's so much cheaper with a roommate in the second bedroom I don't let living with roommates at 30 bother me. If and when she does leave I will probably just keep it all to myself but I'm in no rush. We also got a friend of ours in to a unit in the building so yeah my apartment building is kind of an adult ladies dorm.
I win because my health insurance went from $100 a month to $25 a month when our insurance provider at work rolled our small office pool in to their national top of the line exchange plan. My parents lose because my parents make too much for my mom to qualify for medicaid, mom has a degenerative motor neuron disorder that the dr's don't wanna call because it is a very scary serious disease but google 'motor neuron disorder' and it will tell you exactly what that is. My dad can't afford the plan she needs out of pocket, it's $1,600 a month. My mom isn't really receiving the care that she needs. She's literally just receiving the most basic treatments right now. Her situation keeps getting worse and worse and worse, The rest of our family is overseas and they have a single payer system, so my mom's lack of access to more aggressive or at least more palliative treatment is baffling for them. I've had to explain to my grandmother that the 'State Hospitals everyone can just go to, my American friend told me about those.' aren't widely accessible, and are not the kind of place she would willingly send her dying daughter for treatment. They are considering a hospitalization only plan for her until the exchange opens up again but the inpatient only plans don't cover neurological conditions once that's officially what she has. I feel bad. My dad is so negative about 'Obamacare'. Its sort of pushed my parents a little more in to being vocally less leftist / more libertarian. My dad likes to rant at me about how I don't pay for the 'true cost' of my insurance and I'm like 'duh.' Before the health exchange they were straight up uninsured. I grew up uninsured, like my parents didn't even get WIC or medicaid benefits for my siblings and I, because I have no idea why. Who insures you and for how much is such a politicised choice in the US. You're either freeloading, or wasting other people's money, or something. So irksome. I think my dad wouldn't be dragging his feet with my mom's disability application if he didn't feel so bad about not being able to just cut all the checks himself. Healthcare is a human right. Not just affordable healthcare. I know that systems in other Western countries aren't perfect and still cause a lot of election drama probably but at least it's there. :-/
Just here to echo the sentiments of the crowd. Taking out a private loan over a Federal loan if it's available to you is not a good decision. Private lenders are rapacious and inflexible. If you miss a payment you are the same to them as someone who missed a car or mortgage payment. You would honestly be better off putting your tuition on a credit card instead of a private loan if you could, because at least there you have bankruptcy available if necessary and can get airline miles lol. You're going to be spending money on interest in the long run anyway. So who do you want your money to go to, the federal government, or Citibank.
I bike to work sometimes, but even in NYC it's tough unless you can afford to live close to work. My commute on a bike is 17.5 miles round trip. I don't like to leave early enough to change clothes at work so I bike in whatever I can wear that's bike appropriate and work appropriate. It's freaking far though. If I do it more than a few times a week I'm a total zombie by Friday.
I have a former coworker, who naively couldn't stop bragging about the unlimited vacation days rule at the new agency she worked for. The thing is she was the most inefficient person on our team before she left, and is now struggling to keep up with her accounts billable hours. Unlimited vacation does not equal nonstop vacations. It means that if you do your job well, your company rewards you by not teetotaling your time off.
@Sloane I will mention legal aid to my dad, I did mention lawyers once and my parent's response was something like 'lawyers are for people who don't need disability' :-/