My very first apartment (South Williamsburg, 2002, when it was still kind of sketchy), our heat went out for several months, and we couldn't seem to get the landlord to fix it. Our landlord was Hassidic, and I realize now that there were probably some weird tensions based on our perceived class and its implications for the neighborhood's burgeoning gentrification, but it was very clear from our brief interactions with him that he did not have a great deal of respect for three girls barely in their twenties living alone. And so when the heat went out, it stayed out, in spite of all the strongly-worded letters we could send...and since we didn't pay for gas, my roommates and I would turn on the stove and leave the door open to warm the place up enough to be habitable in New York in the winter. Luckily we did not die from either fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. We discussed it with our upstairs neighbor--a woman who had been living in the building for a long time--and she told us that she had not paid rent for years, because she had asked for some repairs that the landlord was unwilling to make, because he determined that the repairs would, somehow, cost more than her rent was bringing in. I think everyone was happy with that situation but us.
@angry little raincloud Was this for a Ph.D? Did you have fellowships for the other years? I have to TA every semester...I need the money.
This all sounds very smart, but a lot of this is not applicable to Ph.Ds in the humanities, where good teaching evaluations are currency. Which means you have to commit more time and energy than you'd like to every little student crisis that comes along. Also, before going back to school, I worked for five years...in freelance film production. I actually make more money as a grad student.
One of my favorite weird things about Quebec (and maybe the rest of Canada?) is the prevalence of ethnic fast food chains--there's a Thai Express on every corner, Basha and Amir compete for the Mediterranean fast-food market (both have great mezze but shitty falafel), and the mall food court is full of Greek, Vietnamese, and Korean spots. Bonus: you can get a vegetarian (or even vegan) option nearly anywhere. No real Mexican food to speak of, though.
I am not now, nor have I ever been, on a family plan. I came here to say that I remember when people used to pay $600 for a CELL PHONE, and I still can't believe that it's a thing that happened.
@Sean Dailey@facebook Odds are good there are many small, poorly managed coffee shops out there...where was yours?
@Allison I had a job (small, poorly managed coffee shop) where I had more than one paycheck bounce. The first time was my second paycheck ever there. The other employees said "yeah, that happens here."
@Sebastien Dimichele@facebook Imperial Boots on Bleury and Sherbrooke!
I just came here to say *read* The Best of Everything, READ IT NOW.
@ECW I mean, I don't know what other kind of advice is out there, but that's why I'm not writing articles (ETA: or an e-book) providing negligibly useful advice about paying off student loans.