Tag Archives: poor

LV Costs What??

21 Apr

I have this totally awesome friend (who is awesome even though she doesn’t read my blog πŸ˜› ) who is getting me a freakin amazing birthday / Christmas present this year. My birthday is Dec 23rd and she never ever gets me combo presents but this one is above and beyond and in reality should be her present to me for two or three years, not just one. She talked to me about it before going ahead with it, which is how I know about it so far in advance, and I was completely blown away.

Well obviously I want to get her something totally beyond anything I have gotten her in the past, because even though it won’t compare with what she is getting me I have to do my best on my smaller budget.

She really loves designer purses and shoes and I had this oh so brilliant idea to get her a designer purse. Now, I don’t know a whole hell of a lot about designer purse brands except that I can’t afford them normally but for this, well, I’ll save, and it’ll be worth it, and really, just how much could they possibly be?

Ha! What silly naive thoughts I had!

I watched a bunch of YouTube videos of people talking about their various designer purses to get an idea of which were good and which were found to be lacking and it seemed Louis Vuitton was super popular and almost never disappointed people. I also learned women collect LV stuff like it is going out of style, or like it is some sort of investment or something which has led me to believe that some people have way too much money and if any of them read this feel free to donate to the cause of moi! πŸ˜‰ lol

After getting it in to my head that I’d get her a LV clutch or something similar I went to the LV website and almost had a heart attack as soon as the page for wallets loaded. The first wallet that popped up was this one…

louis-vuitton-wallet

Want to know how much this wallet costs? Go on, guess, I dare you!

This, the Sarah Wallet is $1030.00, Canadian.

Seriously? For a wallet?!

After the shock dimmed a bit I skimmed through some more of the website and kept blinking in disbelief as I saw the prices scroll by.

I feel so poor now lol

And yeah, I may love my friend to bits and pieces but no way I am getting her a LV anything cuz there is nothing on that site that is a price I can ever afford.

So now I am back to square one for what to get her, I have a couple months so I’m sure I’ll think of something but wow, what an eye opener for how the other half live. πŸ˜›

National Student Loan Service Centre Rant

22 Sep

Never have I been so angered by a company as I have been over the years by the National Student Loan Service Centre, which for anyone outside of Canada or lucky enough to not have Government Student Loan debt within Canada is the evil entity that you have to deal with when paying back your student loans.

They are ridiculous.

The amount of times they have made errors when dealing with my file that have negatively impacted me and instead of correcting the error, or even just saying sorry (and meaning it) I have to redo a bunch of paperwork I already properly filled out and resubmit it even though I submitted it on time originally aaaaand then I have to hope they decide to be lenient because now I am submitting paperwork late and they could decide to penalize me for it.

Seriously, ridiculous!

The latest in the saga of my dealings with NSLSC started a couple weeks ago, well, I suppose it actually started a month or so ago but I didn’t know about the screw up until a couple of weeks ago.

See, I can’t afford to make the full monthly payments on my student loan so every six months I fill out a form for Repayment Assistance. Basically I am telling them I am still too poor to make payments, they counter with a demand for proof of income, I send them pay stubs, they grudgingly agree and lower my monthly payments, and for six months things are ok.

The last time they assessed me I unfortunately had a month where I racked up a lot of overtime at work so the pay stubs I sent them showed my monthly earnings as far greater than they normally are. When they sent me my letter saying what my monthly payments would be they were waaaay higher than anything I could hope to afford so I called them and tried to explain that the pay stubs they had showed overtime that I don’t normally get. I told them my hourly wage and how many hours of work I get a week and requested they please base my monthly payment on that information, I even wrote them a letter explaining this in detail. They were less than helpful…which is my nice of way of saying the lady on the phone was a bitch who wouldn’t let me finish a sentence, constantly talked down to me and basically said I was on my own.

Where they find these people I don’t want to know!…Actually, yes I do, so I can cut off their source of staffing!

So I tried making the stupid high payments and couldn’t. I called in again, got a different person who said I could request to be re-assessed and that might mean I get a lower monthly payment so of course I said I wanted to do that. I had ten days to fill out the appropriate form, fax it in with supporting documentation, and hope they decided to be nice. I faxed the paperwork the next day but didn’t hear anything from them so on the tenth day I called to confirm they had it and the guy I spoke with said it wasn’t in my file but if I faxed it in that day it would still be there on time and I would be ok. So I faxed it immediately and made sure I got a copy of the fax confirmation print out. I breathed a sigh of relief and then waited to see what they would do.

They are not always the fastest moving organization so it isn’t like I was expecting to hear from them right away, and while they prefer people upload things to their site or fax them they choose to send snail mail to student loan borrowers so I knew I had at least a week before I’d get a letter.

I didn’t forget about it exactly but since I knew I had to wait for a letter from them I stopped having the situation be at the top of my mind. I went on vacation, did my normal stuff, then randomly a couple weeks ago I get a letter saying I owe them over $400 dollars asap, my credit rating is being screwed up because of this and blah blah blah.

What the hell??

I called them and asked what was going on, I explained I had faxed in the paperwork and had been waiting for a letter saying what my new payments are and never received one and all of a sudden I get this letter and I didn’t understand what was happening. The lady I was speaking with said they never received the paperwork so my file reverted back to my owing the original monthly payment amount and I was actually owing them over $600 now.

Luckily I keep all my paperwork so I said I know they got the paperwork because I have the fax confirmation print out and they received it on such n such date and such n such time. I wanted to say “so there!” and stick out my tongue but I was trying to be polite lol So she then puts me on hold to check my account and when she comes back she is all “we have the paperwork you faxed in”, then she said some mumbo jumbo and asked me a couple questions and informed me I could resubmit the request to be reassessed with new proof of payment for the previous month and basically we can start the whole freakin process over again!

Sooooo, they got the paperwork, on time!, didn’t do anything with it, didn’t send me a letter saying what was going on, adversely affected my credit rating because they show I am late on over $600 worth of payments and now I am the one who has to redo everything, in the hopes they actually do their job this time??

How is this fair?

Of course I did what they wanted, not like I have a choice, sigh. This time though instead of faxing I did everything on their website, theoretically it is supposed to be faster.

So I go online, fill out the form, I have to upload the pay stubs which I can’t do for 5 days because I have to scan them at work and email them to myself first but once the form is started it will stay in the system for 30 days waiting for the additional information. It says this right at the top of the screen, 30 days! So not even a week after I fill in that form I go to upload the pay stubs and my form is gone, disappeared from the system, as if I never did it, wtf?

Filling out the form isn’t a huge deal but why did it disappear? What’s going on here?

I redo the form, upload the pay stubs and figure finally this madness will start coming to an end, well…no…because I went to check on the process today and my form is still there but somehow, magically, the pay stubs I uploaded to my file are gone…so the file is incomplete because the system is waiting for the pay stubs.

I swear I am about to rip out my hair!

I uploaded the pay stubs, again, and have absolutely NO faith it will matter or that my file will be processed or that they won’t screw something else up.

How oh how does this organization still get to operate?

student loan

Sorry for the ranting, I just really needed to vent about this!

Eagle Ridge Fitness

12 Feb

Two weeks ago I saw an ad for Eagle Ridge Fitness on my facebook news feed. I don’t know what made me click on it but I did and it led me to a video showing all these normal people who had joined Eagle Ridge Fitness and had lost weight, toned muscle and just in general gotten in better shape using this gym.

eagle ridge fitness

 

I called them, asked some questions, and ended up making an appointment for a one-on-one consultation. It was supposed to be last week but I pushed it to this week because I was still too sick last week to go.

Google Map lied to me, it said it was a 35 minute drive but it was longer, plus Google Map sent me to the wrong address so not only was the drive longer than 35 minutes, it was even longer due to me going to the wrong place. Lovely. *rolls eyes*

I was super late for my appointment, luckily the lady I was meeting was understanding about my getting lost, also lucky for me she didn’t have an appointment directly after mine so there was wiggle room for me to be late.

The place is super small, and it isn’t like a traditional gym. You don’t just drop in whenever you feel like it, you choose two days a week that you go in, and you pick a specific time, so say, every Monday and Wednesday at 7pm, That is your time slot and you are expected to be there, if you don’t show they call you to ask where you were – so you are definitely held accountable! You work out with the same people each time you go so you start to feel like a team (so I was told). The workouts are partially tailored to what your goals are, the classes are kept small, 8 people max per session, and the trainers know in advance of any injuries or medical problems you have so they can take those in to account when devising your workout plan.

The second part of their program is about nutrition. They give you a welcome package when you join that has recipes, a generalized meal plan, information on what you should be eating, in what portion, things like that. They also require you to keep a food journal that they look at every month, that is partly to help keep you accountable to what you are eating and also, if you are eating properly and you don’t lose weight in a month then they know to tweak your program. Sounds like a good idea, it helps you avoid plateauing. The lady I spoke with said it takes a couple of weeks for your personalized meal plan to be made, that is why they give you the generalized plan when you join.

All in all I liked what I was told about this program. I don’t like how far of a drive it is from where I live but I’ve driven farther distances for things less important than my fitness and health so the distance isn’t, in my opinion, a good reason to not join.

A truly excellent reason to not join, and my reason for not joining, is the cost. You can either sign up for a year, for 6 months or month-to-month. If you sign up month-to-month it is approx $300/month, the 6 month contract is two hundred something per month and the year long contract is $191 a month. Talk about out of my price range! I asked why it is so much more expensive than a gym membership and the response was it is combining a nutrition plan and personal trainer in to one program, so instead of a person joining a gym and paying for a Weight Watchers membership (as an example) they just join one program and get both, for less. Um…no. Just no. lol. Least not for me. I have access to Weight Watchers material without paying for a membership, so I’m saving money there, and the cost of my local gym is nowhere near what they are estimating. Sure, I don’t have a personal trainer, and sure I don’t have someone creating a program just for me, and sure this means my results will come slower, and sure I don’t have someone calling me when I skip the gym and getting on my case so that I never skip again, but I also don’t have an extra $200-$300 a month to pay for someone to hold my hand while I try to get in shape.

If I had the money I would probably give them a try, it’s not that I think their approach is all that original or amazing, but I think there are times in your life where you need a nudge, heck, a full on push, to get you on your way. I know I need to exercise more, even if I don’t have an amazing workout plan figured out I should at least be running three times a week and doing some basic muscle work if only to keep active, but I don’t. I also know my eating sucks and trying to figure out how to get that back on track leaves me feeling confused and a little lost, which oddly enough leads me to eating bad food in a weird attempt to make myself feel better…using food for comfort, not a good plan!…and yet, I do it, sigh.

But none of that matters, because I don’t have the money. I had a moment where I thought I could maaaybe afford one month, use that as a kick in my butt to get me in a routine of working out, then take what they taught me and do it on my own, but since you don’t get your personalized meal plan until 2-3 weeks in, and from the sounds of it the first month is sort of a learning curve not only for you but for them knowing what works best for you, in order to get anything out of this place you should really go for longer than a month and that I know I can’t afford. I figure, no point in straining to find the pennies to pay for one month when it takes two or more months to really get results.

So for now I will stick with my outdoor walks, my dragon boat practices and my attempts to get my lazy self to the gym – I may not get results as quickly as I would if I was signed up with Eagle Ridge Fitness but I’m determined to get results, even if it does take me a little longer than I’d like. πŸ™‚

Determination-1

No More Back Up Plan

11 Apr

You may recall a short while ago I blogged about thinking about going back to University, specifically, going to Law School. I was torn between being a grown up, sucking it up, and just going already and following my dreams and staying with the acting. I had almost convinced myself that I would start studying for the LSATs and take the necessary steps to apply. Β I would be a good lawyer, shrug, and I’m sure I would find it entertaining and challenging but it’s not acting. Nothing will ever be as good an option as acting. However, acting doesn’t pay very well unless you make it to the top and I’m sick and tired of being poor.

Turns out I don’t get to make the decision about going back to school, the government has chosen for me.

For those not in Canada let me explain how student loans work here. You apply, hopefully you get money, you go to school. Once you have been done school for a certain amount of time (6 months or a year, I can’t remember which) you are supposed to start paying back your student loans. However, if you are poor, which most recent graduates are, and not making a lot of money you can apply for Repayment Assistance. You send in a form, the people that manage the paying back of government student loans look at the form and decide if you are so poor you don’t have to make monthly payments.

I have always been that poor. 😦

When you qualify for Repayment Assistance the government pays the interest on your loan and you don’t have to make any payments, or you might have to make payments but small ones that are calculated based on what you earn.

Like I said, since graduation I have always been poor enough that I haven’t had to make monthly payments.

Well, the student loan people in all their “wisdom” have decided that I can now somehow magically afford to make monthly payments on my student loan. Uh, what?? I go a good 3 out of 4 weeks every month unable to buy groceries and only survive food wise because I work somewhere that has a kitchen and the chefs will feed me. I literally live paycheque to paycheque and now I have to find an extra $90 a month to give the student loan people??

student loans

Who does the math over there?? Do they not realize I live in a ridiculously expensive city? That I live on my own and therefore have to rely on my paycheque to pay for everything, no spouse/partner to help me out? That I have car payments? That I have other bills that I struggle to pay? Do they not realize that a person, no matter how little money they make, still needs to have enough left over every month so they can buy something fun otherwise they will go a little nuts?

The thing is, they know everything about me due to the nature of the organization. They have all kinds of info about me because of lending me money for school. They know what I earn, what my expenses are, where I live, the cost of living here, that I am human and sometimes need to buy something fun, they just don’t care.

They were more than willing to loan me money when I was younger, and stupider, and didn’t really grasp how hard life would be when I was done school, living on my own and trying to make ends meet and now that I am older, hopefully a bit wiser, and in the stage of life where I should be paying them back but can’t afford to, they don’t care.

They want their cut, just like everyone else and screw my need for groceries, rent, or anything else my money strains to pay for now.

As if that wasn’t mean enough the letter I got from them today telling me how much my monthly payments are also says:

“you are now restricted from future student financial assistance benefits, in the form of new student loans and grants should you decide to return to school in the future”

Huh.

So, even if I was the most gung-ho person ever with regards to going back to school it wouldn’t matter, cause I can’t afford it, they won’t give me money for it, and even if I somehow found a way to earn extra money I wouldn’t be allowed to save it up because they would increase how much I have to pay them every month.

While I can see the logic of not continuously loaning money out to people who can’t pay it back I can’t help but feel the system is flawed. I went to University, did well, decided to pursue an acting career, haven’t made money at it (yet!) and am now thinking about going to Law School. I’m pretty sure the argument can be made that lawyers will always be needed and it is a slightly more secure career path than acting, so you’d think they’d be ok with helping someone go to school so they can then earn a higher income which would enable them to not only be a more financially contributing member of society but also pay back their student loans.

But since the world isn’t run using my logic I must follow the rules they have set out, flawed as they are, which means no possibility of law school for me.

Good bye back up plan *waves somberly at UBC Law Department* guess I won’t be seeing you soon.

student loan meme

Sidenote: I am well aware not being able to pay back a student loan is a “first world problem” and I don’t mean to come off as a whiny, spoiled brat, I’m just frustrated with the student loan system. you can’t get a well paying job without a University education, you can’t get a University education without student loans, tuition keeps getting hiked up which means loan amounts keep getting hiked up but once you graduate the promised well paying jobs are not there and so you are shackled with a huge amount of debt, with a high interest rate, and a low paying job. All because you followed the rules that said going to University was the way to succeed. *rolls eyes*

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