Like many students out there, my daughter survives on OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) to go to university. Learning to deal with finances is quite difficult for some students, they are away from home for the first time and all of a sudden they have numerous bills to pay. If living on campus in residence, finances are somewhat easier to deal with, especially if you check off the box that says OSAP will pay your tuition and residence fees directly to the college/university. This also holds true if you are living off campus, tuition will be paid automatically to the school, but you are then left with a large sum to budget for rent, food, hydro, heat, internet, etc., and it is never enough to live on. When my eldest first lived off campus, she basically starved because there was barely enough money for food after bills were paid. She budgeted extremely well, but was only left with roughly seven dollars a day for food. She did not have a lot of fresh produce in her fridge.
Now when middle child rented her first apartment, things did not go as smoothly because as she is aware, she has a problem with spending and thus her money did not last the five months before the next instalment of OSAP. During the second term, mom was given control of her money and things went far smoother, though the last couple of months were difficult and mom had to dig deep in her own pockets to give middle child money for food. There were continually phone calls that she was starving and needed $50 for food. On one such occasion, she begged and begged, crying that she had no food until I finally broke and deposited money into her back account.
Well, a few weeks went by, and lo and behold, what did mom find out? Middle child had used the grocery money to buy a puppy off of Kijiji. Granted she saved ‘Bear’ from a horrible life but really a dog when you are a struggling student? After her father and I got over the initial anger because she rationalized the hell out of her decision to get a puppy, we accepted the fact that a dog would make her happier, since she suffered from depression and was very far from home, but alas, we had another mouth to feed.