There are many positive aspects of student life, first of all nobody really expects you to help out with the big family faalavelave's (family crises) back home. Nobody expects you to send money home regimently and even better nobody questions where your money goes.
So where did my go?
I remember when I was an undergrad student in Australia. Townsville, Queensland to be exact,... yep home of the lame North Queensland Cowboys ( maybe they are better by now I don't know) anyways on with the story we would get like $640.00AUD a fortnight and that back then was pretty big (it was helluva lot more than what some degree holders were making back home in Samoa)
Still for the life of me, I can not recall where my money went. I did not smoke (still don't), stopped drinking (when most normal people perhaps just started), wasn't into drugs (couldn't afford them *jokes*) so, it was a toss up between the movies, renting out videos & playstation games, food, soda's, maccas, KFC, new books, shoes, CD's and phone..phone and more phone bills.
My flatmate at the time Miss Tine Faasili (now married to Ben from the Cook Islands) and I would survive on cereal for a couple of days till we get our money. We receive our stipends every second Friday and usually it is in the bank by 12:00 midnight. Sometimes Tine and I would walk to Maccas around 11:30 pm by the time we reach the ATM our money would be in and we would gleefully take some out and walk straight into McD's for a yummy cheese burger. (By this time you could almost hear my tummy grumble out a Thank You)
Well after that, I figured the next time (If I would be so fortunate to procure another scholarship) I would be able to budget my money as I'd be older, hopefully wiser (ummm..not..) uh huh wishful thinking.. My first year here in Japan that would be 2003, three times I found myself living on coins and scrounging for every bit of food I could find in my cupboard. Nydia, Koyu and I would empty our piggy banks together and count all we could find and figure out what we could buy that would last us till our allowance comes in. We'd empty all our drawers, check all the pockets in our pants, jackets, tshirts.
One time Nydia found one can of pisupo (corned beef) on top of her shelf n that made our day. We also scavenged from the cupboards of our other mates and set up a "Save Nydia, Koyu & Tupe Fund." (that was so hilarious) One time we divested Mitch of all his meat, potatoes, rice anything edible we could find. We learned to live on small morsels of food without complaining. We figured out how to make a meal from scratch. Learned to go without soda,smokes,chips n chocolates for almost a week and refrained from making overseas phone calls.All the while not losing a single pound which was quite baffling!! We had gotten so good at living on almost nothing we could have gone on the Survivor Show and wiped the floor clean with all 'em contestants.
Now it is a little better, still not making any savings but we are comfortable. My husband has baito (part time work) which has really helped. He has offered to pay for mine and baby's airfares home when the time comes so we are thankful. I use my stipend to pay for our bills and food and other stuff.
Student life is as exciting as it is a struggle financially and otherwise. I just hope that it pays off and that I will be able to find a good job that can provide for the needs of my family. I am eagerly awaiting the day I am able to spare that one cent which I will happily deposit into my starving savings account. But until then I will gladly live on rice and soy sauce should I ever get into another financial jam again..lol..if not I can always turn in these two and claim my reward. (Jokes)
Well folks should you, want to rid yourself of any extra cash my postal account is ready and waiting ha!ha!