Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Could Be Selfish


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A few times in my life, I have actually had friends assume my parents have money because of our home. I have yet to understand these assumptions. We live in a typical, southern, suburban neighborhood. All the homes look the same, and we live in an unoriginal, split-level house. It is not as if my younger brother and I have gotten everything we wanted as children, but if my father could afford it, he would try to get it for us on birthdays and holidays. We have nice things, but it is not because every weekend my dad shuffles out more money for nice things, nor does my father dig into debt to attain these luxuries. We simply take care of what we have so it lasts. Did you know, I still have my Super Nintendo?

Last semester, I found one reason to enjoy loans and the financial aid system: excess financial aid checks! For those who do not know how the system works, Financial Aid will give the student a statement with an amount of money they are offering to pay for school for the upcoming semester. Once the amount is paid, if Financial Aid sets aside more than the price for the semester, then the student will receive a check for the excess amount. My excess check was more than satisfactory in the fall, and January 11 is when I begin my spring semester. As nice as it was to receive the check, I remember the bulk of it just going straight to my bank account. Unfortunately, it is not sitting safely there anymore. I am starting to wonder about the fate of my next check, which has been predicted to be even bigger than the previous.

My father will be starting a new job soon. He got accepted into the Police Academy with the local police department, and we are all really excited for him! He hates his job and hardly has any time to sleep because of his horrible schedule. As he gets older, this job will only do more bad than good--it could seriously hurt him physically if he does not get out soon. Earlier today, he pulled me aside and asked me about the check. For the record, I do not mind if my father asks me about it. To be honest, the money in my bank account is actually his. That was the deal: we sell my car to my aunt--who really needed one--and he puts the money in my bank account. And as I go through school, he would add more. It is basically the same situation as my friends in school who get checks from family so they can go waste it on club entrance fees and whatever else they do that I do not. So, if my father cannot put money into the bank account or wants to borrow a little, I say nothing. I always tell him, "Daddy, I didn't work for the money like you did. It's yours. Take it if you need it." I say this knowing he will always put more back--and he does. Now, my father is wondering if he could use some of the money from my future excess financial aid check in case something happens at work.

Though the check is bigger, I found myself feeling apprehensive about answering. I told him I would give him an answer when I actually see the check. Though my school's Financial Aid office predicts the check to be bigger than my fall check, something could change between now and then. I want to be selfish and say "no." I want to say, "Daddy, I need to build-up my bank account again, and I need the check." But who am I kidding? The only time I would ever "need" the money is when my parents cannot afford the movie ticket for me while I am home on break. I have it pretty easy. I have no bills. I still live at home when I am not at school, and I do not even have a car to drive--or my license, for that matter--so what is it benefiting me if I get to keep the money or not? It just means I have money in an account which will only be touched to spend on dinners with friends and birthday presents for loved ones. I am being selfish. Even when I have said "yes" in the past, I was expecting to see the money again.

He can have the money. He needs it. If something did happen with his job, my family would need the money, and if I am holding onto a big chunk of money and not sharing with the people who are keeping the roof over my head, the best way to resolve my selfish behavior would be to kick me out and make me live off of the money until the well runs dry--at least, I would probably do the same with my kid. I always said if I were ever capable of a cushion life, I would not live like it. I would be sensible with my loads of money, and I would share a large amount with my parents and my church. If I am being apprehensive with money I did not even earn, how will I ever be able to share money I did earn with the two who deserve it the most like I originally planned? It is time to relinquish ideas of cushion in my bank account when it matters least and help my father when it matters most.

11 comments:

  1. kudos to you! I get to join that college life style next year. Money is a scary thought. You just reminded me that I need to apply for FAFSA this weekend.

    How do are you in college, and still not have your license? lol.

    Have a nice day!

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  2. Well, I'm 3 hours away from home and without a car so it wouldn't do me any good now would it? Haha.

    Good luck to you in college!

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  3. I am kinda selfish with the money in my bank account. Unlike your situation. It's all MY money. And with my job, my account is growing, which I'm happy about. Unfortunately, my mom treats it like HER money. She won't let me touch any of it because "my grades are slipping." I guess the fact that the letters "AP" appear in front of all my core classes mean nothing. She doesn't understand that it's normal for grades to be slipping and therefore, I am not allowed to touch my own money. Although, I have figured out a way to cash my checks without requiring her consent so it's not all bad.

    That's very generous of you though. You're a good person for doing what you're doing.

    You still don't have a license? Do you at least have a learner's permit?

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  4. Thanks, friend, haha. I guess I just owe them, haha. All those years of childhood mooching off of 'em. They keep saying I'll owe them one day for what they put up with from me, anyway, hahaha.

    That does kinda suck that your mom still treats it like your money. :\ But at least you got the check thing figured out.

    And yeah, I have my permit. But when you don't even have a car and you go to school almost three hours away, there's no time for it nor any point.

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  5. You're a lovely person, and you did the right thing I'd say!

    Happy new year!
    loves

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  6. Oh the trials & advantages of Financial Aid & ohhhh the troubles. I've been there. I agree kudos to you!! Best wishes to you father on the new job!! =)

    I am so jealous that you still have your Super Nintendo. I really need to find of those ASAP.

    Oh I loved your comment on my post. One day I think it was Jan semester in 05' I wrote Jan. 2003. My teacher gave me back my paper & was like *Cough* can you correct this? I was like huh?? Yeah.....it was bad. hehe. GOod luck on this next semester!! =)

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  7. Toothfairy: Thanks so much! :D Happy New Year to you too!

    Melanie: YOU SHOULD GET ONE! It's amazing!!! Hahaha... I've had teachers do that before, too. :P It's pretty funny but makes you feel dumb at the same time. :|

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  8. You could always take a portion of that money (I'm not sure how much it is) if it's a pretty big chunk of change and put it on a CD. Take like 500 (if you're able) or even 100 and put it on a CD that way you'll have money locked away and it'll go up with interest. :-) Daddy can use the rest and you'll still have some set aside that you can either renew the CD every 6-9 months or however long you choose to keep it on the CD or you can take the money after the first cycle (of course you could take it sooner with a few bucks taken for getting the money early).

    And YAY! for your dad being a cop! That's SO exciting! Just let him know NOT to pull me over :-D

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  9. Hahaha, I'll make sure to not let him pull you over, haha.

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