Can't afford to study when the bills are so expensive

My landlord is raising my rent in November (legally they cannot raise it any sooner). The cost of rent and food is so high, I’m thinking about selling my car in the summer and using an e-scooter to get around. I estimate that I’d need to work 4 days a week just to pay for rent and food alone, never-mind owning a car, using a laundromat when the washing machine breaks down, or paying my phone bill.

How does a person study a degree, even a part-time programme, while working 4 days a week?

Also it’s nearly impossible to save any money.

When I go to job interviews for forklift and trucking work they say to me “wow you only pay ______ per week”. Then I have to explain to them that I share a house where there are 10 tenants and only one kitchen. Yesterday at 7.30am the smoke alarm went off because a tenant burned his breakfast in the kitchen downstairs. Then I began to get frustrated, because a family who recently arrived from overseas has a 5 year old daughter who keeps running up and down the hallway, screaming and crying every morning and every night. Then later that day they tried to shower her and she was screaming even more because I think she isn’t used to the shower.

The noise of children is so loud that I have to increase my volume to hear any tutorial videos that I’m watching. The only way to get cheaper rent would be to move my PC and my guitars and everything I own to my mum’s house, and live in a student flat with 17 year olds. Except I’m 32 years old so I’d never do that.

I always wanted to become a programmer but I was depressed in high school. In my twenties I ended up bouncing jobs as a forklift driver, working unbearable jobs under intense pressure for multiple different companies, and doing odd jobs for temping agencies. I haven’t saved any money to pay for tuition, I have only enough money in the bank to pay the next two weeks rent and I guess I’ll never own a house either.

When I bring this up, people just attack me and blame me for this situation. It’s not my fault that rent is so expensive. Landlords and residents associations have successfully lobbied the council to only permit 1-2 storey houses, so there’s no apartments even though the region here has 400,000 population.

The need to pay my bills is a permanent distraction from being able to focus on anything. I have to attend job interviews and search for jobs, because I’m on the unemployment benefit. So I spend time driving out to job interviews only to get rejected because my work history is scattered. I have gaps on my CV between jobs and I don’t have any “perfect” references. I never worked for the same role for more than 10 months because the forklift and distribution centre work is stressful. The expectations are so high and if I make the smallest mistake or get a customer complaint, I end up in the manager’s office and I lose sleep. It’s not even worth it.

This theme has been repeating for 10 years now and I can’t find a way out. I have to keep looking for work, else I have to ask my parents for money, which I don’t like doing because I’m an adult now. If the economy ever improves, I hope I can get cheaper rent and a decent job, then move to another country.

In the past week I’ve looked for more jobs as a forklift driver. Most of these jobs require a drugs test. So I drink black coffee and water and sit around awkwardly for 2-3 hours after the job interview just to urinate. It’s so uncomfortable, I usually just leave and forget about whatever job I was applying for. Last week I had an interview with an agency, I had filled out nearly all the forms and suddenly they said I had to pass a urine test. I had just gone to the toilet before the interview. I asked them if I could do a blood test, but they said they aren’t qualified as nurses, so it has to be a urine test. I said I can visit a clinic and have my blood taken and sent to another place at my own expense, but they kept on repeating themselves “oh we can’t do that because we aren’t nurses”. even though I said I’d use a 3rd party that has qualified staff.

I don’t think I’ll learn much at the rate I’m going. Everything is stressful and I keep worrying about money, and what kind of stupid job I’ll end up working next. My “best” job was working for 5 months in a hardware store, selling and cutting timber for tradesmen. I had this psycho customer who complained that I took too long to cut his timber. I took about 40 or 50 minutes for this one task, but it’s not fair because we were short staffed and I had to move very heavy timber on my own, which is exhausting and time-consuming. The company does nothing because the owner is like 70 years old and he just doesn’t think that anything we say matters.

Despite all this I’m quite proud of my blue-collar record. Most people though that because I’m slightly autistic, I would be a genius programmer, but instead I spent all my twenties hauling freight and biffing timber onto 4WD/utes/trucks (whatever your dialect is :grin:) I also have a pretty awesome sense of humour despite nearly being crushed to death after falling 1 metre on a forklift and landing at JUST the right angle to not lose my arm.


Stuck in a boarding house with screaming children and noise from other tenants, can’t even cook my own food half of the time, can’t move out because the rental market is too tight and jobs don’t pay enough to get me my own flat. Would love to focus but the struggle with money and the social welfare agency is never ending, I have to attend interviews, update my cv, pretend to be interested in jobs that I know I’m not going to get. The economy is dog’s crap and obviously, I was born in the wrong year.

People who live in luxurious suburbs and have a family, multiple cars and 2 dogs tell me “society owes you nothing”. I’m pretty sure it’s a veiled-insult.

Anyway, shout out to all of you who are surviving in this garbage economy! The daily struggle is real. I know heaps of guys my age are stuck with few prospects in life. One day millennials will start to manage companies, and finally we’ll get managers who understand us.

this may or may not sound harsh. I don’t mean anything. I am just giving you honest feedback.

I remember when I was struggling with a thing. I tried to ask someone about it. My friend just said one thing. He said, “Man, you are full of excuses.”

It hit me when he said that. Now I just think of that all the time when I feel like something is impeding me and I just find a way to work my way around it. I think they people don’t really have an ear to listen to what someone one is going through that deeply(in some cases, not all). Our concentration is comprehension is not that well, and we will just hear the excuses if you know what I mean.

Some people may even feel like what you are going through is not that bad because they are going through worse or they know someone who is going through worse.

My advice is just to try to do a little each day. Get on the website and check off ten boxes a day. Ten boxes is not that difficult at all. It will go a long way.

Listen to other people’s stories for motivation. I have heard stories on this app’s podcast about people doing 12 years in prison and still coming to this app to study and still finding a job. People being homeless and then learning how to code…people being homeless while learning how to code and then finding a good job after. Just listen to freecodecamps podcast when you are down



thanks, I wasn’t aware of the podcast, even though it was probably on the front page :joy:

edit: my goal for this week is to not apply for a single job :+1:


I don’t understand your problem.
You are a simple worker with minimal skills. That is, you can find a job anywhere in the country. Find a suitable job and suitable housing in any city in the country and live as you like.
If you do not like the area in which you work, change this area. If you don’t like warehouses, go to assembly plants. If you don’t like assembly plants, go to farms. If you don’t like farms, go for CNC machines. All these professions are easy to master.
Go go go :+1: :+1:

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Getting by and changing careers can both be very difficult. Getting a degree and working at the same time definitely can be very difficult as well.

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@88viktora I’ve heard similar advice from an economist on TV many years ago, who said people should travel to find work. The problem is that petrol costs a lot of money, so while I could work at a tourist spot, the cost of getting around would be incredibly expensive. There’s also no such thing as “suitable housing”. When I think of the words suitable housing, I think of an $80,000 NZD apartment or a $130,000 NZD stand-alone 2 bedroom flat in Orenburg.

Where I live there are only a small handful of over-priced rental properties, each with a dozen people applying. In the smaller towns and cities there are no rental properties at all. People are worried that they’ll be forced to sleep in their car if the landlord kicks them out. Some regions desperately need tradesmen, but there are no rental properties, so nobody is willing to work. It’s beyond stupid. The politicians and the older voters think that nothing is better for the country, than putting a freeze on building 3 storey houses, and making house prices go up every year due to artificial scarcity. The banks love it too.

@JeremyLT I’ve come to the realisation that nobody is ever safe from this. I grew up with hardship and lots of physical work, but some people went to uni when they were 17 and got a “profession” at age 21 (even if they’re no good at it and merely answer the phones). If the tourism business improves, and I somehow can afford a hybrid car, then I’m getting out of town for sure… so long as my computers and guitars can be stored safely. This is just an economic downturn which won’t last forever. I’ve had the misfortune of living week-to-week for most of my life, so now I can handle anything.

I can empathize with your hardships, though you may not belief this, since I am in that ‘around 70 year old, never listen to younger people, group’. While I can empathize, and no disrespect or judgment are meant, I need to speak now.
Affordable housing is an issue around the world, currently, I think. I know it is where I live,too. Once you complete your training through freeCodeCamp, I believe, you could get employment that would allow you to live in a better standard than currently.
Many, many of the people that are blessed enough to have access to freeCodeCamp, such as you and me, and all of the others, have made a decision that ‘life as it is needs to be changed’. We are fortunate to be able to study and improve our knowledge and, for people still young enough and able to change professions, careers.
When I was younger, I did everything imaginable to work and learn while raising my own family alone. When I retired, I had managed to have ‘what others classified as’ a respectable job. For me, every job I ever did was respectable, as long as I always provided 100% of my abilities to it.
What I am trying to say is ‘No matter any circumstances, you have decided to upgrade your education to make your life better.’ I applaud you for that!
You, like all of us, will find the rewards of the efforts made to study worth far more than the sacrifices needed to get there.
As one of the previous posts stated, even a little bit each day will get you through. And, as you see, there is an amazing Forum Community to help if you need the help. But, always try your best first. Keep working towards your goal, SelfTaught1! It is more than worth it! No matter what others think or say, including me, You are the only one in control of you life, and you know what direction you want to take.

I agree with housing. But any problem, except death, can be solved. Look for a job in the farm industry. They usually provide accommodation for free. Contact the authorities with a demand to unfreeze construction sites (if just waiting nothing will change)

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There’s no chance of me working on a farm. I’ll be a bum if I have to. Nobody is going to take me away from the computer and internet. Being unemployed is sometimes the way to go.

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