The Perils of Being Paid $8000 a Month (By Your Parents)

I’m a big believer in mental health awareness, and part of that is being vulnerable and open about your struggles. So I’m not afraid to share that I, a jobless third year who gets paid $8000 a month by my parents and also uses their credit cards, have my financial struggles just like everyone else.

“But, Thuddeus,” you say, “$8500 a month is a lot of money. That’s enough to buy, like, 850 bananas.” I acknowledge my privilege and I’m aware that some other people at UChicago don’t get allowances nearly as big as mine. Hell, one of my friends doesn’t even get an allowance at all, just annual deposits from his trust fund and dividends from the stock portfolio his parents bought him. He’s practically impoverished.

And yet, despite my privilege, I too struggle with finances. One consequence of my $9500 a month allowance is that I suffer from class-based discrimination. Last quarter, I applied for aid from the bursar’s emergency fund to subsidize my new yacht purchase. Much to my chagrin, the school told me that I “don’t qualify for need-based aid” and that wanting a new yacht “does not constitute an emergency”.

Another time, I was having dinner with some of my friends on financial aid at Nobu, and they expected me to pay the bill. I feel lost, friendless, taken advantage of. Nowadays, whenever I go out with other people, I make sure to pick friends whose parents make at least seven figures.

Finally, my allowance has made me question my bond with my family. My brother, Chuddeus, got blackout drunk the other night and told me that our parents actually pay him in Shetland ponies and genuine Mona Lisas (he doesn’t know how they found so many).  Knowing this, I can’t help but question my relationship with them: do my parents just not love me enough? Wouldn’t they give me more if they did? The fact that my allowance is only $10000 has made me feel deeply insecure about my family relationships.

I’m not writing this to ask for pity, but I want people to know that I have my struggles too. So if you ever meet someone who’s struggling with money because their parents only pay them $15000 a month, have some compassion.