Today, Jersey's favourite socialite-turned-Agony Aunt has been called upon again, this time to advise a skint university student.
Fenella Bond had this to say to 'Broke from Brelades' ...
Hey girl, hey! I’m a student at university and I’m absolutely skint. I’ve made some awesome friends who I get on with so well. The only problem is they seem to have so much more disposable income than I do. They’re always getting their nails done and eating out and I feel embarrassed that I can’t afford to join in. They offer to pay for me quite a lot and I feel like their offers are genuine, but I always refuse – am I being too proud, or should I stick to my guns?
I don’t like feeling like a charity case, but I do hate missing out on all these fun hangouts. What should I do? Tell me what to do, Agony Auntie! I need you!!
Loads a’ love,
Broke from Brelades xxx
Thanks for your sweet letter. It broke my heart to think this is making you feel so different at a time when you’re supposed to be focusing on creating great friendships and memories that will last for a lifetime. Going to university was one of the best times of my life, second only to my gap year yoga tour around Bali where I met my now lifelong bestie and supermodel sister-from-another-mister, Gigi Hadid. Ahh, good times.
Now, I know what you’re thinking... what wisdom could Fenella Bond possibly have to impart about being skint at university? It’s true that I am not-so-secretly wealthy. I am so rich that I wear white jeans. I’m so rich that my childhood dog had an occupational therapist. I’m so rich that my hair has never been greasy in public. I’m so rich that... okay, I think you get the picture.
Pictured: "Girl, you shouldn't miss out just because you're skint, go get your nails done and go shopping with them, and just accept their money!"
Whilst I am the epitome of influencer glam and lots of people want to be me, there is something very few people know about me, which means I really connect with your church mouse narrative, Broke. It’s not easy to admit this, but a couple of years after I graduated from a degree in Fashion Sociology and Nutrition Science, my parents (oh my gosh it’s actually really hard to type this...) my parents CUT ME OFF.
Wow, this is a real dark memory to return to, but my main passion in life is to help people (and to own more tailored designer jumpsuits) so I’m going to dig deep and tell you this story in the hopes it makes you feel better about your situation.
I was a carefree graduate with great skin, great prospects and a great unpaid internship at a fashion house that my dad had organised for me. I didn’t have a care in the world, until my parents sat me down one day and broke the news that I needed to start supporting myself. They wanted to like “teach me a lesson” and “make me understand the value of money” or whatever. I was distraught. I had half a mind to call Childline but I was over 18 so I just had to deal with it.
I have never been so scared in all my life. I had to fend for myself in this cruel and crazy world for like eight months before I managed to guilt my parents into paying my allowance again, but I survived! And so will you.
I’m sure this is a really relatable anecdote for you, and you can find a great deal of comfort, that your idol Agony Auntie too was once a broke 20-something just trying to get by.
As for your question, you’re basically asking whether or not you should accept money off your rich friends to pay for a lifestyle you can’t afford. Just do me a favour and read that last sentence once over again. And again. Okay, now tell me precisely why on Earth you wouldn’t accept their money?
Pictured: "Rich people love spending money, it is their favourite hobby, they wouldn't even think twice about paying for you."
Despite my conservative upbringing, my political leanings are very much part of the school of pragmatic socialism. If you can’t eat the rich then you should definitely eat with the rich. Why shouldn’t they pay for you to get your nails done? When you’re rich and successful I’m sure you’ll repay the favour and even if you don’t then you shouldn’t feel bad.
Speaking as a very wealthy person, spending money is our very favourite thing to do. It’s literally our love language! Let your friends pay for you and don’t miss out on your student life – it’ll be so much more fun than sticking to your principles and being both lonely AND poor.
If you’re not comfortable with them paying for you all the time, then I would also suggest that there are lots of free activities that you can enjoy together. Here are just a few ideas for inspo.
That’s just off the top of my head, but I know you’ll think of loads of awesome stuff to get stuck into. Be creative, be free and don’t feel guilty for letting your cool new friends spoil you! Worrying is so bad for your skin.
Good luck and love you loads,
Auntie Fenella xxx