It would be a funny story, an urban legend, a story told in light conversation;
“Did you hear about the girl who blew a $90,000 education fund and then blamed her parents…”
It would be a funny story, if it were not so tragically sad.
“The Bert Show” is a radio program originating in Atlanta Georgia and syndicated in 11 states. Co-hosts Bert Weiss, Jeff Dauler and Kris Klingshirn were contacted by a 22-year old (going on 14) college student who wanted to tell her story.
“Kim”, the name she used on-air, did not give a last name and electronically disguised her voice. A good idea, it seems, in retrospect.
It is unclear why she called the radio show to divulge her secret. Perhaps she thought someone in the audience would give another $90,000. More than likely, she wanted to use the show to tell her folks, who didn’t yet know. Maybe she just wanted advice.
Three years ago, Kim started college with a $90,000 education fund which had been left to her by her grandparents. Now, hoping to enter her senior year, she has none of the money left to pay her remaining $20,000 tuition. The tuition bill has come in the mail and she has no way to pay it.
“I’ve just been avoiding it,” she said.
Her school’s financial aid office can’t help, so now she wonders if she should tell her parents.
“Where did the money go?” asks the radio co-hosts.
Well, Kim says, she bought “school clothes and stuff like that” ($90K for clothes?) and of course there was Spring Break.
“Where did you go for Spring Break, Bora Bora?” asked co-host Kristin Klingshirn.
“No, I took a trip to Europe,” replies Princess Kim. “The Europe thing was part of my education; that’s how I justified it.”
It looks like Princess Kim is about to learn an important life lesson; maybe.
When the radio hosts try to tell her she needs to come clean to her parents and take responsibility for her bad choices, she says: “I feel really stressed,”
but not once does she express remorse.
“Maybe I should not go back to school,” she suggests, as if her parents won’t notice she’s not at graduation next May. Honesty is not one of her strong points. Come to think of it, she doesn't have any strong points.
The co-hosts suggest she go to her parents and/or grandparents and ask for more money – really?
One suggests, “Tell your parents you are pregnant with triplets and it could be one of nine guys… Then tell them, 'No, not really, I just need another $20,000 for school.'”
When co-host Kristin Klingshirn suggests she show her parents her true character by becoming totally honest with them, Princess Kim says:
“Yea I know, but I feel like I’m gonna die. I’m so stressed.”
Unfortunately, it looks like she IS showing her true character.
They ask Princess Kim to call them back after telling her parents, so everyone can know what happens. She calls back a few days later and it’s not good.
“First of all,” says the Princess, “I didn’t blow it [the money]. I just spent it in different places.”
She goes on to say she took their advice and was totally honest with her parents.
“How did that go?” ask the radio co-hosts.
“My dad, I don’t know; He was a little bit of a jerk about it.” says Princess Kim. “He just chuckled, like I’m so stupid, or something.”
When asked if maybe she spent her $90K in a stupid way, Kim puts the blame on her parents;
Kim: “Maybe they should have taught me to budget or something….no, no I’m serious.”
“I told them they should loan me the money and I would pay them back over three years, with no interest.”
“My dad worked for like a million years, so I know they have it. He has a retirement account…”
“Then my parents suggested I go take out a loan at a credit union and I’m, like, how am I supposed to do that? That’s the thing; I have to go inside the bank to get a loan. I can’t even go online, which is what I have been doing for like a million years.”
It looks like this radio show has just discovered the Center of the Universe.
Princess Kim tells the radio hosts, “The bank is not going to give me a loan. I honestly think my parents just want me to beg.”
The Bert Show co-host Kristin Klingshirn finally tells Princess Kim that she needs to “Get your big-girl panties on” and take responsibility for herself.
Kim agrees to go into the bank to ask for a loan and promises to call “The Bert Show” to report her progress.
Surprise, the credit union won’t give her a loan because she has no way to pay it back. Her parents won’t co-sign the loan unless she gets a job. It’s a cruel, cruel world.
The co-hosts ask Kim if she considered getting a job.
“No,” answers Princess Kim, “My job is going to college, right now. I never planned to be working through college.”
“But, things have changed," says co-host Kris Klingshirn. “You no longer have the money. What if you get a part-time job?”
“No,” answers Kim. “The whole job thing is malarkey.”
The Bert Show co-host Jeff Dauler: "You could get a job for the school ...maybe the cafeteria's hiring."
Kim: "That’s embarrassing."
Co-host Kristin Klingshirn tells the Princess that she herself worked three jobs to get through college.
Kim: “Well, maybe I’ll tell my parents I’ll work as a stripper if they don’t give me the loan.”
In time, a loan gets approved by the credit union, with the condition Kim can get a co-signer. Her parents insist she get a job before they co-sign, so she can demonstrate she is able to make loan payments.
How does this chapter of the story end? Princess Kim needs to get a job, but no one will hire her because she has no job history; and of course, because she’s a princess. Employers are funny that way.
Kim: “I know they’re trying to teach me a lesson and blah, blah, blah and character building but, like, I hope they realize [working part-time] could have such a negative effect on my grades and as a person."
Power Tools to Slay the MONEY DRAGON – It should be required reading.