Personal Finance: What about me?

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Michelle Singletary
Thursday, September 2, 2010; 11:47 AM

I love reading the Ask Amy column. The syndicated columnist gives witty and straightforward responses to a wide variety of questions from her readers. In one of her recent columns, I was cheering the advice she gave to a woman complaining about money that was given to her sister by the sister's in-laws.

Here's what "Irked in Illinois" wrote: "I have a sister who is married to someone who has been out of work for more than a year. They have more than $100,000 in the bank and he decided to work on getting an MBA to make himself more marketable. The problem I have is that they 'let' his parents purchase big-ticket items such as a furnace that costs more than $5,000. This is irritating. I have a degree and am trying to keep my head above water. Unlike them, I don't live in a place that I cannot afford. Do you think it's right for grown adults with money to accept money when they should be spending their own? Aren't adults supposed to be completely self-supporting?"

Man, oh man, did Amy let one of the sisters have it. And maybe not the sister you think.

Read Amy's answer. What would you have said to "Irked in Illinois?"

Send your response to colorofmoney@washpost.com and put 'What About Me?" in the subject line.

Paying For Work Experience

Landing an internship is costing some college students a pretty expensive penny.

In More would-be interns paying thousands to land a coveted spot, Post writer Jenna Johnson reports on the growing number of college students paying companies to find them unpaid internships.

"There has never been a harder time to get hired," Lev Bayer, chief executive of The National Internship Program, told Johnson. "There is such a need for internships. We have more students than we can ever deal with."

Some programs charge student up to $9,000, which includes finding the internship and housing.

Here's where I have a problem with this arrangement: Many of the students are using loans to pay for these pricey internships.

Really, who is benefiting from this?


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