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2022 was supposed to be a great year!

Community Member

I'm 30 and I was still working minimum wage as a barista and when 2022 happened I was offered job that was suppose to pay over 6 figures. 


3 months went by and my team leader told me commissions will come. 4 months and he apologised it was taking so long. Basically by 5 months my boss my not happy to wait because the business was relying my my teams commissions to our side of the business running. 


I lost my job for the first time ever through a very messy communication process which was basically nothing to do with my performance. 


A month after I lost my job I was stressing out because money was really low and I didn't know how I was going to pay for rent and food. I did apply for jobseeker but they messed me around and it took 2 months to process and in that time I had to borrow money off of my mum. 


I went back to my barista job and all was going well after that until the end of November I get caught driving with my car registration cancelled. I didn't know there was a 3 months limit on not registering your car. I also borrowed money off my mum again to help register my car. Ended up having to pay 1.2k which she paid over half of that. 


So come December, it was going well because I was no longer stressing about driving an unregistered car. 2 weeks before Christmas I get covid for the first time and the first 4 days was very painful. 


Fast track to this week, my landlord rings and says I have 10 weeks of rent missing and is say she might evict me if I don't pay by 13th January. This time I'm really stressing because it's the most I ever been in debt for and I don't think I can approach my mum for the third time. 


FYI, I don't get along with my family. My mum is the only one I still talk to and even then she gets very angry whenever I ask her for help. 


I had to keep the details short because of the character limit. 

6 Replies 6

Community Member

Hi Loop__ 🙂


Thanks for coming here and sharing some of your story. It sounds like you've been throughout over the last year and are constantly struggling with things out of your control. I'm glad you've come here to hopefully get some things off your chest because it sounds like you need a hand. 


I similarly am 30 and have financial issues as I'm unemployed. Lucky for me I am living at home with my dad and brother at the moment so I don't have to worry about rent. I'm glad that I have this luxury that I understand you don't have. Unfortunately I don't have much advice regarding debt or finances as I've never been in your situation. But it sounds like things revolve around not getting enough pay from your barista job. Is it possible to have a conversation with your boss about getting a raise so you're not being paid minimum wage? I understand that it's competitive but I believe there's been a skill shortage in the hospitality industry.


Other than that I don't have many ideas sorry. Just know we're here for you when you want to have a chat or get things off your chest. I hope things resolve with your land lord and you can get an extension on payment.



Community Member

I can't ask for a raise because that is the industry I'm in. My boss already pays the award wage compared to many places that pay illegally (which is very common). I did try to work at a different cafe that had much better pay but that boss put a lot of pressure on my job and gave me minimum hours even though I was full-time. 


I don't even know how to talk to my mum because everytime I express my thoughts she shuts me down and starts arguing with me. In her perspective she says she is teaching me how to live my life. The sad part is, the last lecture she gave me, she said if I was fully independent she would have nothing to do with my life. 


I just feel like ever since I lost my job I keep getting affected by that. A lot of choices I made may of been wrong but I'm still trying to move on from that. Whilst I was still at the corporate job I was spending money expecting the job to pay me my commissions which never happened.


I called the national debt help-line yesterday and they gave me a bunch of phone numbers to call but it's quite overwhelming because I need to do it because I have 1 week before my landlord escalates things and it honestly feels like I have too big of a debt for anyone to help. 

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

First, some harsh reality:
I always say NEVER spend money before it is earnt no matter what prospects you have for employment.

And just a word on 'self-talk' and justifying problems:
- registration is due and payable by the date specified - that you DID know.
- rent is in arrears (not 'missing') which you also know.

Now on to your problems...
Your '6 figure job' would have had a contract or agreement outlining terms of employment. If you can account for the commissions you earned (i.e., kept accurate records of your work/sales or whatever constituted monies owed), you still have a claim to that payment; otherwise, your work may have been subsidising the business which sounds a bit dodgy with the excuses just stringing you along.
Review your agreement, have a chat to your (ex) boss about your entitlements, and don't be afraid to drop a few hints that ACCC might help to clarify the situation if it feels too complex for boss to remit payment. Of course, this all depends on the fine print of any agreement you signed (which you did read carefully beforehand??) so do undertake some in-depth study to arm yourself with enough facts.

Although hard to believe sometimes, landlords are people too; and while more excuses and justifications will not advance your case, being honest and practical about your predicament might receive some consideration if you can make a hefty dent in the arrears as a show of good faith.
You might decide on a hasty sale of some personal items to raise capital, and/or pick up more hours to make up the shortfall - lots of sacrifices needed to knock this one over, but you will feel good about your accomplishments once free of debt (and gained a valuable lesson in finance... for free!).


Hope you are feeling better after covid 🙂 and don't forget to pay your mum back as well.

I understand I made a few mistakes here. 
- I drove while unregistered. The part I didn't know was that I was driving with a cancelled registration

- Arrears is what I mean


On to my work situation: 

I got advice for fairwork Australia and they said it was more of a legal matter which they linked me to legal aid. The lawyer basically deduced that my contract didn't even say 10 days of sick leave which is the legal national requirement. From that alone she was unhappy about my job arrangement. I pulled out of the legal process because the advice given was that I can report my boss but it doesn't benefit me in getting unfairly dismissed. 

I actually had a thought about that putting a dent in the arrears. Also, I really thought that my landlord would be more kind towards my situation. I really tried to explain to her that I had almost zero in the bank at the time and that I didn't mean to not tell her I lost my job because I wasn't thinking straight. 

Covid was painful. I don't know if it's because I only got 2 shots of the vaccine. 

Definitely a lot of things to cop on the chin and learning to move on from my mistakes. 

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

'Kind' might be a bridge too far, and landlord will still need to serve notice to evict which gives you another 30 days I think (sorry, yet another contract to examine), but this will leave a black mark on your rental history making it harder to find future accommodation. It is also a costly exercise for landlord whom, I am sure, would rather see the money in her pocket; so you have a little leverage in that respect if you can negotiate a resolution.


Thinking about the job, purely regarding funds...
Have you formally requested the unpaid commissions you earned, submitting an account for payment?
Should you have received a termination payout that has also been shirked by boss?
And what about any superannuation you may be able to claim on hardship?

Failing all that, it might be time to call on mother again to bail you out - one debt would be cleared while another of even greater impost is taken on. You would owe her much more than the financial reprieve (not to mention a significant amount of humility and gratitude)- repayments with an agreed rate of interest would be in order to make amends?


Apart from the steps you have taken, there is little more to add; but even these worst times dissipate and we grow just a little from each obstacle and setback. If it results in greater understanding of unscrupulous employers and appreciation of benefactors (and even creditors!), perhaps it brings a new way of seeing things in future.

Nothing is insurmountable and you will find a way through regardless.

Community Champion
Community Champion



Thank you so much for your honesty in your post, we warmly welcome you to the forums. 2022 was a tough year for a lot of people, myself included, so I hear you. You sound like you've had a very tough year, and I'm so sorry to hear that you've been going through this. Between losing your job, to struggling financially, that is a lot to deal with. 


If you would feel comfortable having a chat to a GP or therapist about your 2022 struggles, they may be able to offer you some professional advice and point you in the right direction to get you back on track for 2023. Even if you would feel comfortable/be able to see a financial advisor, this may be useful as well. Financial management is important in any situation, but particularly if money is tight.


Would applying for a second job be a viable option for you? If not, that is okay, but if you feel like you would be alright with having a second income, it could be an important investment. I'm not sure what your professional qualifications are, but even if there's a skill or hobby that you have that you would be able to turn a profit from (selling paintings, doing odd jobs around the house, tutoring, etc.), if you have the capacity to do this, it may be useful to have some extra income. Of course, if you do not have the capacity at the moment, it would not be useful to take on more than you feel you'd be able to.


I'm sorry to hear that you had Covid as well. I'm one of the lucky few that hasn't had it yet (touchwood), but from what I've heard, it can be quite debilitating for some people. Good luck in your recovery, if you aren't yet recovered.


Wishing you all the best in your situation. We're here to chat some more if you need.


Take care, SB