(Article by Elise Adams)
This past weekend my husband and I completely ran out of money. While I was crying myself to sleep over all the drama, I made a list of what we’ve been doing to stay poor for so long. I must really love scraping the bottom of the barrel to have spent so much time down here!
Besides, how can I STOP doing the same things over and over expecting different results (Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity) unless I know what my stupid, ‘same-things’ are, right?
How I’ve learned to stay poor forever:
- We don’t pay our bills on time very often. That’ll teach ‘em. Yep. Teach them to charge us lots of fees and interest!
- Instead we count on windfalls like birthday money from our Moms and our tax return (we get a BIG one because we have so many kids –like, 3 at home and 3 not at home, AND we’re poor!)to catch up on bills. Then when our tax return is late, I wail and gnash my teeth at the injustice then beg our landlord to give us an extension on the rent.
- By all means necessary we avoid manual labor, babysitting or extra jobs.
- We’ve spent countless hours investigating the application requirements for government assistance. By now I can identify a public servants mistake on my food stamp application from a hundred yards away!
- We compliment ourselves on having no mortgage or credit cards, forgetting that it’s because we have such crappy credit we won’t be approved for such debt devices for at least another 10 years
- My husband (with my help!) wasted at least a year of time wondering what career to go into next after getting laid off from his last job. We were careful to stay on unemployment for as loooong as humanely possible, with NO plan for when it ran out.
- I’ve started a half dozen ‘work at home opportunity’s’–sinking hours and hours of time into pointless multi-level marketing schemes but then I never follow through after the shiny newness wears off.
- I’ve become a vicious second hand store and yard sale shopper. I tell myself that our kids are dressed as well as anyone else’s—I can read labels and pick out quality stuff! But then again. I always spend much more than our clothing/msc. budget states—oh, just forget the budget. What’s a budget? I go shopping at least once a week for fun! “Look Honey, this dress is only 3.99!!”
- I have a big dream but just add it up to silly fantasies so I won’t have to make any realistic plans.
- Last but not least—I throw big, loud tantrums when we literally run out of money only to go out and celebrate a ‘big’ paycheck by going out to eat instead of paying bills.
I think I could go on for a lot longer, but you might be catching my drift. (Oh yeah— buy at least one Latte per day should go up there somewhere too.)
Our problem at the Adams Household (yes, our name—for real) is that we don’t really believe we’ll ever be anywhere but right here. Poor and happy, but sometimes terrified. Talk about depressing! I’m not exaggerating, much, when I say that we really do try to stay poor! Instead of climbing out of the hell-hole we just keep making a playground out of this stinky-bottom-of-the-barrel. We’re hanging out in sh**t! (And we’ve been here for years!)
And this is why I’m writing this guest post for at least a zillion of you to read. I am determined to smell how stinky this is RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW so we can crawl on out one step at a time. The steps we need to take are sorta obvious, right?
My sexy as all get-out dreams:
- I wanna shop at real stores for my clothes instead of checking for cool labels at the 2nd hand store
- I want to buy a whole set of China that matches from somewhere besides Target
- I want to drive a cool car—like a uuhm Toyota Sienna with 4-wheel drive :) –that doesn’t fall apart every time I open the driver’s side door.
MOST of all, though, I am SICK of being poor. Bottom line? I’ve come through so much crap in other areas of my life—addiction, family trauma, crazy stress up the wazzoo—that I can’t buy my own self-justifications any longer. I know I’m not meant to be wallowing around in way-too-comfy poverty forever. So, watch me! I’m getting OUT!
Editor’s Note: Don’t hate on my yard sales & thrift stores!! :)
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!