I stumbled upon an article on Cracked.com the other day about being poor, and after some thought, realized it could be the basis for a pretty awesome 365 project that would fit right in with the purposes of this blog. So without further ado, I bring you the first post in the "Being Poor With Flair" project.
Day 1: My Qualifications
I think it's important, when you're getting advice from someone, that you know what their qualifications are. So here are mine:
I'm poor. I've been poor for a long time--ever since I moved out of the family home on my own at 19, in fact. I've made a lot of mistakes along the way. Fortunately, I have the unusual quality of being able to learn from my mistakes. I won't say I never make the same mistake twice, but eventually, I'll change my ways and start making a different mistake.
I've been in debt up to my eyeballs--still am, in fact. I've declared bankruptcy, and am beginning to rebuild my credit rating. I have two master's degrees, and I'm employed part-time in a temporary job that has nothing to do with my degrees. For most of my working life, I've had jobs that didn't require any degrees.
I've been on welfare and unemployment, and I've worked my butt off (literally in one job) at part- and full-time employment of many sorts.
I've lived with my parents, with my husband and children, with a roommate, and by myself.
I have a disabled child.
I'm involved in church, a community orchestra, and other assorted volunteer endeavors.
As of right now, I have about fifteen dollars in the bank, and ten dollars in my wallet, and a fifty dollar grocery card.
In five minutes or so, I have to start work. Right now, my job entails working from home.
All of the above are mixed blessings and curses. I've learned a lot and had a lot of fun in my life, despite having no spare cash most of the time. I've also cried, raged, and considered suicide.
I've endured, then thrived. I'm glad now that I didn't give up, kept learning, growing, changing. Because now I can say that I doubt that I'll be poor forever, and it won't be an inheritance or a lottery win that gets me out of the hole. It will be me, and the skills I've learned along the way.