Monday, May 27, 2013

There's More Where That Came From

I'm just gonna come right out and say it- I love money.
   I love the way it smells. I love the way it looks.
   I love the crinkle sound it makes when I jam it into my pocket.

This is something we should never be ashamed of, we all love money. Especially when we have it.
     It pays the bills, right? Keeps our bellies full. It buys gifts, gear, gadgets. 
 We love it so much until we run out. 
  This happens so much up here in the mountains. All of my friends have some sort of money issue. It seems to go in one pocket and out the other. Some blow it on books, when the library is right down the road. Some have a serious dining out habit. Expensive. Some gals I know seldom wear the same outfit twice. I know someone that frequents thrift stores and yard sales very frequently. We all love our local coffee shop, but is twice a day for the double chai-fu necessary? (I get it, you gotta live a little.)
  Forget the obvious stuff. What about car payments, rent, student loans, cell phone bills, cable, internet, storage space, electricity? So often I witness people getting a nice tax return and immediately spending every cent on all sorts of "justified" sprees. Still seems obvious, but is there more to it? Many of my friends are having a hard time making payments on the basics. I can't stand it.
  Let's not leave me out of this. On most days, the less I spend, the happier I am. One issue is that I tend to hoard money. I get a big chunk of paper from a crazy night of bartending, and then I stash it in the freezer with the rest until the end of the week when I make a deposit. The problem with this is that I can't spend it once it's in there, even if I need it. I have been late on credit card payments before, and two months ago my internet got switched off because I put too much into savings and didn't pay my bill on time. What?
  I used to think this was healthy, a nice way to hold on to the product of my efforts. After all, why would I hustle, sweat, skip meals, run around deprived of physical necessaries for hours at a time with a smile on my face, and come home covered in vodka, beer, and salad dressing? I love my job, but I am there for the cash, bottom line. So are my friends. I work hard, mostly pay the bills, and lock the rest away never to be crinkled again. Others work hard, mostly pay the bills, and hand the rest out all over town as if they don't have creditors calling them at work, as if they can afford a measly six hundred on rent, as if there's more where that came from. I am looking for some middle ground.
  Seems like we are all a little confused. I don't blame us. I grew up in a stash your cash family which I am thankful for. My dad and grandparents put hours of energy into making sure my siblings and I left home as responsible money handlers. Others were sent out into the world with nothing but a paycheck in their pocket, student loans, and a bunch of credit card solicitations. We all did our best.
  I want to help all of us small fries, working hard to bring in under $25k a year to take care of ourselves and our families. There is a way to save for the future, pay the bills, cozy into a new book at a cafe, and meet friends out for dinner. Let's figure this out.

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