Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It aint easy being.... Poor?



When someone is poor, there are constant choices to be made.  What can I afford to eat, how much money will I need to get back and forth to work, I wonder if I can carpool, or if I can get that second or third part time gig somewhere.  Am I going to have enough for rent, the power bill, phone bill (or can I round up enough money for a prepaid burner phone).  It ain't easy or cheap to be poor, or homeless.  It is the simple things that you take for granted.

I have seen this many times, an elderly person picking and choosing the medications they will take for the month, because they could not afford them all.  I have seen people getting enough medications to run them a few days until a check came in, or they could get the money for them.  I don't know how many times I have quietly paid for the medication, and made sure they had it.  Food, good food, is a luxury.  It is not about living within your means, it is about doing what is within your power to survive. 

One job I had paid so poorly, that I ran into a computer problem while waiting for a stipend from my college.  I was forced to rent a laptop.  That laptop was valued by the rental company at 1,900 dollars, but it sat on a shelf in a regular store or manufacturer for three to four hundred dollars.  Did you know, that it costs me between two and seven dollars just to have a checking account if I do not have enough money in it, or enough money coming in.  Yeah, that is some crap right there.  A free checking account that costs you money because you do not have the right amount of money or income to go into it.

When you are poor, or homeless, you do not have the space or funds to stockpile food.  Most food can be frozen, and left until you need it.  Well that cannot happen when you are poor.  You are often buying food that is reduced because it is about to go bad.  If you get sick or injured, you either work injured (I did with a broken elbow and bruised spine once, with the swine flu another time), or you loose money that you need.  A five dollar error blows what little budget you have.

If you think it is so easy to live on 7.25 an hour, full time or part time, I invite you to try it.  Find a place to live, find a ride to work, insure it, fuel it, make payments on it, maintain it, and eat on that massive salary the job creator gives you.  Then, after a month of that, come back and talk to me, Larry or Witchy about it.