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The Week of Poverty

Daniel St. Pierre/freedigitalphotos.net

If you aren’t a member of the 1%, and you work hard and pay all your bills (most of them on time), you know exactly what the “Week of Poverty” is.

This is a safe place, be real.

This week is your “Week of Poverty” too isn’t it?

It is usually that week after you have paid your rent (which may or may not be above the suggested max 30% of your income) and you still got one, maybe even two weeks to go before your next paycheck.

This is the week you prepare all of your meals. You don’t eat out and you make sure you have enough money for gas or public transportation fare so you can get back and forth to work.

I’m talking bare necessities people.

During this week, when friends ask me to go out, I have to turn them down. I tell them I am temporarily on austerity.

I learned the meaning of that word around the fourth grade.

Our school district fell on hard times because a bunch of old folks with no school-aged kids rocked the hell out of the vote during a local election and decided the budgets needed to be slashed for a semester or so and the words on everyone’s lips was “austerity.”

The district canceled their contract with the bus company and everyone had to walk or be driven to school, a number of activities were given the axe, including field trips.

So anytime us kids said, “Why can’t we?”

A loving adult would simply say, “austerity.”

I’m dying for my favorite sushi happy hour, but my pockets are saying sushi will not get you to work through next Thursday.

Damn.

The most incredible thing about the “Week of Poverty” for me, is the fact that I am forced to be amazingly disciplined with my money, and I come up with new recipes made with whatever is in my kitchen. So in theory, I should be able to do the same when I have a few pennies in my pocket right? That’s what grown people in their 30s do, don’t they? LOL.

During the “Week of Poverty,” I have mastered greek salad, pasta salad, turkey chilli, chicken pho, and homemade soups. Most of which can last an entire week or longer. It’s just tough to stay the course when you are eating this stuff everyday for lunch and dinner.

Too bad all of the discipline goes out the window on payday and the *hood rich mentality sets in for me (rewarding ones self by purchasing items or experiences that are far above your means at the expense of neglecting necessities and mandatory obligations because of a feeling of low self-esteem associated the feeling of being deprived).

“You were deprived for the last two weeks! You should get those shoes! Yes, you should eat out at the hottest restaurants! You deserve it, especially after eating that chilli ALL WEEK LONG!”

*I describe my temporary mentality upon payday as hood rich, but I do handle my business… that’s why it’s a week of poverty, because I did pay everything I was supposed to. I just didn’t have a whole lot left over! LOL.

I really need to find a balance so the “Week of Poverty” could just be a regular week. No deprivation, no overspending. A little thrift, a little splurge, with some money left over.

Wait, it’s called saving, isn’t it?

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One thought on “The Week of Poverty

  1. Pingback: No Baby, No Baby, No! « 29tolife

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