Surviving poverty in the US
A few years ago, this topic would not have held any interest for me. However, now I find this topic fascinating simply because I also find myself in a position where I may lose my home, my job, and basically, my sources of security. The question is why? I’m in my late forties and for the most part, have always been able to keep my head above water. I am not rich, nor am I wealthy but I could walk into a store and purchase what I wanted, most of the time, using cash or credit. I always had what I wanted to eat and could afford reasonable choice. I could travel reasonably to almost anywhere I wanted to go. My cars were always what I wanted, versus what I could afford.
I didn’t have expensive tastes and still don’t, yet I did alright. If I wanted a leather jacket or coat, I would buy one, reasonably price and with reasonable quality. If I wanted a new pair of better than average leather shoes, then I would buy them. Again, I didn’t go shopping for name brands that were much too overpriced. Instead I would go for a good quality in low-to-medium ranged pricing. So what happened?
Lack of financial savvy, lack of financial responsibility, lack of control financially all lead to being out of control. I had a disregard for the cost of credit, and the cost of careless spending. Without thinking, I spent money that I didn’t have, similarly to our corporate leaders in our country, and found myself bankrupt. This is a place I’d hoped never to visit. I thought I had learned my lesson and cleaned up my act in the early 90’s, only to relapse three years ago.
I was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. After the surgery and the chemo, I decided that I would treat myself to whatever I wanted and/or whatever I could still afford. I went through thousands of dollars in a relatively short period of time as I thought I was dying and to hell with the consequences and now realise the stupidity of my actions.
I am now I threatened with maybe losing my home, due to mortgages and losing my job entirely because of a merger/buyout. I feel the pain as I spiral into poverty. Survivor? Maybe, maybe not; but it looks as though I will get a chance to explore those options and understand the consequences of both my life and my actions as time passes, and a greater understanding of the nature of life’s hurdles is revealed to me.
As a result, some of my survival skills were instinctive. First, I re-evaluated all my financial obligations, and made cuts wherever I could, in order to keep afloat and maintain basic staples of home and life. Buying different brands of everything is a good way to cut out some of the “fat” and helps in keeping expenses down. Growing what you can, such as veggies, and herbs, along with washing my own car, and turning off electricity that is not being used are also tools to help you survive poverty in the US.