Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Biggie didn't really wish he was poor.

In 1997, Notorious BIG released a rap song called "Mo Money, Mo Problems." That fine work can be viewed here.  (And I don't know if you get the Pooh ad in the beginning, but I think it's awesome)

So I'm not sure what Biggie really knows what he's talking about.  It's like when parents tell the kids that they'd love to go to school if the kids would go to work.  School is much harder than work.  No one pushes you into a locker at work, and no one assigns me homework that has no point.

I thought of this as my debit card was declined tonight.  Note: If my parents are reading this blog, please do not call me or send me a check.  I make good money.  $85,000 a year.  And what I do isn't really work, like roofing in the summer or being a septic tank cleaner.  So where the crap does it all go. Let's see....
  • Rent: $750, now that I'm living with Allyson
  • Student Loans: $362
  • Car loan: $307
  • Insurance (Renters and Car): $87.25
  • Gym: $69
  • Cable: $100
  • Phone: $80
  • Shrink: $280
And that's basically all my big bills, which total up to.......$2035 a month.  This essentially leaves me with a whole paycheck to spend on food, alcohol, anything really.  Yet the only way I save money is through payroll deduction to my 401K or by direct deposit to my ING Direct account.  Are there things in the above list that could be knocked off the list.  I could get a worse cable package, and I could cancel my gym membership and I could get a cheaper phone plan. But most of it is stuff that's mandatory or is stuff that keeps me sane. 

And while I could get paid more to alleviate some of this, I have no doubt that I would simply adjust my standard of living to meet my new income level.  It happens insidiously.  I was talking with a good friend about how she lived in Boston for $30,000 when she first moved.  She did admit she ate only oatmeal for the whole summer.  But the idea of eating ramen noodles seems kind of nuts when my salary puts me in the 74th percent of wealth in this country.

I think about how lucky I am to have what I do, from my family and friends, to my girlfriend, to my worldly possessions.  And I think if I''m bouncing checks at a bar, how hard up must people be who are really hurting.  It puts it all in perspective.  But it still doesn't change the fact that I've got 9 days until payday.  Good thing I can eat fluffernutters all the time. 

Anybody else amazed at how little you save or is it just me?


Anonymous said...

I'm totally with you-- when I moved to NYC, I managed to live on $15,000 a year (granted-- your parents fed me A LOT). Now I live in the middle of nowhere and make more than 10 times that and my mortgage is a third of what my rent was then and I still live paycheck to paycheck. What am I doing wrong?

Anonymous said...

If I could do DC on 13,000 plus food stamps minus student loans for a year...I think you can figure this situation out :)!

Cawshis Clay said...

I was amazed at how little I saved for a long time. I could not figure out how I was making 30k 10 years ago and making 3x that now and still feel tight on cash though I "hadn't changed a thing" and, in fact, I thought I did less (like 10 years ago I spent a lot more money in bars!).

I signed up for Mint.com and pulled it all in there and created a monthly budget to track. Turns out that I had expanded to fit my new income without realizing it fully! I took out way more cash from the atm than I thought...shopped a bit more on amazon and iphone...went out to eat a lot more than I thought.

It adds up fast living that "luxury" lifestyle! So now we have a slightly stricter budget and saving more...we go over a few times every so often, but it never breaks the bank.

Kimber said...

I've got a certain amount I'm trying to reach in my savings and I just can't seem to break a certain number to reach it.

I'm guessing it's going to be harder now with mini-spawn on it's way.