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 Post subject: Anyone else dancing with poverty?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:22 pm 
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My situation is frightening....at best. That is because I depend on clients and all of them are struggling to stay in business.

I have a theory that what you spend is as imprtant as what you make. Pretty bright bulb eh?

Reading library and discount books and hanging out on the net are two of the least expensive things to do.

Insights?

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else dancing with poverty?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:43 pm 
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I can only tell you that I'm working as much as I can at our local college, even though I'd much rather be at home, enjoying retirement. Education is one field that is holding its own, at least in my state. I'd love to chuck the job, and had made plans to do so at the end of this semester, but now I am reluctant to do it. Guess I'll stay indefinitely now. At least I'm not having to worry about our kids, as they're all in professions that are pretty secure...teaching, police work, and Coast Guard.

Sounds like you're doing as much of the right things as you can, PT...at least reading is an escape, and so is the internet. Your TVNL family will be here for you, though, PT...anytime.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else dancing with poverty?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:08 am 
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Government employees have proven themselves to be quite fond of rubbing salt in the wounds of the self employed in my experience. Sometimes I wish everyone racked up a few years of running a small business.

My brother works for the government and can't handle stress at all. He got mad when I was trying to help him (no good deed goes unpunished) and declared "good luck finding a job."

Yes....everyone who has been self employed for 15 years dreams of working for..someone else.

I almost always get in trouble when trying to help people. Curious world it is. Rant over.

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"If the people allow private banks to control their currency the banks and corporations will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." - Thomas Jefferson


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else dancing with poverty?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:33 am 
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I lost the taste for being self employed/small business owner at a young age. I worked for slave wages for ten years (ages 8-18, you don't work, you don't eat) at the family print shop. The summer after graduating high school was spent liquidating all the office equipment and furniture from the business. My parents declared bankruptcy that summer, so college was entirely my responsibility. I spent thirty years in the engineering field working on average over 85 hours a week until I literally burnt out.

I currently survive on disability payments and find this dance with poverty gives me more freedom than I ever had with large credit lines. I keep all my bills paid and if I don't have the cash for a purchase, I don't make it. I shop frugally. I now concentrate on staying healthy—physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I have taken to believing the Janis Joplin line, "Freedom means nothing left to lose."

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else dancing with poverty?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:55 am 
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My husband operates a small business which he began with a small inheritance back in 1993. It's feast or famine most of the time for him, and I dislike that aspect of it very much. It's constant problems with employees, taxes, clients, equipment, and other aspects of being self-employed.

I agree with both of you about owning a business...if I'd known how it was going to evolve over the years, I would have insisted that my husband use his inherited money to go back to school and earn a degree, probably in education or the medical field. However, had I done so, I don't know if we'd still be married! :P

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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else dancing with poverty?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:15 pm 
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Yes...being s/e is heaven or hell quite often.

My clients scared the hell out of me this morning. One owns a couple restaurants and was kind of wealthy for 14 years. He had to let a manager go and is doing it himself.

The manager of the other said she is considering an offer from a Chinese worker. I have the accounts for 13 years. Guess that does not account for much when money is a problem.

I already lowered their rates by $130/mt. That is about all I am willing to do.

And you know what? I blame gross mismanagement at the highest levels for these problems.

If all you hear about is terrorism and you know that excuse has given rise to a massively expensive police state, you won't wonder long why the economy faltered. Plus they let people buy houses they could not afford. Yet they called these mortgages secure for reasons unknown.

Seems all I have heard about for the past number of years is missing trillions and unaccounted for billions. Yet one particular country managed through all this to become the worlds hottest economy. Things that make you go hmmm.

They won't send me a food stamp app aparently. I tried twice.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else dancing with poverty?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:49 am 
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I know its hard, PT. I grew up in deep poverty. We rarely had basics (like stoves and fridges) and even more rarely had wants. But I did somehow (I'm not sure how exactly) live through it all. Of course, a few of the casualties were my sanity and the life of my brother. As a 20 somethinger I never had money either, but I was on my own until 25, so I really never noticed, nor cared...I was perfectly happy with my carefree situation. Of course, that changed when I became pregnant in my sophomore year of college. Being carefree changed, not being poor. I'm terrified of certain things, so I could never apply for state/federal aid (aside from medicaid for my pregnancy and my son's birth). I've been very, very lucky that over the past few years that I've been pulled out of destitution by my wonderful husband.

It sucks to be poor, but I have to share APL's opinion, Freedom means nothing left to lose. Being poor means you cannot go jetting around and buy all the crap you may be inclined to buy, but you can still laugh and cry. You can have friends and family. That doesn't cost any money and having or losing money doesn't take that stuff away.

Edit:
This page has a link to a pdf of the Colorado state food stamp app. You can just print it and fill it out and return it to your local office. That page also has a list of the stuff you need to have ready to take with you.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone else dancing with poverty?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:07 pm 
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Thanks lefty, I am printing the 26 page application right now. I wonder how many people need assistance and are not able to apply successfully.

I don't need them right now. But all of my clients are struggling and it grows worse every month.

I only heat two rooms in the house. All of the bulbs have been changed to compact flourescents. I use a lap top because they consume less energy. I was making my own bread but quit eating bread because it creates crumbs, I like to eat while at my computer. I shop at second hand stores.

It is an adjustment. I grew up middle class. We had a trampoline, pool table, pin ball machine, camper, and other niceties. My career has been sales and self employment. I have had many periods of tight money and many periods of money to blow. A compounding problem is that I have liked to buy new stuff in the past. Only within the past year have I been able to buy used clothes with comfort.

I could not be more alarmed at the economy. Economics was my major for three years. I started figuratively sounding the alarm bells seven years ago. I knew we were headed for serious problems as I watched the administration cut income (tax breaks for the rich) and multiply expenses like noyone has ever dreamed of. People suddenly fancied themselves to be rich this decade and could no longer be seen in a neighborhood of 800-3000 sq ft homes (it is eclectic).

My expenses are relatively low due to low rent. We bought a HUD home from auction in 1987. I have replaced almost everything because it needed it. That cost more than the house even when I did most of the labor.

You may not believe how much work a house can need. The original owner even figured out how to ruin outlets and switches. That is almost hard to do.

I am not poverty stricken yet. But the writing on the wall seems to grow clearer every day.

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