This month I thought about how much privilege I have. Spoiler alert, it’s a lot! Without having to bring the “w” word in, I have so much compared to others and some days I am totally embarrassed to admit to. I would rather not talk about it (how fortunate I am) because I am starting to see what life is like on the other side. It’s not a straight and narrow path. It’s one of difficulty and great pain. And it involves a greater percentage of the population then I first thought.
There are two things that I noticed in January that stood out to me when it came to dealing with poverty.
1. You’re tired, always. You’re tired because you work two jobs and don’t have a car so you end up spending long minutes on the bus. You’re tired because you don’t have time to do anything, and above all, you’re tired because every waking moment is spent worrying. There is no extra side projects or even the energy to dream some days. It’s like a never ending treadmill that you can’t get off of.
2. You miss out. A lot. Thursdays are the new Fridays in my city, but now I work on those nights which means giving up a huge chunk of networking. Also Monday and Wednesday as well. I had to give up sitting on two committees but I managed to still stay on the board that I onto last year. When you are poor you work (back to number one again) and at the end of the week you’re tired, which means missed opportunities to do great things.
It seems so unfair. Poor does not equal lazy or stupid at all, but because of the way life is, many will never get the chance to do something, anything. You’re just trying to stay alive and are still barely making it.
Trying to live on a $1000 dollars a month simply isn’t possible for anyone in my city and I ended up going over budget by about $300. Now keep in mind a lot of the expenses I didn’t need. I spent $50 on lunch and $25 on spices and $30 on granola bars (not for me), new clothes and so on. So with a final tally of $1300 I’ll be able to whittle that down to just above $1000 again for February with a little sacrifice. More walking, more canned food and no more shopping. Period.
Despite all of this negativity (of not depending on how you look at it) January was a pretty great month. Here are a few of the highlights:
– I Maxed out my TFSA for 2015 ($5500) and am now in the works of saving my goal of $10K for the year.
-I Picked up a new job which I love.
-Somehow I managed to put deadlines to the classes I’ll be teaching in March. Scary but a super exciting move forward.
-Beautiful weather. I’ve always booked my trips to come back mid-January since the weather is usually pretty good, but this year it’s been fantastic.
So it’s been a great month.
Now the February goals which aren’t that grand compared to January:
-More work online. I get paid in USD and with the CAD falling, it’s a good time to pick up extra assignments. My paypal account feels like a mini stock portfolio as I’ve been watching the value fluctuate.
-Finish putting together the classes and put them online for people to sign up for.
-I need to do trip planning. There are a few countries that I’m hoping to see this year, but not without a battle in regards to paper work. That means dealing with embassies, paperwork and money.
-Start putting together the next business. Everything has started already but I need a good team, a really good one who work at my expectations.
And that’s all for now. I only have a set number of hours in the day and night to complete what I want/need to do as does everyone else.
It’s just a matter of (once again) prioritizing.
And staying happy.