Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Working Poor.

I decided to start reading The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler first out of the three new books that I picked up in the past two days with my birthday gift card from my parents.

Last night when I was just starting the book my girlfriend asked if I found it depressing and wondered how I could read it?

I didn't even have to think about the answer to her question: "Yes, it's depressing... it's about me. I'm one of the working poor." On paper I might make a little more money than some of the people that are normally thought of as 'poor' but I left my first college after two years with no degree, about $20,000 in student loans and no idea what I wanted to really do with my life. I was stressed out over my lack of direction but I decided I needed to keep going to school or I would never go back. I put my next two years of college at a local community college on my credit cards along with all of the necessary books, supplies, etc. I spent the money I made working crappy jobs on minimum payments and living expenses.

Fast forward about 6 years.

I'm working in an office that has nothing to do with my AAS degree in Computer Information Systems. I'm still neck deep in debt from college, my ridiculous overspending and a few other unforeseen events that were completely unavoidable. My bills just about equal my pay. I understand, though, that I am where I am because of choices I've made. I don't think that anyone has held me back besides myself.

I'm hoping to finally find what it is I want to do with the rest of my life.

I'm trying to get myself motivated to learn new things and take more chances at what might be better opportunities.

I am attempting to curb my overspending and to find a way to live within my means. (No more buying toys that I don't need, no matter how much I talk myself into thinking I need them.)

I'm trying to talk myself into selling things that I never use like my guitar equipment (three guitars, amplifier & effects pedals), books I've already read and won't read again, CD's I don't listen to, sporting goods I won't ever use again (snowboard, skis, golf clubs, freestyle bike, rollerblades), computer parts, car parts, bike parts and MUCH MUCH more.

On top of all that I'm probably going to get a second job (at least for now until I figure out what I want to do next).

I have a feeling I'll be posting a lot in this vein in the near future. Hopefully I'll continue feeling like I need to correct the mistakes I've made in the past and work on improving my situation instead of just writing about it...

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