How to be poor and still own an Android Phone

The title of this hub is somewhat misleading in that there is truly no correlation between poverty and Smartphones. The perspective I am speaking of is from the point of view of someone who has gone from a middle class income to zero income and has still survived to maintain a middle class lifestyle.

My personal experience is that I have spent most of my life in a tax bracket where there was no requirement for me to actually have to pay income tax. I did, in fact, pay taxes but have always received a deduction that gave me back all the FICA withholdings I paid. This is not a lot of money, and it certainly is not enough to even have a “lifestyle.” Most of the time I survived and had a few rough spots where my place of residence had no physical street address. Highway Bridges get a bad rap from the media as it pertains to living conditions, but I am here to testify that these structures work, and they work well…until the weather gets bad.

But I digress. At one point in my life I decided that I yearned for a “lifestyle” and was fortunate enough to live in a compassionate country that will give a guy a hand up. The hand I got was an opportunity to go back to school where I was able to attain the wonderful distinction of being a school teacher. Through a combination of partisan politics and a failed presidential campaign I got caught in a budget cut that left me unemployed. I have some health issues that have prevented me from going back to, or even seeking employment in the education industry.

Along the way to this bout of unemployment I was able to garner some of the things that decently paid (sic) professionals consider day to day necessities. The nice truck that has a monthly payment, a couple of computers, the smart phone I spoke of in the title, and a really cool electric chair that lifts me in the air to aid my sore arthritic body in getting up. Unfortunately, most of these things are in danger of being taken from me due to an inability to pay for these conveniences (well, not the chair). On the brighter side, there is a quite good chance that this will not happen as I have been accepted as a contract writer for a company that will probably take care of my needs.

What I would like to speak of is how to go about living within your means and still have a “lifestyle. There are some actions that need be addressed;

  1. Improve your lot. I once mucked out livestock pens for a living and found this to be an unacceptable situation. I sought other employment and discovered that my shoveling abilities were, at the time, my only means of maintaining any level of employability. There was another position open that paid a few more cents an hour, for the same task, but it was too far for me to walk to I the cold weather. I discovered that in order to change my stars, I would have to learn a new trade. This meant going to school, and from the day I walked onto the campus of the first college I attended, I no longer had to maintain a relationship with livestock excrement. I’ve encountered some in my more current occupational opportunities, but they were of a rhetorical demeanor and had no discernible aroma to them.
  2. Become who you want to be. If you are reaching for the stars and hungrily hankering for the benefits of a certain profession, start acting as if you already are a member of that vocational demographic. Read what they read, think like they think, eat what they eat, and most important…work like they work.
  3. Seek the counsel of others in the field. There is only so much to be learned in a classroom. Most expertise comes from experience and that proficiency must be tempered with real-life education on the job. Ask people how to do things that you do not know how to do. Listen to those who know. The best person in a workplace to find out how things are in any workplace might just be the janitor. In a factory I once did an internship I found some difficulty writing a report on an incident involving a work day injury. It was the guy with the broom, who had been pushing a broom in that factory for twenty five years, (longer than any other employee, the including the bosses) who was able to sort through the muck and mire of what happened. His wisdom helped us avoid a hefty fine from OSHA.
  4. Never give up. He current contract position I have just accepted took me seven months to find. I took some precautionary steps that have helped; paid bills ahead of time, cut my recreational travel, naturally gave up those things that are unnecessary (generic brands at the grocery store, lots of Ramen soup, cheaper ice cream). Certainly ask for help from family and friends. Finally, depending on your spirituality, pray. The actuality is that while praying will not pay your electric bill, the process does give some peace and calm.

These are but a start for maintaining or gaining a “lifestyle” as they say. There are a multitude of other practices that will aid in changing your stars. The importance is, as I have found, that in order to have that Smartphone, you must be and act at least as shrewd as the phone.


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