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What its like to be truly completely broke

Updated on February 29, 2016

Just Hanging in the Breeze

The Struggle

Everyday in America there are many people who claim to be broke, meanwhile they have hundreds, thousands, or more money in their bank account. There are others though who do not say they are broke and have that kind of reserve to pull from if it was an emergency. These people are the ones who struggle everyday. They don't live paycheck to paycheck even. These people live everyday with phone calls from debt collectors and no way to pay. Their electric gets shut, their phones, their cars get taken. It is not a fun life.

You may be thinking that these people just need to get a job. If they weren't lazy or drug addicts then maybe they would be able to pay their bills. Well these thoughts are wrong. Most of these people are hardworking people who get up and go to work everyday. They bust their humps just trying to survive. They work more than most people who have money in the bank in fact. Yeah, you can try to blame it on them not having an education too, but that doesn't fly either. These people come from all walks of life and it is not because they don't try.

I know nurses who make good money but still live this way because of the cost of living. They work their fingers to the bone at hospitals all around working long hours and breaking their bodies just trying to take care of people but then struggle to survive just so they can have the basic things like a roof over their head and food in their mouths.

Everyone reading this may think it is crazy and not possible but it is. I know a nurse who works full time. She has four kids and is getting divorced from her husband who cheated on her. She can't afford to make the rent and pay everything else too. She doesn't blow money, she doesn't even have enough to pay all of her bills. Here is the scenario...This woman was working at the hospital on night shift for a couple years. She was finally offered a day time position that she decided to take because she had no help at home and was not getting any sleep (she is getting divorced remember). When she took this position her pay rate dropped by fourteen dollars an hour. Then a new management took over the hospital and they decided to cancel all overtime (which she was used to receiving weekly). Her vehicle got repossessed because she couldn't afford to pay for the $631 a month payment any longer. She got another vehicle that took all the money she had from that paycheck. That vehicle broke completely. She had to get another one. There is more money she did not have.

Because of all of the cuts at work her paychecks went from $2300 down to $1700 every two weeks. This is a big drop in pay for anyone. Not only did she lose this pay but also her husbands pay too. Things like this can happen to anyone. It makes it very hard to get by. Now you may be saying that she should have had an emergency fund. Well maybe that is true but she did not have anything left between paychecks to put away because there are always expenses and things always seem to go wrong and take that last little bit of money even before the next paycheck comes.

How can people like these get help? Well they can't. Here are the reasons...

In the United States, the welfare program was set up to help working people when they got in a pinch. This not how it really is now though. This woman I know, this nurse, applied for food stamps and cash assistance to get her through the rough times with her four kids, but she was turned down because she made too much money last year. Well, what does last year, when she was married and had two incomes and higher wages to count on show for this year? When this was brought up they still denied her stating that her gross wages looked like too much even though with higher wages they take higher taxes, so she was not making as much as it said she was even.

If this nurse was to quit her job and decide to just sit at home with her children so she did not have to pay for babysitting any longer then she would be eligible for benefits. Many people actually do it this way. Have you heard all the controversy about people on welfare having things that the working people of the world cannot get? It is on TV, its on social media, its everywhere. Why does our government only help those who do not work but not the ones who contribute to society everyday non-stop.

This is an outrage that this woman is trying to take care of her family and cannot do it simply because she has a job and does not make enough money to pay for the essential things in life and cannot get help to fix it either.

Everyone who does happen to have that extra money in the bank to back them...congratulations. Maybe some of you should take into consideration that there are many people living like this woman just trying to get by and make a life for herself and her children but they cannot get help from anywhere. They do not make enough money as we have established so therefore their credit is hurt and they cannot get loans. They can't get help from the government because they make too much supposedly. Where do they turn to? What can they do? Maybe somebody who has that money in the bank could help them. Maybe it could be you.


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