A Money Rant.

I know, it's past my bed-time -- but I want to rant a bit and get things off my chest. Specifically money things and me-feeling-inferior things.

I work with a lot of people my age who make more money than my parents ever dreamed of making. Literally. And I make just enough to scoot by. But for me -- this is awesome. I've got my own place -- my dream car -- friends to hang out with. Tons of luxuries like a laptop and high-speed internet, a bike, expensive sheets, nice pillows, and plenty of other things that I don't deserve. I live quite well.

I have a problem though, and this is my fault entirely -- I feel inferior and inadequate compared with my peers. Yes, I have a cheap apartment in a less-than-desirable location. (At least I live on my own). Yes, my apartment is furnished with hand-me-downs. And my clothes are cheap and don't fit right -- and lots of them were hand-me-downs too. And my shoes suck. And my car has had the check engine light on for over a year. And my shiny new bike that I just ordered and I'm already super proud of is from Target and not a bike shop.

But, for instance, why do I need a 600 dollar bike? I don't bike much -- I don't know how to take care of a bike. And technically (since I wouldn't be getting this one if my other wasn't STOLEN BY ASSHOLES) this is my first bike. And I can't afford one. Hell, I don't have a microwave that works at the moment, buying a bike at all is bordering on living beyond my means. I'm happy to have one. I'm super happy to have one, actually. I never could bike before (fat) -- or at least I wouldn't. And I think it's a great bike. I think a lot of things from Target are nice. Does that make me lower-class?

But I'm tired of feeling lower class. I don't like that I go to my awesome job and feel stupid because my pants are too big and my shoes aren't from a designer store -- when I work with people who have to have logos on everything and are obsessed with shoes. I actually listened to someone refer to her brand-new leather couch as a "cheap Ashley couch." I know your things are nicer than mine, OK. But my things are mine and they're the best I can do. And my cheap apartment is more of a home than most places I know.

And I feel horrible for feeling like this. ***DELETED PARAGRAPHS***

Ugh. I hate when I rant and it gets nowhere. There should be some resolution -- like I get to stand up and lean across the table and punch a snob in the face or something. And I want to hate myself for even feeling like this when I've got plenty of money to afford my apartment and gas in my car and food in my fridge and movies and games and dinners out and air conditioning. And so many others don't -- through no fault of their own -- just because life is shitty a lot of the time.

I hate that I let people I don't even like bother me so much. My self image and perceptions should not changed based on some assholes casual comments at lunch.

Sorry for the rant.


Blogger Michael said...

Unfortunately, there's no end to pursuing "things" because other people have nicer things.

One of my coworkers makes nearly twice as much as me (single, male).. and still continuously buys shit he doesn't need to compete with others.

He's 8 years older than me - despite his material wealth of possessions, has little (but some) savings for retirement and would be entirely unable to support his lifestyle in an emergency.

I just concentrate on not wanting to be him in 8 years. I'd rather have good friends and financial security .. knowing that if I have to quit my job and look for a couple of months, I won't really feel the financial pressure of doing so.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Just A Girl said...

I work in a very simialr environment. And kind of fell into it.

For years before moving to the software company, I worked as a dispatcher at the police department. Everyone there is poor. Everyone there knows that each of their peers shops at walmart or heck even the dollar store sometimes.

I moved to the software company and witnessed an entirly new lifestyle.

I allowed myself to be sucked in. I put my husband into debt by making him buy me an expensive diamond ring to match or outdo what some of my coworkers had.

Al and I bought a mobile home a month after I started here. Before that we lived for a year with my parents in their 3 bedroom home.

I drive a plymouth neon. Not because I like it, it's not my dream car, but its completely paid off and it was a graduation present from my parents.

Sure I want a shiny new SUV, a nice brick home in a good school district, and fancy clothes straight off of ally mcbeal, but I can't afford them. My husband works, I work, and we have a 7 year old.

We aren't financially where we should be because of my overspending habits, but we are trying VERY hard to get it back together.

People that just assume they deserve nothing but the finest should all have to eat ramen noodles and drive geo metros for a year. Then they'd learn what it's like to appreciate what you have.

sorry for my rant taking over your comment section, just kind of struck me as important.

I'm happy you got your new bike!!

12:38 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

See also here for a pep talk:

5:16 PM  
Blogger Tel said...

When I moved to SF, all of my immediate friends were much better off than I. It put a ton of pressure on me to do the things they did and shop like they shopped. They're not thinking or aware of how much money you DON'T have, they simply are spending what they spend. My friends never judged me for being poor, but they sometimes didn't understand that I had $8 left in my checking account for the next three days before payday, and couldn't afford to attend a $12 movie.

Now that I'm a LOT more financially stable, I have empathy for my friends who aren't as fortunate as I. If I ask them to go out with me to do something fun and I KNOW they don't have money, it's my treat. But I never pressure them to hang out with me when I know they don't have money, because it only make sthem feel bad.

7:02 PM  

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