daily prompt / daily stuffs / rambling

Help me if you can…

work hard be poor (2)

Story of my life a few years ago

The daily prompt asks us to tell about a time when we should have helped someone but didn’t. Ha!  Here’s the thing about “should-a, could-a, and would-a”, it’s all subjective.  Should I have helped someone in my family when they fell on hard times and asked us to help pay their rent or buy them some things they needed? They think so. Even I felt a twinge of guilt for not floating them something, but I’ve got me and mine to think about. Our own bills and mine and the hub’s well being.  And even if we had a dollar or two in the bank more than we needed to pay the bills, the hubs and I are one car accident away from homelessness. We’re not rich you know.  We just bought a house, and all that comes with that. Sure, we’re better off than most of my family, and I have way more money now than I ever have in my adult life, but you know what? I’m super aware that it’ll only take one slip, one illness, one twitch of Fate, and it’s all gone. So no, I don’t feel super guilty when someone I know asks me or dry begs for money and I’m all, “Nope, we don’t have any to spare.” Because we honestly don’t. Any extra money we might have (and it ain’t much) is in savings for a reason.

borrowerlender

Don’t borrow from Peter to pay Paul either

See, I made it a strict policy of mine a long time ago that I will not lend out money (or books, or clothes, or movies, or anything really) that I expect to get back. Ever. Not ever. Not to friends, not to family, and not to strangers in the street. If I have extra money to spare, I will gift it to someone. If they give it back, great! Bonus.  If they never give it back, then I’m no worse for wear than I was before. I decided this way back when I was sixteen and had a friend hunt me down over a quarter that I “borrowed” from her. A quarter. Seriously. Anyway, I stuck to it. Because, for one, I was never going to be without rent money just because my very best friend in the whole wide world borrowed money from me three day before rent was due with promises to pay it back “Please, please, pretty please! I need it! I’ll pay you back. I promise!” and couldn’t pay it back for whatever reason. That’s a great way to end a friendship. And two (this came later) I don’t want to ever end up on Judge Judy with my best friend or any of my family members over a measly two hundred dollars. Though I’ve seen people sue for less… much less.

judge judy

I like to watch her. I don’t want to meet her.

On the flip side, I don’t borrow money I can’t pay back from friends or family members or strangers on the street.  For very much the same reasons I don’t lend money. Whenever I ask for money, it’s with the understanding that I am broke and cannot pay it back. Period. It’s why I don’t have credit cards.  I used to have credit cards, but I cut them up a long time ago. The hubs has one… but he had it before he met me, and it makes me twitch every time he uses it. The only exception was my student loans, but that’s a different story. And my car, but the hubs bought that… again, twitchy, but what can I do? We needed a car. Anyway, I, myself have been working on a cash basis for decades now, and it’s worked for me. Then again, I lead an unusual life. So there’s that.

wet food

Awwwww.

Back to helping people.  If someone asks me for help, I will do everything in my power to help them. If they refuse what I offer… be it advice, money, a place to stay… whatever! then I’ve done all I can. I’m not going to offer anything else. Seriously, whats the saying? A gift much anticipated is not given but paid. If someone is asking for my help and they don’t take what’s offered then they’re not asking for my help, they’re asking for something specific… a gift of some sort. And while I’m happy to help in any way I can, I’m limited in my options. Sorry. I’ve got to look out for me and mine. So, to answer the prompt, I’m sure there were many times when someone else thought that I “should” have helped them and didn’t.  But I can’t think of a time when I purposely turned my back on someone without helping them for no good reason.

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5 thoughts on “Help me if you can…

  1. I so understand where you are coming from. Being on a fixed income is even worse because there is never going to be more than there is now and we are one bit of tooth decay, medical bill, or car problem away from … I don’t know. And every year, when our government, into whose coffers we paid more than the GNP of a small nation, cuts our “benefits” just a little more and the drug companies and medical providers charge just enough more so that whatever we do get doesn’t go as far. It’s the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep at night and the first thing on my mind when I wake up before dawn, unable to sleep. What little we’ve got isn’t enough to bury one of us, so we better not die, either.

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    • Oh, trust me, I know… before I married the hubs, I was part of the working poor… the real working poor. I couldn’t even take a day off from work without worrying about not making the rent.

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    • Also, I figure that I’ll get buried one way or another, because as a comedienne once said, “Society doesn’t like a rotting corpse.” We’re planning on cremation, which is cheaper and screw funerals. As big of a money suck as weddings if you ask me.

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