I’ve been broke a few times in my life. Sometimes it’s been because I worked contract gigs. Sometimes it’s been because I’m unemployed. Either way, a lot of the stuff that Eric Ravenscraft talks about in his blog post for Lifehacker seems really familiar, particularly the stuff about financial advice being aimed at people who are not you when you’re broke, the deliciousness of service station hotdogs, and this bit in particular:
Money isn’t just about paying for goods and services. Money is about dignity. When you get below $20,000/year, dignity becomes a luxury rather than a necessity and, when viewed solely through the eyes of financial advisors, luxuries should be cut first.
Eric Ravenscraft, The Financial Advice I’m Glad I Ignored When I Was Broke
There were years where I routinely lived on about $18,000 a year. Maybe a little less. These days, I look at the money I used to live on in my twenties and wonder how the hell I did it. Ultimately, what it comes down to is this: I’ve gotten used to the dignity as a day-to-day thing.