Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ahead of the Curve

Tom Brokaw was on NPR this morning discussing the effects of the economy on businesses and people who need to take stock of their spending habits and lifestyles. By being a teacher in a cheap-ass rural county in Tennessee, my salary has always sucked. I got used to economizing (squeaking by) and don't notice any difference now since I've never been able to afford investments, don't have a credit card, and am not in debt except for my house. I'll have a car payment when this '99 car costs more to maintain that payments on a new one. I generally keep cars until that point. Would I like to have more money and live higher on the hog? Hell, yes! But I'm OK. For some reason, even though I make less money than I did when I was teaching now that I'm retired, the money goes farther, and I've even been able to save and do some traveling. When I told Mother this a few years ago, she asked, "You're not forgetting to pay something, are you?"

Then I read this on HuffPo and feel profoundly fortunate and thankful!

Jacqueline Mosley One Of Many In Memphis Struggling To Keep On Power

On January 12, CNN's "American Morning" featured the story of Jacqueline Mosley, a Memphis woman in her 60s who's struggled to find work and who has lived for nearly a year without power or heat in her home.

"I'm not without power because I don't want to pay. It's because I can't pay," she told CNN's Kiran Chetry. "It's been real challenging. Every day I'm out looking for a job. I'm trying to find things that I don't know how to do but I'm willing to learn."

Mosley knows she isn't the only one struggling, and she's grateful to the city of Memphis for temporarily giving her power and heat during the cold winter months. Before her power and gas were turned back on, Mosley would go to the local library in the morning to warm up. The power had been off in her home for 11 months.

Mosley can be contacted at jackiemosley@aol.com for potential job offers. She has 30 years experience as an administrative assistant and knowledge of modern computer software. "I'm diligent, I'm loyal, I can do it. Anything on the computer, I can do it. Anything in the office."

Chetry said that people were in tears in the studio listening to her story.


mrs. miss alaineus said...

you should write a book about living well through thrift or teach a course at a community center- seriously, many people would benefit from your knowledge and expertise!!!!

i know what you mean about stretching the frugal ass paycheck. for me, i've always kind of enjoyed seeing how cheaply i could get things done, which explains why i have a crock pot with a foot made out of a pink pearl eraser.


mistress maddie said...

Auntie- you must listen to NPR as much as I do. I always have it on when I'm home listening to jazz and classical. But I know what you mean about the report. Very intresting. Boy-Toy and I go in spurts with the spending. We make pretty good money, but we spend it wisely, always have. We will spend more on certain things and cut back and then have the money down the road for other things later. And while I love nice stores and eatries I also love a good dollar store!!! Tootles.

Miss Ginger Grant said...

I love your Momma's comment... she sounds like a pistol!

I wish I had your frugality... I'm a bit of a Scarlet O'Hara. I'm sure that comes as a shock to you!!!

Joy said...

I'm not frugal! When I was teaching, I never made it to the end of the month. It's all relative. I'd get paid and pay bills, buy groceries, fill the car with gas, set aside Brian's lunch money for school, and often have almost nothing left for the rest of the month when there were extra expenses. I'd get ingredients for chili, soup, and spaghetti that could stretch. It was a miracle when I'd just have one week left over with no money left.

Right now, I don't have as many expenses as I did then and also teach homebound students and work part time at a vitamin store for a reflexologist friend to help make up for the lower pay. I think one thing that helps is getting paid twice a month instead of once. Social Security and teacher retirement checks are two weeks apart.

If I had more money, I'd spend more. I'm not that good at this. Miss Ginger, I, too, am more of a Scarlet! And yes you'd love my mother "Miss Daisy"!