There was a point a few months ago when I started ranting about artists and money management:
I do not understand people who can’t handle money, who live paycheck to paycheck. How hard is it to spend less than you make, to save, to separate wants from needs? To invest in quality stuff instead of disposable stuff and not buy just because you’re in a hurry? To borrow, or share, or buy used, or make stuff instead of running to Wal-Mart daily? I’m sick of middle class mentality. That’s why our country is broke – we have so much money here that people don’t think of actual costs.
So I had a few friends comment about a few useful things about artists and money management:
One said, “Read “Nickled and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich. It might just surprise you.”
I said, “I read that book. I grew up poor and learned to be resourceful and it bothers me to see people wasting money day in and day out because they grew up middle class and have no clue. It also bothers me when there’s no connection between artists and money management. I’ve heard many of artists and entrepreneurs say, ‘I don’t have the money,’ for a totally essential tool for their business like a website or a video camera. But I see them out throwing money at a lot of stupid stuff like drinks in bars or brand new clothes. I’m grumpy. My fangs are long this morning.”
I’ve started to realized that when I’m hungry, or dealing with one of my trauma issues, or mad, that I can have a lot of disproportionate responses to a lot of things until I have time to process through and relax. But in general there are only a few tools needed to be a professional poet: Pen and paper, a cell phone, a laptop, an internet connection, and a video camera. The sum is less than $1000, now, so when I see people driving cars with a $300 a month payment I just don’t get it the complexity for artists and money management.
How my friends got me off ranting about artists and money management:
My mental health researcher friend, Lael Ewy said, “People think they can’t handle money for the same reason that people believe it when they’re told they are incapable of recovering from psychic distress.”
My peer specialist friend said, “Great point! I read “The Tightwad Gazette” when I was young. I haven’t completely broken away from the habits you describe, but that book had a big influence on how I manage money. Plus, finding ways around buying new is better for the environment.”
My church friend said, “I’ve had a written budget since I was 18. Most people I know have no idea what is coming in or going out. That would be like walking around blindfolded to me! Washing machines will die, you will get a flat tire and property taxes are due every year, pretending like this is not going to happen is silly!”
One of my rent liberated friends said, “Living on the street its common to stand in a store with $10.00 and struggle with the choice of a bottle or food.”
Of course, then, there’s this from one of my civil rights worker friends: “I think there are many reasons, but if you find the answer Corinna, you really could become wealthy (with money, that is). I guess Suze Ormann seems to be trying to solve these problems.”