Thursday, November 4, 2010

Money II of III: Being average

I call myself poor.

My income last year was almost smack-dab on the median single-person household income in this country.

I have all of the following:
  • A car that runs
  • Credit cards
  • A checking account
  • Clothes for fancy occasions and job interviews
  • No roommates
  • The expensive granola bars
  • A new laptop
  • Contact lenses
  • Frequent flier miles
  • An iPod
  • Yoga classes
  • Francine the pretty cruiser bicycle.

I don't have:
  • Dependents.
We have administrative assistants in my department that make less than some of the PhD students do.

I have friends who have never had a checking account. I have friends with no credit cards.

I have friends without cars, although for most of them it is a lifestyle choice.

There is a student in my department whom I believe subsists entirely on free food.

I need my laptop to do my job, and the old one was nearly inoperable. I couldn't justify selling my interview clothes or my iPod in a cost-benefit analysis.

I could get a roommate, wear glasses, and buy the cheap granola bars.

I could eat out less.

I could get a job doing research for six figures annually. No, really, I could, although none of those jobs are in cheap places to live.

I could hold my breath and put my new clutch on a credit card.

I could quit whining.

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