Austerity Sucks Shit

I.

This isn’t a project that is about saving money. It’s not a project designed to make you more thrifty. I’m not pinching pennies. If I were, I wouldn’t be doing any of this.

The cheapest thing to do is to not.

If you’re looking for tips to save money, you’ve got the wrong person.

II.

If you’ve never had the unique experience of being poor, I highly suggest it. It gives you a wonderful perspective that you can’t get anywhere else.

Of course, I don’t recommend staying poor, either.

How do you become temporarily poor? I don’t know.

Lottery tickets are $2.

III.

I’m tired of living in apartments I’m too afraid to enjoy. I lived in a 575 square foot apartment for six years. I never decorated it out of fear of having it taken away from me. I thought the minute that I let myself feel at home in an apartment – the very second that I decorated something – my landlord would rush in and take it away from me.

Decorating was for the house I knew I was destined to get.

IV.

If you had asked five-year-old me what I wanted most in the world, it would have been one of two answers.

My own house. Preferably a hot pink house that was underground and had a swimming pool…

…Or…

…For my parents to finally get an above-ground pool.

I’m 33 years old and still don’t have a house, underground or otherwise.

My parents’ back yard is still, regretfully, pool-free.

V.

My house obsession has been with me since day one. When I was in high school, I took up drafting in our vo-tech class. I learned how to design houses – and also mechanical drafting – because I simply loved daydreaming about homes so much.

I didn’t become an architect, by the way.

VI.

Two weeks ago, I got it in my head that I could apply for a mortgage. I filled out all the forms; I consented to have a stranger comb through my financial history. I already pay $760 a month in rent, and I pay all my utilities and credit card bills with no issue. Sure, I have student loans, but who doesn’t.

On Friday, I got a rejection letter from my bank.

That’s fine.

Fuck ‘em.

VII.

I knew I was going to get rejected, so five minutes after I applied for a mortgage, I went through the arduous process of applying for income-based housing. I’d lived in income-based housing way back in the day. It’s not glamorous to apply. It’s a lot of hoop-jumping. It’s being poor, but the correct type of poor.

It’s means-testing.

There’s a quote that I can’t remember fully that goes something like

“Show them you can live on less, and they’ll give you less.”

It’s something like that.

But ultimately, income-based housing provides affordable housing for people who need it. Well, sometimes… If they’re the right type of poor.

I’m the palatable type of poor, I guess.

VIII.

This isn’t a blog about saving money. It’s not a blog about being thrifty. It’s not a fun romp in dollar tree challenges.

That shit is for suburban shitheads.

This is a project to keep me busy. It’s me permitting myself to love where I live, even if it’s not technically my own.

And hey, not that you need it, but I’m giving you permission to do the same.

 
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