Three hundred and twenty-four

Other income

Have you ever seen that television show Til Debt Do Us Part?  I’ve watched a few episodes when I’ve been flicking through channels at my parents’ house.  A financial expert helps a married couple deal with their money problems.  From what I’ve seen, the financial expert always advises that the couple find some way to gain additional income to help themselves out.

I wrote yesterday about a couple ways to make extra money when you need it.  There’s getting an extra job or panhandling.  And of course getting a sugar daddy.  But there are less extremes ways to earn some extra cash.  You can sell old stuff, for example sports equipment to Play It Again Sports, or have a garage sale.  If you’re crafty, you can make trinkets to sell at craft sales.  You can also return bottles to The Beer Store to get the bottle deposit back.

A bunch of us are going to my friend’s house for dinner on Saturday night.  We are all bringing something to add to the meal and I said I’d bring a salad.  On $4 a day, it is hard to find enough money to feed myself and have enough leftover to pay for the large salad to bring.  But I also know that, from my research, a lot of the depression that comes from poverty comes from social exclusion.  The worst thing you can do is sit at home and avoid your friends and family.  As Suzanne said in her comment the other day, when you don’t have money, you both appreciate and need to spend time with your support system to get through it.  You can find joy in just a simple walk in the park with them, or playing cards, or just talking.

I know my friends would understand if I say I can’t bring anything, but I want to contribute.  I wouldn’t want to show up empty handed and therefore might not have gone.  I needed to make some extra money to afford the salad so I could go.

My brother and I had a huge stack of bottles (wine, beer and liquor) that had accumulated over the past six months or so.  I lugged all of the bottles down two big flights of stairs in the rain (six trips), drove them to The Beer Store, then carried them inside, sorted them and got the money for the return.  It took about an hour from start to finish.  But I ended up with $21.60!  Plenty of extra money to pay for the salad.

How good deeds go wrong…

A little flashback to Good Deed month.  I talked a lot last month about how people don’t accept good deeds, or in the extreme, react angrily or violently towards them.  I started my day today with proof of this.

I live in a large house with six apartments in it.  Last night I got home from work at 2am and the recycling hadn’t been taken to the curb.  I know it is one of the people in the house’s job is to take the garbage out every week.  It was late though and they hadn’t been taken out, so I thought I’d be nice and put them to the curb.  This morning there was a three page note, written in thick black marker, covering the main door to our house.  The note said basically in capital letters “WHOEVER TOOK THE BINS OUT DO NOT.  DO NOT TAKE THE GARBAGE OUT.  THIS IS MY JOB.  DO NOT TOUCH THE GARBAGE. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS, CALL ME  etc etc”  for three pages!

I was absolutely shocked.  I was trying to do something nice on a cold winter’s day and instead I get a nasty THREE PAGE letter telling me not to help.  I’m a little confused as to why she cares that much.  She doesn’t know it’s me, and I was going to call her and  try to make her feel bad by being super sweet, but it’s not worth my time.  I guess I won’t be taking out the recycling anymore.  That’s what I get for doing a good deed – a bad way to start my day.

9 thoughts on “Three hundred and twenty-four

  1. Why not treat yourself to a good deed !!!!!!!!!!Seeing as how this neighbor really enjoys taking out the garbage you might consider collecting you friends garbage and add them to your own to create a huge back breaking heap.

  2. Um, you don’t live with someone named Dexter do ya? Those bags didn’t perchance contain body parts or something, right?


  3. I know your point was about earning extra money, however I thought I would add my 2 cents from when I didn’t have the money to attend social events. The point is that your real friends want to know why you’re not spending time with them and when you swallow your pride and tell them you can’t afford to come, its liberating and I found brings you closer. Plus, you need to find ways to see people without spending money and yes sometimes they pay for you (like you did for me, taking me for concerts, etc.) or your don’t have to bring anything. But you can help the host cook or do something else helpful that isn’t based on money. And real friends know that you’ll give back when you can.

    In addition when you tell friends it could lead to another way to earn more money. They may know about a part-time job you could get (like you did for me).

    I’m just suggesting perhaps by the end of the month, swallowing your pride and showing up somewhere without anything and just say “you can’t afford to”. Perhaps even with someone that doesn’t read your blog (if you can find one). See how you feel and what the outcome was. I think it would be a good exercise for this month. I think returning empty’s is good, but the likihood that you would have that many if you were living on $4 or even $20 is slim.

    I really like this month…it reminds me how very lucky I am to have the loving people in my life that helped lift me up when I was down. Thank you for being one of them!

    • Thanks Sarah. Those are good ideas. And I know you went through some tough times. I love the idea about helping the host cook or doing helpful things that don’t cost money. (And I realize I wouldn’t have that many empties in the house on a tight budget, although they were accumulated over months and months. That was an extreme to prove a point. You can also ask your friends and family if you can take back their bottles. Many people hate that chore, so I’m sure would be more than happy to let you keep the money if you did the manual labour to take them back.)

      As for the showing up somewhere without anything, you know I’d have such a hard time with that. I just spend three days worth of food money on food for other people (baking supplies for a friend who’s helping me out, so I can give something to him in return, and some of the salad ingredients), and am eating a 50 cent can of tomatoes and $1 pasta for dinner. I define myself by what I give and how I take care of people. Taking that away would defeat me. But I guess that is your point. The feeling of not being able to contribute is defeating. I have had to tell a few friends that I couldn’t do things with them because I couldn’t afford to and that was hard. Next opportunity I get I will try to show up without anything.

  4. Thank you for quoting me again Miss Schweitz:) Sarah is correct in saying that a real friend would understand should you not be able to contribute to a function and a helping hand is always appreciated! Clean up is what I am most grateful for at any function and one I do to any that I attend. Friendship and family is soooo much more than money……….Have fun Sat. night:)

  5. Pingback: Three hundred and thirty-seven | threehundredsixtysixdays

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