On being Broke

So. Here’s the deal with my financial situation. I wanna write this out because I feel frustrated. I feel iffy about calling myself poor because I am not, but I feel iffy about calling myself broke a little too because I have many people backing me up and supporting me. But the thing is, I am 25 and I’d just like to take care of myself you know? The time for independence has come. But I just can’t reach it and it’s really starting to hurt me.

I’m superlucky because, without divulging too much info, I get to live somewhere with an abnormally low rent and I am often given food. I love it thank you, I have to go the the supermarket a lot less often wich is a blessing because it’s my number one source of panic. I have to pick out what I wanna eat less too because that gives me anxiety too. I get things I couldn’t buy for myself. My food supply isn’t endless though, and I still have to pay a that little rent. From above you can tell my monthly need for money is pretty little. But I still can’t reach it! That hurts real bad. That makes me feel like I am worthless.

It doesn’t matter I can’t buy this or that — I’ve come to shop a lot and get enough satisfaction knowing what fabrics, models etc. are in store without feeling the urge to buy this (it’s literally impossible so it’s not that hard!) — but it matters when I can’t buy food or make rent, because my health as well as other people’s trust in me is hurt. When I suddenly do find a shiny coin or colourful bank note I get a sense of euphoria and I keep hearing Donna’s and Tom’s TREAT YO SELF, because I deserve that thing, any thing, right? I am NOT worthless. But then all your money is gone and why the fuck did I “treat” myself? I didn’t treat myself, I just buried my own hole deeper. Yet it’s still hard to think about this in such a way when you’re yearning and yearning and yearnign and all these people around you are spending money like it’s nothing. And sometimes I want to feel not-so-worthless. More and more I am realising TREAT YO SELF is super hurtful for many people. In the original sense it was lovely; treat yourself once a year! Don’t even care about it! It’s useless but I love it and it makes me feel good? Do it! This is the only time of the year you are allowed to be ridic. But these days it’s splattered all over online, and people are encourage each other too fast, too often. Daily treating yourself can mean, playing a video game for a couple of hours, taking a nap, wearing a beautiful ball gown to do the dishes because you can’t wear it anywhere else. Treat yourself to posting a beautifully lighted selfie, treat yourself being you, treat yourself with a bath and some scents. Treat yourself hugging your best friend. Take care of yourself and treat yourself materially when you can, if you can, because you’re not worthless, but remember you don’t need it because you’re worth being here with or without products.

I’ve been able to model throughout the year for an art school as a side-job, but their classes have stopped and so has my money influx. I have a bunch of experience in the serving sector, including the fact that I grew up with parents who’ve been dealing with food, restaurants and bars all their lives (my childhood educucation was: ‘can you taste this super obscure herb? my current education is: what does this wine taste like? ‘banana’ my dad:’that is messed up but that’s what all wine conoisseurs say damn’), I have the most experience in being a museum supervisor, but suddenly you need a super expensive certificate for that now. I have at least five more exams this summer and I wanna pass them no matter what and I hope regardless I can find a job. I’m up for a factory job, a cleaning job, any and all jobs, but somehow you need to take tests for that too lately… and yeah… I’ve failed those. I feel useless, worthless. This is the reason why I’m going back to school, no matter how much money it’ll cost me, because I know I can at least use my brain and hopefully someone will hire me for that. In the meantime I’m gonna keep looking.

It’s hard too being around a lot of people from non-working class backgrounds and/or being around young people still getting plenty of support from their parents, not even flinching or tearing up when they hear a coursebook is over €50, they flop out their €100 banknotes and keep gossiping while I am transfixed to their wad (gimme that damn wad). Last year I threw a fit as soon as I got home because a professor refused to put his powerpoint slides online, so you could only purchase them printed for about €18! I don’t know how I’m gonna afford enrolling in the new year; our fees are very cheap compared to other countries; only 630 something euros!, but I have no idea how I’ll get around to that. Luckily my birthday is just before the start of the new school year! If I show that I’ll continually get better in school, maybe my family will chip in! Yeah!!! ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ

(By the by, I will be selling off a bunch of my clothes after my exams, around the 20th june or so! Here’s a preview, i.e. the things I found photos of, but there’s lots more and there’s also a couple of things that are simply to big for me, so don’t be scared off by my petite size!! Also if you click the images, I’ve written down what exactly will be sold.)

This is frustrating, this isn’t a cry for help. I just wanna know, have you been in this situation (I know plenty have it worse and I do no mean to degrade your experiences but if you feel frustrated right now, please vent it babe, vent that societal-inbuilt-guilt VENT.) Can we bond? Can we soothe each other?

What keeps me motivated is the wonderful Uniform Project! I’ve been thinking of doing something similar because these days I repeat my outfits, with a slight change to it a lot! This project is focussed on a black dress, but I’m so certain you could do this with so many more items! I’m gonna try to make an effort on taking pics (while I can) of outfits I repeat all the time, and try to put up a couple of my favourite tricks to change the appearance of a garment just a little bit, but is there anything else/in particular you’d want me to challenge? (I love challenges, and I love you boooooop.)

One of my most used tricks is this: when I am not happy with a dress’s length or poofyness of the skirt, I simply roll it up and tuck it onder a belt, like so.

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dress: second hand (it was quite expensive and I felt incredibly guilty buying this but I’ve always wanted a 70s orange dress so!), socks: gift, belt: found, fluff collar: gift

Hide it well, if you care. When your belt is tight enough it should stay in place or you can use safety pins so you don’t have to worry and have no trouble breathing if waist-tight belts bother you! (Here I ‘m holding it because I didn’t know what else to do with my arms — I do this trick a lot.)

3 Comments

  • I stay with family and my mother helps with my travel expenses. So for food and bus fare/gas I’m essentially covered. I also go to a community college, which I initially despised because I felt like I was somehow “better” than a two year education…
    However, the smaller class size and work ethic of the students around me has galvanized me to try much harder, AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE IS SO FUCKING CHEAP.
    I had to work full time a year before starting school, which really depressed me. My job wasn’t always fulfilling and I was envious of my friends across the country having the university experience at really great schools. My job offered a scholarship which helped me pay for college and I was able to save enough earnings that I “could” pay my school fees out of pocket. I also worked my ass off to earn top marks in all my classes for potential scholarships and grants.
    It’s really tough being a working student. So I try to never complain because I am quite lucky that my BIGGEST concern is doing well in school. Eline, you don’t know just how strong you are. I feel bad that I’m not more independent too, but I’m taking the steps to make sure that I CAN fully support myself eventually. I believe in you Eline! Thanks for sharing your experiences and please continue to write!
    ::wink:

    • I’m in asimilar situation! I’m not living with my parents because our relationship is a little too strife but I am living-in, sorta. I’m contributing to the household though! & Over here almost all schools are really cheap (bless our mixed social state!!) . AND I also worked for a year to pay for school, except that I was completely unemployed and worked the most ridiculously small and low-paying jobs (“volunteering jobs”). But I can’t get any kind of grant here for real and small minor reasons and that really sucks! It’s so frustrating!
      Thank you for sharing your frustrations with me too, I feel a little less alone. And soon we’ll get to a point of independence and we’ll kick so much butt! Let’s do this ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ

  • Eline, Eline, I feel this so hard and it is just URGHH!

    I’m from a poor, working class background and just am generally broke and it is so rubbish! I have been thinking a lot about consumption, $$$$ and the blogosphere as well (I think I might write a post about in the summer when exams are done)

    Btw omg your criticism on the treat yo self thing is SO on point <3

    It's something bizarrely I have encountered irl too, like a therapist of mine a few years ago told me to go out and buy an i-pod?! Whilst I'm no radical Marxist person by any means it saddens me how super duper capitalist narratives surrounding self care and just like blogging in general are. This attitude of 'buy all the things!' just isn't helpful or possible for me and for so many other people also…

    The independence thing is something I feel deeply also, I am turning 23 in a week AND finishing university in a week, and as someone who feels a lot of shame about my own chronic mental health/physical conditions/neurovariant stuff and the extra support I sometimes need, the limits my body and mind have, I constantly feel the need to JUSTIFY myself as a functioning human being. And so much of that is intrinsically linked to finances-paying rent somewhere fancy, owning beautiful things, going to far off places-all the things I CAN'T do basically.

    It is just cruel and sad that this attitude is so tied up with self care…well it sucks :/

    xox

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