Saturday, November 02, 2013

Being Poor and Buying "Luxuries"

This is an excellent post from Talking Point Memo on why poor people sometimes buy luxuries.

I want to add my reason.

I have not been poor, but I never had a lot of spare money, due to decades of clerical jobs that didn't pay much. When I wasn't working clerical or warehouse jobs, I was working for nonprofits that paid badly. My writing got me pocket change. I once told an editor that writing earned me enough money to go to cons and buy Laura Ashley skirts. (This was back when Laura Ashley fashions were a deal.) Living in a consumer society, surrounded by advertising and stories about rich and famous people gnaws at you, if you don't have enough money for "nice things." It is hard to be 100% prudent and thrifty for your entire life, all of it, cradle to grave. Some people can do it, but it's hard. The desire to splurge builds up; and -- now and then -- you will buy something really nice, something that makes no sense, just because it's a luxury in a life that involves a lot of careful thinking about money.

Post Script: It turns out that the link above gets you to the NASA pumpkin carving contest. Here is the link to the essay. I have left the NASA link, because the video is neat, and because life should have some unexpectedness.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or alternately, it can be a link to NASA pumpkins :) Wise words in your post...

9:21 AM  
Blogger Eleanor said...

Jennifer -- Thank you for telling me about the link.

10:39 AM  

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