Frugal is the New Cheap

So this is the thing...I have to budget myself 'cause I'm a graduate student and I have no money.  So now I can only spend about fifty dollars a week on food and toilet paper or whatever miscellaneous expensis that I have.  The fact that I can't spell expensis, should be a clue as to what my feelings about this issue are.

 

For the next couple years I won't be shopping unless my mother takes me shopping, she always pays.  But don't cry for me, America, I have more clothes than god, or the goddess perhaps.  I have so many clothes that I am currently filling three pretty large closets in two different houses.  My car currently is housing some of my clothes as well...don't ask...

 

I'm gonna do things like make soup and clip coupons and I'm not even gonna cry.  I mean, in the back of my head, I've always known that I was privileged.  But I didn't really understand that I am spoiled.  I expect to be spoiled, I want a man who will spoil me.  I want to spoil myself.

 

I also realize that fifty dollars a week is enough money, really.

 

The truth is, I also want to be a teacher which is sort of like saying I want to be part of the working class poor.  I mean really, but I would rather inspire children to write and change the world etc., instead of being able to drink that Starbucks iced coffee every morning.  Even though Starbucks has this special syrup they put in the iced coffee to make it like super delicious.

 

But never mind all that...let's be real.  I must join the real world now.  I have no idea how much money I will be able to make as a teacher, it ranges from like twenty thousand to like a hundred thousand.  I don't know if my writing will ever make me money, I like to think it will.

 

But let's be real.  I need to watch myself, pay attention, make my own pasta sauce even though I love Prego.

 

The thing is, no matter how poor I am, I don't think of myself as poor.  It may be because I have always lived a privileged lifestyle and I even went to an Ivy League School.

 

All my friends are richer than me, I should hang out with poorer people actually.

 

I think the reason I don't feel poor is because I chose this lifestyle.  I could have become a lawyer, a corporate lawyer for that matter.  I'm somewhat smart.  But I'm a writer, and we are not known to make millions right away, if ever.  I like being a starving artist in this way...not because I enjoy my own dramatic tragedy, which I by no means deny, but because I would rather do something that means something to me than have this vast collection of shoes that hurt my feet.

 

I want the shoes, don't get me wrong.  I just would rather go to work every day LOVING what I do.  I know I will love teaching, even though all my friends warn me about what a nightmare kids are these days.  It's true, but I WILL find a way to get through to them.  I will die trying.  I LOVE writing.  I wake up in the morning and I just want to get to the page sometimes.

 

Passion is not something you can buy.

 

I was worried for a moment that I would become "cheap," because of my new ordeal.  Then after my friend so eloquently put it, "Girl, you ain't eveh gonna be cheap."  I was touched.  I think being cheap does not reflect a financial status, but an emotional one.  Being cheap is a state of mind, it's about not thinking you have enough and not thinking that the universe has enough, not thinking that there is enough that you can still give.

 

I don't give money to nobody right now, I'm just learning how to live on less myself.  But there are those who live on MUCH LESS.  I gotta remember that.  I've got to remember that no matter how much I have, I can give to them instead of wasting my money.

 

So don't ever call me cheap, just know that I am frugal because the universe wants us all to share, and I've definitely had my share.

 

nina

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