Recently, Yahoo featured an article on their homepage that really caught my attention as I went to go check my email. A woman claims to have gone ten days without spending a dime. It is a miraculous thing to actually have enough money these days to be able to choose whether you want to spend a dime or not. Many Americans these days do not have that luxury.
There are a few problems with this challenge from the get go. First off, this woman ran out and stocked up before she decided to not spend a dime. That essentially defeats the purpose of the challenge. By just switching the times you actually spend the money, nothing is being saved. Next, as was pointed out by more than one of the comment posters in this Yahoo article, unless a person lives outside, they will be spending money on things such utilities, even if they are paid in advance. Again, this is the same principle as stocking up – spending money at a different time is still spending money.
Everyday there are more and more reports of American workers losing their jobs or settling for much lower paying positions in order to feed their families. The Huffington Post recently reported that 46,000 unemployed North Carolinians have stopped receiving federal benefits due to political standoffs. According to CNN, there are 8.3 million Americans on disability today. With those checks being spread thinner and thinner, going ten days without spending money is not an accomplishment for any of these Americans.
As writers, we are told to put ourselves into our work while not becoming too personal. Well, in this case, I feel that a little personal inflection would definitely add some perspective. I am unemployed, and thanks to state laws was turned down for unemployment after waiting two months, not getting paid for any of it, for a result. I am now staying with a friend while living just one step away from the streets. Out of sheer necessity, I have gone entire months without spending one single dime. That is much easier to do when you literally have no money to live on, but still does not make an accomplishment.
I am proud of the woman, who was well enough off to be able to plan ahead and spend a chunk of money and call it saving. For those of you who are thinking this is solid advice, I urge you to not listen to the advice in that article. Yes, planning ahead is a great idea and will ultimately save you a lot of money. Concentration should be spent on things like trimming family budgets and cutting out unnecessary expenses. Sometimes, it is also important to find a second job, if you can.
There are other ways to make a little extra money that will help with budgeting, as well. Donating plasma is something you can do that helps everybody involved. There are also websites, like Associated Content, that will pay you for your writing skills and personal knowledge. No matter what avenue you choose, better budgeting and trimming expenses should be everybody’s number one step when trying to save money.
Other articles from Joshua Cook on the Yahoo! Contributor Network:
Earn Extra Money and Save Lives by Donating Plasma
Start Writing Now With Three Sites
Business and Professional Writing