American Poverty

Not too long ago, Patrick Rothfuss posted a blog about his money jar. This prompted me to really think about how far I've come in the past five years. Life as a creative is almost never the most financially stable and it took a lot of hard work to move to where I am today.

Not long after my wife and I moved in together, we started a rainy day fund. We pulled all of our change together and began putting it into two jars. One is for all pennies and the other is for coins of greater value than pennies. Sound familiar? Sounds like American poverty. Of course, when our jobs cut our hours back because they couldn't afford to have us on staff, it was these jars that carried us over to the next sad paycheck.

Usually we would cash the coins in, but I distinctly remember buying groceries once with a jar full of silver. We would always try as hard as we could to ignore that the money existed because if the jar was full, that meant you had a decent amount of cash set aside. Fortunately, when we did need it, we had done a great job of ignoring its presence.

I now look back at those times and shiver. So many times I was on the brink of complete loss. Between those money jars and the help of some very caring individuals, my family is in a much better place than we were only a few years ago. We haven't achieved all we can, but we're far better off than many who haven't yet risen from the dark shackles of poverty.

I haven't cashed in my change in nearly two years and this stands as a constant reminder that no matter how far off my goals seem, there was a time when things were much worse. No matter how discouraged I become with my finances, @@there are those who still cash in their coins every month while my coins sit in jars, waiting for rainy days.@@

What About You?

Humans have a hard time remembering that things can be worse.

What is it that you're thankful to leave behind? Let me know in the comments below!