Childfreelife’s Weblog

{July 6, 2008}   Don’t Get This Broke 2: Can You Gracefully Accept Charity?

If you are reading this now, and you are still savable, do not get this much in debt! Right now if things are tough, cut back now, and even ask for help if you need it. Don’t get into debt that will compound with interest and keep you from having fun years down the line. Don’t get deep into debt out of pride or laziness. I am not asserting that poor people are lazy. What I am saying is that it takes effort to find resources to help you through hard times

I have read blogs about single or childfree people living off of Ramen noodles to get by and save a few cents here and there to radically pay down debt. This makes me cringe because Ramen is so bad for you; it is full of salt and has almost no nutrition and it is mostly empty calories. I think you can grab a can of tomato paste or stewed tomatoes for a 50 cents at a discount store and a few pounds of whole wheat noodles for a dollar and have a more healthy dinner. At least it has two food groups!

Don’t live so broke that you damage your health. Chances are you will lose more money on medicine for hypertension and weight loss programs for those years of eating Ramen then I am sure you saved cutting a few dollars or cents out per meal. Keep in mind that food banks and food stamps can provide you with healthier options like beans, soups and canned vegetables for free.

I had a few friends who were poor and had food stamps, free lunches, and food baskets at holidays when I was a teenager. Watching them eat decently despite poverty taught me something too. My first husband and I lived in a tiny two bedroom apartment with a roommate. I was the only one gainfully employed during a recession. In order to get by all of us were on food stamps and received food from food banks so that we could eat healthily and get back on our feet.  Though a lot of holiday charity is for kids, like Christmas present drives, even childfree low income families can request a holiday food basket.  We were quite happy with our turkey and gravy, thank you!

When a dental emergency hit, I called my religious organization and asked for help paying for the bill, I painted them a religious icon as thanks. I gave back my time, I worked at food banks as a volunteer, and I really showed I appreciated the help. I gave back in a meaningful way in order to not feel crushed by accepting charity. The aid of these organizations did get me on my feet. I am now a successful professional. And I did it without getting into serious debt. Another way I can make it up to the organizations that helped me, to be a success story and to pay it forward.

A graceful way to accept charity is to consider it a loan to get you on your feet.  You will have an opportunity to pay it back someday!  You will pay back the food stamps with taxes, you will pay back the charity by paying it forward or donating to those organizations once you are are successful.


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