Commemorating BuzzAround.Info’s 10th year, I am sharing with you, Dear Reader, our beginnings and lessons learned while working my way out of poverty. There can be an art to living frugally; here are thoughts and tips that made it easier for me. I am hoping if I share my story, it will help someone else.
About guilt and shame: pride has no place, because, let’s face it, poverty is hard. No-one wants to be there. If questions like: “Oh damn, the car needs fixing, what is the least amount I can pay for the power not to be shut off?” enter your life, maybe this will help you.
I started writing this newsletter on a laptop right inside the front door of my 5 room 100-year-old house on Spring St. in East Bridgewater. That was the only place I could get the internet signal from my neighbors. On cold days that first winter, I would go to the public library to write. At home, our only heat was the wood stove in the kitchen and sometimes I couldn’t get the house above 53 degrees. The kids were at school all day, so they were fine, but if I didn’t get warm during the day, I worried about hypothermia.
Now I live in an apartment (heat included), my kids are in college, and with a bunch of help, the Buzz Team has developed a socially responsible business that builds community by publishing good news to 10,000 people each week. BuzzAround.Info is a great job that’s lots of fun.
It took me a couple of years, so the time to start is now! First tip: when you struggle, access community resources. Food. Seriously. Bite the bullet. Accept the help. It’s not going to cover all your food needs, but it will help. Each of our towns has a food pantry. Contact info is posted up top of each town’s Buzz Around e-newsletter. Guilt, shame and pride: Believe me, I have plenty for all of you. Those questions of “How did I get here?” and “Why am I here?” take years to answer. In the meantime, get food. Do it.
Go to the public library. Our libraries have anything we could want and need. Internet Access. Computers & printers. Job search, education on any topic, music, movies and yes, books. I spent many hours writing the BuzzAround.Info and finding solutions at our public library.
Changing patterns of behavior is hard, but if life is going for you the way it was for me 10 years ago, I beat my head against the wall enough it started to hurt. It doesn’t have to hurt. Life can be easier!
Thanks for reading.~Jacquie