“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”

Today is sunny and warmer than it has been. The snow is almost gone. It lingers in piles on the corners of the streets and beside driveways. My deck and parking space are clear. The drama of the first snowstorm is over.

I woke up early, a relative term I realize, but decided I wasn’t ready yet to face the day. I slept another hour and a half. Gracie joined me. I took my time reading the papers. There just seemed to be lots of news. It was a three cups of coffee morning.

Today has an empty agenda. I’m not even sure I’ll get dressed. I’m not going anywhere. My car’s trunk is filled with trash but Leandro and Rosanna will be here in a bit to clean so tomorrow will be the big day, a banner day, a day to be out and about. Tomorrow is dump day, and the weatherman says it may rain. Of course it will. It is also get Gracie’s license day as the price goes up 100% after tomorrow which also happens to be the last day I can pay my real estate taxes on line. How will I pay you ask? Tomorrow is pay day.

My dad got paid every Friday when I was a kid. He’d hand his check over to my mother, the family accountant, who would cash it. It was her job to divvy the money into budget envelopes and to pay her Christmas club for the week. I remember those envelopes. On the front of each was the amount my mother put in every week. The envelopes over time became a deep tan color and were bound together inside a red cover with strings to close it.

When I bought my house, I started to use budget envelopes, but I wasn’t fancy. I just grabbed white envelopes, labeled them and put the amount on the front. I got paid every two weeks. The first couple of years I owned the house the mortgage was half my month’s salary. Those were the lean years. I didn’t travel anywhere for the first time since 1969 when I went into the Peace Corps. Restaurants, except once in a while, were not budget items. Grocery shopping was limited to needing only. I got sick of hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner.

The lean years lasted about four years. In the fifth year I went to Europe. My fiscal crisis was behind me: no more envelopes, no more scrimping and no more longing to be somewhere.

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6 Comments on ““Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    Sharon Christa McAuliffe,Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Francis (Dick) Scobee, mission commander; Ronald McNair; Mike Smith, and Ellison Onizuka

    Its hard to believe that it was thirty years ago that we lost these souls aboard the Challenger. I tried this morning to think of their families and children.

    The crew and their sacrifice for this country will not be forgotten.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      The Globe had a huge article. I remember watching the liftoff in the secretaries’ break room and were all crowded in to watch. It lifted off and then everyone in the room gasped when we saw the plume of smoke.

      I too couldn’t believe it was 30 years ago. I’d like to think it won’t be forgotten but how many remember Edward White, Gus Grissom, and Roger Chaffee who died when a fire erupted in their capsule during testing on Jan. 27, 1967. Their anniversary was yesterday.

  2. olof1 Says:

    We will be on the edge of a storm that will hit Norway really bad this weekend, so we’ll have very strong gusts here they say but the predictions varyu some so I guess we won’t know until it happens. They also say we’ll get lots of sideway raining too 🙂 Too bad that kind of raining isn’t like it’s sibling the sideways snowfall, where the snow just keeps on flying but never land anywhere 🙂

    WE don’t have dog license here, people didn’t pay it anyway 🙂 and our estate taxes (they have now changed the name on it to something fee) is put on our taxes so we don’t have to pay that as a bill. Mine is so small so it would be like a phone bill 🙂 For some reason they don’t think that a cottage in the middle of nowhere is as much worth as one in the big city, thankfully 🙂

    I pay my cottage over 40 years so it has always been much cheaper than if I would have to pay rent for an apartment. I could have paid it faster but I thought that I most likely wouldn’t care if I still had lots to pay if I would die suddenly long before I would have paid the entire cottage 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      We ended up getting less snow than they said, but the wind was as strong as they predicted.

      My taxes are well over thousand dollars, and they don’t cover beach stickers, dog licenses or dump stickers. They are all extra.

      As time went on, my salary rose and my house mortgage remained the same so it became but a small amount of my salary. My mortgage was 30 years and is paid.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  3. Hedley Says:

    In my first job, I was paid 30 days in arrears and given my gross annual income was $1,700 (before taxes and commuting) I lived in what could best be described as a frugal manner.

    Today I live and pay bills as though I will be broke tomorrow – cant help it. Everything gets paid immediately, my head spins with due dates and likely amounts – the gas bill hits tomorrow and over the weekend it will be the cable bill. Credit card – pay it off every week

    I don’t mind living this way, its all I have ever really known

    • katry Says:


      My first job was the Peace Corps which paid me $75.00 per month of service to be paid upon completion. That was $1500. My first teaching job paid me $6800.

      I have only one credit card which I pay right away. The cable was paid yesterday, car loan at the start of the month and the rest as they come in, house stuff mostly.

      I have been on three trips since I retired: Morocco and twice to Ghana. The trips to Ghana were expensive as I flew first class air. This next time I probably won’t as I am traveling with friends. I am dreading an 11 3/4 hour flight in steerage but on the bright side it will be much cheaper.

      My savings will be down to almost nothing after his trip. I’ll start saving right away so I can take another trip in a couple of years. I’m good at saving.

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