Spending All My Money in America

I have been home for just over two months now, and I have spent something like Thirty Seven Hundred Dollars! I can’t believe it, my savings are almost completely depleted. Savings that I took to Asia and lived on for almost two years, I should mention that I found work over there though. Savings that after selling my car for $2,300 were almost higher than when I left. I have plans to travel again with them, to go to South America, hike in the Patagonia in southern Chile, and then travel north volunteering on farms. But as time passes here, my money just disappears and with it my plans to travel again so easily. I wonder if the two months here is worth trading for the experiences I could have had with that money in other unexplored countries.

It’s not to say that what I have been doing with my time is not important. I have been with family, and spending time traveling around Oregon and Washington staying with friends that I have not seen in a far too long. It was much needed time spent here. Rekindling the old days with people who I’m glad are still in my life. I have been cheap though, relying on those friends to buy me drinks, and trying chill out in their homes to save money, traveling in the cheapest ways and when possible walking everywhere to save the $2.50 bus fare. I got a food stamps card as soon as I got back into the country and have been letting the government buy meals for me, and for my friends so that I can barter with them in that way, you buy a bottle of wine, or whiskey, I’ll cook dinner for you.  It is far better than spending ten dollars on a hamburger, when did restaurants get so expensive, I feel like before I left I could go out and eat for six bucks, now it is ten, that’s a big jump in just two years.

I have decided to move home for a while, go to school and get some work, it is also much needed, I need to be home with people I know in the place where I’m from, and just relax for a little while. But finding work is not as easy as I remember, and the big one – rent – I rented a room in a house, for $575 a month, that means my move in cost of first, last and $300 deposit was $1,450. This is crazy, what kind of poor person can come up with this much money. I sure felt the dent it took out of my remaining stash. Now I must work my ass off replenish the money I have spent, but I have to hope my school fees wont be too much over the amount the government gives me, and I also have to watch how much money I make, because if I make too much I’ll reach a new tax bracket and the government won’t give me school money next year.

Where is the get rich quick plan for making money? I am not finding it. I have even considered taking out a loan once I start school. Entering the debt system in this country is something that many of you have done and I feel sorry for you to be blunt. I have worked very hard not to be a part of it, because I know once you are, it controls your life. Want to travel…no you have payments to make. Lose your job…oh no! You have payments to make. Paying interested alone makes me upset, it is like giving away money. But it seems like there is little choice but to enter it at times, we are pushed into it.

So now I need to work, work, work, and spend as little as possible. I need to try to put some of the padding back in my mattress. I just don’t see how everything is so damn expensive in this county. More importantly I can’t believe the set up costs, being cheap and jumping from one friends couch to another is still damn expensive and getting a place of your own takes a good savings and a steady income coming in. America, lower your damn prices. I sometimes forget that it took me more than two years to save up to travel.

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