10 Things Only The Rich Can Afford

Image

I wasn’t the most privileged kid growing up.

I wrote about this in a previous post, some time ago, about how I was glad I had grown up poor (https://dreamerrambling.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/im-glad-i-grew-up-poor/) because it had made be a more independent and resourceful person with a better view on money.

Today, as I was fondling a gift from one of my friends, it struck my fancy to write a post about items only the rich can afford. In other words, superfluities, stuff that isn’t needed for survival. And might I just add that I realize that I am privileged, growing up in a first world country, and that my idea of poverty is probably the epitome of wealth in some other country. It’s all relative and I fully appreciate and understand that. This is just my point of view based off of my own life experiences. Anyway, enough rambling. Let’s get into it, shall we?

1. Scented Candles. Golly gosh. When I was young, I was just glad that we had enough money to pay the electricity bills so I could read at night. But candles? Candles that smelt nice and were around twenty quid a pop for the good ones? What do I look like, a millionaire? The first time I ever owned one of these was when I was sixteen and it was given to my mother from her wealthy friend as a present. Let’s just say, my sister and I treated it as a deity and fought over the right to light it.

2. Hygiene luxuries. Just all those fancy creams and bath salts and bath bombs and lotions sold in those Bath and Body Works shops in the US with all these different scents and colors and brands. One for your feet, your hair, your body, your ears. As a kid, my idea of ‘pampering’ was a bar of plain soup and a discounted $1 shampoo.

3. Fancy Christmas tree decorations. Have you ever seen how elaborate those things can get? And how expensive? At Christmas, we were lucky to get a tree and a couple of baubles from the dollar store. I remember picking out a 12 pack of cheap baubles for $0.75 cents after the jolly season was over for the next Christmas.

4. Bed decorations. You know what I’m talking about. The matching pillow case, blanket, sheets. The pretty plush pillows in the shapes of hearts or whatever. Some huge soft toys to boot. My pillow and blanket were always mismatched and I kept using them even after they became ragged and had holes. I had one soft toy and its plastic eye was falling out.

5. Designer clothes. Need I say more?

6. Holidays. You’re going on holiday? Well, that’s all fine and dandy but, hm, let’s think about this for a second…if you’re on holiday, that means you’re not working right? And spending hard-earned cash? HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY THE RENT? No, no, I don’t think we’re going to win the lottery, but thanks for your input.

7. Visits to the cinema. Psssh, you say, it’s just the movies! It’s what, like, fifteen bucks a ticket? What do you mean, you can’t come? Everyone’s going, it’s the coolest, latest film with all these buff dudes and sexy chicks. Well, I’m very sorry but I’m saving up money for school excursions this year. I don’t want to be the kid that stays behind in class doing work while everyone else is off gamboling at the museum. Besides, I like museums better than cinemas. Sue me.

8. Any new gadget-y fandangles.  Yes, I still need to press actual buttons on my phone. No, it’s not touchscreen. No, my TV is not wafer thin and stuck to the wall, it’s hefty and you need to give it a couple of good thumps if the people on screen start being sawed in half by jerky static lines. What? What the hell is an iPhone?

9. Eating out. I’m looking at you, coffee. It’s just cheaper to make meals from scratch at home. I was that kid who, while hanging out with friends at the mall, bought nothing from the stores and sipped water from my own bottle and had a nice sandwich prepared with lots of love by my mother. I never bought coffee, tea or any other beverage. No Starbucks for this gal.

10. Jewelry. When I say jewelry, I mean the real stuff, none of those cheap, jangling, costume jewelry you can get at Forever 21 or something. Like, real silver and gold and gemstones. I swear to god, aren’t those reserved for royalty?

 

Well, that’s it for now. I’d love to hear from any of you, if you have any more ideas for this list.

I’d just like to say that even though I was highly sarcastic in this post, I don’t have anything against ‘privileged’ people.

I wrote this post for the heck of it, because it was fun to write.

And in the hope that perhaps it might have made you take a look at the luxuries in your house right now and wonder if all of it is really necessary.

Until next time.

-Dreamerrambling

 

Advertisements

I’m Glad I Grew Up Poor

Image

(The above image is from morgueFile. I do not claim any ownership of the image)

My parents weren’t the wealthiest people around. In fact, as I was growing up, they only just got by.

Did I mind being poor? I hated it for a period as a teenager. I wanted to have the electronic gadgets, the shoes and the clothes other girls had. But my family couldn’t afford them. I felt left out. Other people owned houses and flashy cars while my family drove a clunky, cheap piece of metal which was sturdy but unsightly and we rented all the way up until I entered university. We were on social security. My self-worth dropped because everyone disdained those who were in penury. Either that or they pitied me, which I loathed. Society made me feel ashamed of it. It seemed to point an accusatory finger at my parents, calling them indolent and lazy even though they worked hard.

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I lived in a safe area and was never starving or homeless, so I’m sure I was better off than a lot of people in this world. I know I should be grateful. But nevertheless, it was hard when I only bought clothes and shoes every six years. I was hard when my friends teased me about renting and having shabby clothes. It was hard when we hard to move from place to place when the rent was too high. It was hard when I saw my mother buckle under the stress of working two jobs and looking after my sister and I.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Yes, being worse off than other people can be hard when you’re a kid. But looking back, I’m glad I wasn’t born into the world with a silver spoon in my mouth.

I learnt which types of foods were healthy but cheap and how to cook them into meals. I learnt to save. I learnt to make every dollar count. I learnt that the world owes you nothing and that if you want anything, such as money, you have to go out and put in sweat, blood and tears to earn it. It pushed me to gain part-time jobs as a teenager which I otherwise, as my introverted self, would not have done had my parents been well off.

Do you know what I’m saying? Growing up poor made me resourceful which I know will stand me in good stead later on in life. Even if I do get a job that brings in a good income in the future, I know I won’t splurge or make impulse buys. Which brings me to the greatest lesson growing up poor ever taught me.

I used to be so jealous of these people who had all these material goods. Then, after much pontification, the gauze of consumerism was removed from my eyes. It made me realize how ridiculous it is to spend money, which is essentially one’s time, on things such as shoes, clothes and newer gadgets. Those objects mean nothing. Sure, they might give you a rush when you buy them and raise your status and make you look sexy or whatever. But in the end, well, they’re just things. You can’t take them with you when you die. Material goods won’t comfort you when you lie on your deathbed.

Because I grew up poor, I had a chance to think about what money really meant to me. And I realized it meant freedom. The more money I saved, the more chance I had to spend time on things I wanted to do, such as reading and writing, as I would have to work less. I didn’t care about trinkets and fabrics to adorn my body. Two of the activities I adored, reading and writing, were utterly free – all I needed was a nearby library and a notebook and pen. I’ve found that it’s true that the greatest things in life are free.

So if you’re poor at the moment, especially if you’re a teenager – hey, hang in there. I know it can be damn well hard. I used to type into google ‘help my family is poor’ and I never got any results which echoed my experiences. So I want to dedicate this post to all those people who are struggling financially at the moment. Realize that once you’ve got the basics covered, house, food, shelter, water and safety, you’re good to go. You don’t need all that superfluous junk. Who cares what people think. Who cares if your lodgings are a little shabby or you don’t have a wardrobe of clothes or you don’t experience fine dining. Money isn’t real, it only exists within the minds of people and simply a representation of the exchange of value between people. There is so much more to life than money. Art, for instance. I would rather be an artist who lives on a modest income and follows their dream rather than a millionaire who sacrifices many things to amass their wealth.

No one will care if your rich or poor when you die. Death certainly won’t. Time certainly won’t. Whether you’re rich or poor or black or white or blue or pink or happy or sad, we will all grow old and die one day and return to the earth. Let’s not let money dictate our happiness. Let your purpose in life, your choices and the contribution you make to the world do that. So I’m not ashamed that I grew up poor. I’m proud. I really am.