As we talked about before, every day I walk from Penn Station to my office in Times Square. About a block into this walk I pass a nice gentleman who is raising money for homeless causes. He shouts loud and clear over the din of the morning rush, asking people to give what they can because, after all, “YOU ARE ALL JUST ONE PAYCHECK AWAY FROM BEING HOMELESS”.
This scares me. I guess because it’s sort of true. But not really. Or is it?
This past year has been a financial obstacle course for me. First I was moving to New York with a great job and a great paycheck. Then I was unexpectedly unemployed and freelancing. Then I made some money and paid down some debt. Then I lost my job and was unemployed for two whole days before taking another job that is a bit less lucrative (but SOOO worth it). How do you keep financial consistency with this madness?
The only way all this was possible without going homeless was because of my sweetheart. He puts the roof over our head, his job makes rent and utilities (even cable!) non-existing entities. And I realize how much I have to be thankful for. As much as I bitch and moan about not being closer to the city, and that we don’t have more space for ourselves (you know, with the parents and all), this crazy year would have been much more crazy and stressful if I was throwing $1400 a month on rent down the toilet.
But there are strings to this comfort. If we wanted to move, for example closer to the city, we don’t just break our lease, pack our bags and move on in to a shiny new place. It is a complicated process of him finding a new job, and then finding temporary housing for three months before being allowed to move into the new place that offers the same benefits of rent and utility. Plus we have to consider the parents. And there is the scary notion that, if bad luck should befall us (knock wood), we will lose the arrangement completely and possibly then, yes, be just one paycheck from being homeless. Ok, not one, but a couple for sure.
Let’s not think about that.
On that bright note, happy long weekend to everyone!