Welfare

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I write a lot about how little money we live on. But it occurred to me the other day I have never really touched on the subject of welfare, and I began to wonder how many folks think we’re only able to live this way because we rely on it.

So I wanted to make this unequivocal statement:

Noel and I do not take any form of welfare whatsoever.

It’s not that we are too proud to ask for assistance, or that we think getting help when you need it is wrong. We’ve asked for and gotten help in the past (though never from the government).

The government programs are broken, there are too many abuses of the system. I’ve seen too many folks using their EBT cards to buy food, then immediately turning around to purchase expensive clothing, booze or cigarettes with cash.

It has long been our goal to learn to live well on very little income, but one of the primary requirements in that journey has been to do it on our own two feet. And — thank God — we are.

Income discrimination

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We’ve been trying to buy a car. Our bank approved us to spend a certain amount of money, but we have yet to find a car they approve of. What we find is either too high mileage or too old.

Actually, we did find a couple that were approved, but one sold before we could even start the paperwork and the other turned out to have some mechanical issues I didn’t want to deal with.

But those were exceptions to the rule, I think my banker might have a slightly inflated idea of what kind of car you can get for certain prices these days. So I’ve been asking around at some dealerships to see what kind of financing they offer.

I got to talking figures with one of the local dealers yesterday and I came away a bit miffed. See, Noel and I make very little money, under $10,000 per year. Not that we’re complaining, we’ve worked very hard learning to live well at this income level. And we do live well.

Our budget takes up only about 25-30 percent of that income. And the vast majority of that is our camper loan which will be paid off soon. What it boils down to is that we have several hundred dollars of discretionary income each month with which to purchase a car.

Turns out the dealer’s bank won’t even consider us for a loan because we make so little money. It apparently doesn’t matter that 70 percent of my money goes straight into our pockets. Our income is below a certain magic number, so we are unworthy.

It irks me, but that’s okay. I don’t really want more debt anyway. Being debt-free is one major key to living on so little money.

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