November 22, 2011,
E.B. asks from Tacoma, WA on November 21, 2011
How Do You PERSONALLY Define This?
Living within your means?
We have our 2nd Occupy Federal Way meeting Saturday.
It was open to the public, and we had about 30 people or so show up.
One of which was an Active Tea Party member. In the middle of a great debate about what is ''Going on'' he posed this question. It was directed at Mark Miloscia, a Wa. St. Rep. who came out to listen and show his support, while trying to fully understand what it is we all want.
He(the Tea Party Gentlemen)never got the answer I thought he deserved. and mainly this is because many of us do not know what living within our means is.
One thing he brought up that did not get answered was...Does that include Cable TV. Does everyone DESERVE CABLE TV. Although my answer to this in NO. I still am wheeling all of this around in my head.
My definition for living within your means is jaded. So I do not feel I can honestly answer his question. Because we are still learning how to survive within what we make in a month.
So For someone that has a bit better and unbiased opinion, what does ''Living within your means'', mean to you?
What are things you believe are human RIGHTS and what do you think are human entitlements?
I get this may seem like a stab. It is not.. I liked his question and I still would like to take the time to give him answer at the meeting this Saturday.
I am going to be using some of your responses to help give him the answer he truly deserves. Because I think it is a question alot of people are trying to answer right now.
Thank you for taking the time to calmly and peacefully answer this:) I do not want to start a fight. This is just easier then going door to door asking people. Less chances I will get spit on(and yes, this has happened to me in recent weeks).
So What Happened?™
:) I am not debating the Occupy movement. I understand where people stand on it. and I get people understand how passionate I am about it. I am trying to reach out and understand other peoples opinions...and he asked a question I thought was dead on what we all need to be asking ourselves. And then looking at our lives to see where we can improve.
I am not asking to debate the movement...I am asking for opinions I can bring to the movement..I am asking you guys, because I truly value your opinions. And know I will receive a wide variety of answers.
I am using cable just as an example....It could be anything from that to maybe whether or not you buy name brand or generic, really.
@Jasmine J. It has everything to do with the movement. Because the press is starting to pick apart single Occupier's lives to show where they may have gone wrong. I know people who say they are struggling, yet still own Iphones, Expensive Purse's and newer cars. Some even are coming out in support of the movement. I question them for being Hypocrite to some degree...But maybe I do not fully understand what they think is right. So it has everything to do with the movement, Practicing what you preach and being true.
I need to know where people believe that line NEEDS to be drawn...Because we are stuck on the argument of what we are owed versus what we are entitled. For so long We have been living with the idea Phones, Cable, nicer cars and all the extra's are a given in life. And the reality that is starting to fall on people is hard.
This is why I am asking. Because I have lost the ability to do anything but try and survive. So I am not a good judge any more for what is an Extra...Because there has not been extra in my life for sometime. I only have the internet and Cable because my house mate pays for them. And I thank him for that.
so this is not taken wrong, my tone is not angry. Just matter of fact on why the two do go together:)
@ Jenny H. I LOVE THAT you ask:) I can not speak for the Protesters in your area. I know with 100% knowledge of most people's situations that are living at Occupation Park in Tacoma Wa. 85% of them have some type of employment. about 35% of that is Full Time work. The lady who I admire the most is an Occupational Therapist at the hospital two blocks up from where she now camps full time. Only going home to shower, help with Camp dishes and maybe warm up a bit. She still pays her Mortgage, bill and instead of shopping for herself, is buying enough food for at least three people at the park on a weekly basis. she is one of many. One of the Occupier's in a Computer Software engineer. Not only is he working full time, occupying tacoma and lead singer in a band...He is from Federal Way and is helping me get our Occupation off the ground. We do have our share of homeless people who have stuck around to have a warm meal and nice conversation. For the part time worker's they have fast food jobs, paper routes, some do handy work. For people like Sarah, the occupational Therapist and Lee the engineer, they have places they could be going home too. Yet they feel things are bad enough now for people home is not an option.
I have been a periodically Occupier. Having the kids, it is hard to leave them to be down there for any longer then a part time thing. I work. Luckily I work from home regardless and that makes it easy for me to be down there. Many of them, are people who tried to pursue their piece of the American Dream and LOST everything in the process..Or because of the Recession. They made the mistake of wanting to be come something better. And had the system screw them over.
So when you see the people out in the crowds do not automatically(not saying you do)think they are jobless bums. Because we are not.
He may have knwon the answer....But people sure as hell could not give him one. So this shows me that there are people out there that do not understand what a need/want is versus a necessity. That is where he did not get the answer he deserved. I thought it was a good question, that should have a simple answer but to many it is not that apparent.
M.D. answers from Washington DC on November 21, 2011
Well, honeslty this will start a fight because Occupy is a passionate topic. You are passionately supporting it, and I passionately wish it would go the heck away. Nothing is coming from it.
Living within your means is simple. If you work at McDonald's, you don't get to live in a gated community and drive a benz on my dime. If someone can't manage their money, it sure as heck shouldn't be my problem to fix it.
My husband and I had months where we couldn't afford to eat - my FAMILY helped us out, not the Government.
We spend less than what we bring in. Isn't that the simple math of living within your means?
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J.B. answers from Atlanta on November 21, 2011
I don't know that my opinion is better than yours or more unbiased -although I don't think it actually has a bias. To live within one's means to me means that you don't buy any extras until you've taken care of the necessities -food, clothing, shelter, transportation, utilities -all of that. Now some of those things are wildly different when it comes to cost depending on what you get. If you really cannot afford a $1500 mortgage without using credit cards to pay for groceries and gas all the time, then you need to live in a less expensive home. I think having to use credit is a big hallmark for me -it you can afford to buy clothes at Penney's or Sears or Target or Walmart but you have to charge name brand clothes at Nordstrom, then maybe you need to stick to Penney's. We all have things we WANT, but we are not entitled to them -cable tv being one. TV period. It STEAMS me to drive by projects and see a Dish satellite outside of every one when they're using food stamps and public assistance. No one has to have cable or satellite tv!
In my opinion -you are not "entitled" to extras -trips to amusement parks and new cars; nail jobs and expensive hair; name brand clothing and accessories; cable or satellite anything; nights out on the town or sporting events; booze and cigarettes -no one must have any of those things to exist. They're all nice (except maybe the smokes), but people need to work for them and earn the money to pay for them on their own.
It's ridiculous in our nation that anyone goes hungry, but it's difficult when you start talking about sheltering, clothing and feeding people because you always have the freeloaders. These are the folks that make others want to give a big "SCREW YOU" to everyone. I think we need to have assistance in place, but I think you should have to work to get it. Unless you're a child, over the age of 70 or so physically or mentally handicapped or incapacitated that you cannot do anything, then there's work that needs to be done. Picking up garbage, beautifying public areas, cleaning graffiti, answering phones in government offices, providing childcare -the list goes on and on and on of what we could have people do who apply for assistance. Many may even develop new skills! And the real sticky wicket -healthcare -I DO believe every citizen of this country should be able to receive one full checkup per year and sick visits. If someone has cancer, we should treat it. It's hard to find a happy medium with providing healthcare though -hence all the argument around it. And again, people probably wouldn't be SO adamantly opposed to government healthcare if the rest of the welfare system hadn't been handled so abysmally for decades.
So there are my opinions -I don't think there's a neat and great solution to the healthcare issue. For me it's like illegal immigration -there's NO great solution and whatever you do is going to piss a bunch of people off and royally screw someone. Good luck with your poll!
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M.F. answers from Portland on November 22, 2011
For me, living within our means is not buying things on credit.
We do not have ANY credit cards.
We only buy things that we can actually buy with our money.
If we don't have the money for it now, we save up.
We don't use checks either, instant debit or cash, that is the only way we buy anything.
We do not have any loans either, no past due bills.
We may not have a fancy car or big house, we may not go on cruises or get a million presents at xmas...
But we are doing better than just about everyone we know since the recession hit.
We also have never had our money in a big regular bank.
Husband is quietly and patiently going to school and climbing the corporate ladder.
He has had 3 promotions in the past 4 years.
He is about to have another in Feb.
We are planning to get to the point where he can get a inter-company transfer and we are moving either to Canada or England.
-Not being barred from participating in voting, working, owning a home (or renting), having a family, and all the other basic rights and freedoms we have.
-Not being murdered, bullied, harassed, threatened, or abused for religious/political/spiritual beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, age, or race.
-I believe that a job (or access to a job), a place to live, food to eat, heating and air conditioning, and health care should all be human rights.
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J.✰. answers from San Antonio on November 21, 2011
"Living within your means" - to me means using credit cards sparingly, for emergency or for large purchases where there's no interest for a year or so. You are living "within your means" if you pay off the credit card before ANY interest is accrued. Living within your means means that you can buy healthy food every week for your family - perhaps once a week out to eat, the rest of the meals cooked at home. Not fancy foods, not total junk either. Just a balanced meal with a veg, protein, fruit, small dessert. Living within your means - you don't go out shopping every weekend on a whole bunch of high-end electronics. Just b/c everyone else has an iPhone doesn't mean you have to have one! (I don't have one, and I could easily afford one. But my 3 yr old flip phone still works, so why do I need anything new?)
No, cable is not a right. Honestly neither is public channels you can get with bunny ears. I think that's a great perk - free tv with an antenna. Internet is nice, but not essential to life. Plenty of places have wi-fi and the library has computer and internet access for free (govt tax paid. Nothings free!) TV and internet are entitlements. Strangely, I know people who can't afford food, don't have money for rent, refuse to get a job (thanks govt), but have the nicest iPhone and the latest apps! Whatever.
I'll stop there.
DITTO MOM2KCK - living w/in your means is spending less than you earn. EARN. Too many free-loaders out there 'entitled' to things that really they aren't. Our economy could be so much better if there weren't so many handouts to those who don't NEED it.
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P.S. answers from Houston on November 21, 2011
Really? People didn't know how to define "living within your means"?
It means not spending more than you have or make. If you make $100 a month, then you can't spend more than $100 a month to live. If you have $500 in your savings for a new TV, don't get one that costs $600, putting $100 on credit.
To live is defined as things to meet your basic needs - clothes, food, shelter. Lifestyle is defined as anything outside basic needs.
My human rights are to live and breathe without being harmed in anyway. My human rights as a citizen of this country is to live freely in the name of liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness.
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A.S. answers from Iowa City on November 21, 2011
Affordable healthy food, affordable shelter, affordable clothing, affordable healthcare, clean water and air and a means to obtain the same. To me, those are basic human rights.
Living within one's means: To me this is paying bills for necessities (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) and then using any leftover money to pay for wanted items/services. Spending less than you are bringing in.
A big, major problem is that minimum wage is $7.25/hour. That is a mere $15,000 per year assuming a person works 40 hours per week. Most people cannot obtain shelter, food, clothing, and healthcare on this amount of money nor can they find anything that pays more or offers more hours. It is hard for a person to live within their means if they only earn $15,000 per year. So, there either has to be government aid to those people or an actual living wage needs to be paid. And, let's be honest, even those making 200% of the federal poverty level have a though time being able to afford what I consider the basic rights stated above.
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L.C. answers from Dover on November 21, 2011
I really like this question.
I think to live within your means is to live in such a way that you only spend what you have and, once the money is gone, the spending is done.
I don't think that cable, internet, cell phone, long distance....any of these things is a necessity. They are super nice to have. They are beyond convenient. But they do not add to the quality of life in such a way that, without them, a person would truly suffer so much as be bored or inconvenienced.
Affordable healthcare I believe is a right. Making sure that children and the elderly have shelter, clothing and food is a responsibility on our part and right on theirs.
Food, shelter,clothing, healthcare, work. Those are rights. Cable, not so much.
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M.R. answers from Phoenix on November 21, 2011
I think anyone who lives paycheck to paycheck is NOT living within their means.
So, if cable has to go, then so be it....or the 2nd car, or the vacation condo, or private school, or eating out, or designer clothes.
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