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Thursday, October 2, 2008

8 Degrees of Broke

This post is dedicated to everyone who’s ever opened the mailbox to find the dreaded “thin” envelope from their bank. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just close this window and be on your merry way. You won’t understand any of this.

Good, now that the one financially solvent person I know has left the room…

I’ve devised a Busted-ometer, a scale by which I can measure just how poor I am at any given time.

You’re a .... IF
$20 bill – You’re Broke But Not Overdrawn. Funds are low in the ole checking account, but things should be fine till payday.

$10 bill – You’ve avoided checking your balance online. Ignorance is bliss, right? Still, you hold your breath while waiting for the debit transaction approval at the grocery checkout.

$5 bill – You borrow money from your kids (with or without asking) to get by till payday. Because hey, chances are they got their money from you anyhow. Danny’s Song, by Anne Murray, says it all. Love can surely solve any financial woes.

$1 bill – By transferring that last $6.47 from savings to checking, you just may have saved your ass from the NSF Ogre. Heave a sigh of relief. Relish it, cause here come your kids. They need money for a yearbook/school pictures/field trip. Today.

Half dollar coin – No poorhouse for you, baby! You turn in your recycling and come away with a nifty sum. Kudos to you, my thrifty green friend. And just in the nick of time - you’ve run out of shampoo. Now instead of using the bottle of crappy stuff you pilfered from your last hotel stay, you can afford to buy yourself a trial size bottle of a drugstore brand!

Quarter – In a sudden moment of genius, you rifle through old purses and coat pockets. And come away newly, if temporarily, flush. You play Danny’s Song on purpose. In the words of Anne, “Everything’s gonna be alright.”

Dime – It’s your lucky day! The $2 rebate check from Procter & Gamble has finally arrived!

Nickel – Some wealthy person in your family forgot to empty their pockets before undressing. Which means a windfall for you, the launderer. They’ll never miss that buck and a quarter, will they?

Penny – This is a low day. You’ve scrounged just enough change to buy toilet paper. And hey, who cares if it’s generic? It beats swiping a roll from the gas station restroom. Even if the teenage cashier did roll her eyes at you when the last buck fifty was green pennies with odd bits of stuff stuck to them. Unfortunately, you return home to find you’re totally out of ketchup/sandwich bread/any other staple your family positively cannot be without. Thank the lord above for that crumpled scratch ticket worth $3 under the floormat of your car.

Chuck E. Cheese token – You’ve been out of mascara for 4 days. But remember that thing you’ve gotta return to Wal-Mart? Cash in hand, baby! Cover Girl Aisle, here ya come. Too bad you’ve got to save those bucks so you can put one more gallon of fuel in your car, which will just get you to the bank with your paycheck tomorrow. Why’d the DJ have to play Danny’s Song now?

This, too, shall pass.
Broke is temporary condition.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

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