There are phrases like “the working poor” floating around. This refers to the people who are actually employed, sometimes in more than one job, who still can’t afford housing, food, and other tenets of the American dream. Perhaps this state of affairs is due to the cost of actually going to work.
In the past I’ve written about the chicken-or-egg nature of earning and spending; the first time I talked about some of the factors affecting the work environment that make us desire escape so frantically; the second time I elaborated on how we spend our treasure in pursuit of an escape from the depressing world of employment, in turn resulting in the need to work in order to pay off the escape. Somewhere else, though I can’t find where, I thought I also mentioned that my spending habits go contrary to reason and become less frugal the more pinched I feel and yet more stingy when I feel like I’m getting ahead. And just this past week I noticed an expansion, or perhaps a corollary, to this phenomenon. The busier and more frantic my employment environment becomes, the more my feeling of pinched finances grows in parallel. This also seems to contradict logic. When working hard for long hours, one is apt to collect overtime, which means actually getting paid more. So why does it seem like I’m with less money when working so much? Is it just an illusion brought about by stress and the apparent contraction of time ([time flies when keeping busy (less time)] x [time = money] = less money)? Read the rest of this entry »