Surviving my 20’s: Being Broke Does Not Make You Broken

July 16th, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life

When I tell people I can’t afford to do something they often don’t know how to respond to me.

Last week was a rough one financially for me. This summer has already been tight thanks to one of the schools I teach for canceling one of my classes the day before it was supposed to start. So, that cut my already lower Summer income by 1/3 until September. When I planned the trip to Savannah it was under the assumption I’d be teaching 3 classes versus 2 so I knew that was going to put me into the red for July. Well, when it rains it pours! In the span of two weeks I had the following expenses come up:

  • I found out my internet bill will be double now since the lower rate my Mom negotiated was going back to normal
  • My thyroid perscription went up in cost
  • I had to go to the clinic for this mysterious shingles/unknown rash issue
  • One of my paychecks was half of what it normally is due to weird pay dates
  • I had to reorder contacts, and EVERYTHING expensive I use ran out at the same time so that was a $75 Target trip
  • Salem had to go to the Vets, which cost $125

Needless to say I’m extremely thankful I have a small amount put away in savings so I’ll be okay, but it’s getting tight. I have no problem saying I can’t afford things as I don’t tie monetary success or stability with self-worth. I think that’s why there is such a stigma to being ‘broke’. Broke is another term I try not to use because I find it offensive. I’m not broken, I just don’t have a lot of money!

I’m pretty good with money now and I owe it all to my parents for teaching me financial literacy from a very early age. I remember in elementary school when we got our allowance we divided it up into three jars; long term savings, short term savings and spending money. What 10 year old kid does that? It was a very cool way to see money ‘grow’ in our savings jar, and I don’t think we stuck to doing that for very long but it clearly made an impression on me.

When I was fresh out of college I lived alone and was making $14.50 an hour (with a Masters degree and the debt that goes alone with it.) One of the best bits of financial advice my Mom gave me then was ‘buy the best you can afford.’ Implied in that statement is to only buy things you can pay for on the spot (credit cards are evil if not used correctly) and after years of buying the cheapest option available, only to have to continually replace it, I finally wised up and listened to her.

My parents struggled financially when I was younger. My Dad was a graduate student when my brother and I were born and Mom stayed at home with us. Mom’s told me stories about how bad it was for a few years when we were very young. Of course I don’t remember any of the stress and all I have are wonderful memories of my childhood! Since Mom stayed at home with us we were always doing fun arts and crafts, or playing outside. We made weekly trips to the library and I lived for the weekend when we would go to the movie rental store and I could pick out a $1 rental. When we lived in Kentucky we went camping all the time and once we moved to Florida almost every weekend was spent at the beach. You don’t need a lot of money to have a great time!

First snow

Being goofy

An inflatable mattress acted as my bed for a while, and as you can see my room was pretty sparse!

My BedAfter putting up with grad school poverty for a while my parents made the unfortunate decision to start using credit cards. I remember Mom charging all of our back-to-school clothing shopping trips, and over the years they ended up in pretty bad credit card debt. Around high school Mom decided enough was enough and began paying off the cards and Dad’s student loan payments finally ended.

Over time Mom became pretty hard core about money. She’s also kind of obsessed with the 1940’s and her laundry room is decorated with old War posters that say things like “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” My parents had such a rough time with money when they were younger I knew she wanted me to try and avoid the same struggles. I texted her yesterday as I was writing this and asked her for her #1 piece of financial advice. All she wrote back was one word.


I’m able to live pretty comfortably off of my sporadic teacher & blog income because I adhere to the financial principles I was raised with. I only buy things I need, not things I want. I buy the best I can afford. I try to save some of every paycheck. I only pay people to do things I can’t do myself (hence never having a pedicure in my life and having my car washed by someone else once.) Basically, I live within my means and I don’t use hard work/stress/bad days as an excuse to ‘treat’ myself to something that I’ll just have guilt over later if I can’t pay it off.

Even though I can be a bit of a tightwad I save so that I can spend on what really matters to me. I love traveling, eating healthy food is a huge part of my monthly budget, and I have an obscene amount of books. I still spend but I try to invest my money in experiences over things. I figure when the time comes to look back over my life that’s one investment I’ll always be happy I made.

 State-Farm-Logo (1)Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by State Farm via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of State Farm.

What are your favorite financial tips?
Did your parents teach you about saving or spending wisely?

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77 Responses

  • Smart advice! Having 3 kids expenses add up faster and there are lots of “surprises” so saving is definitely the smartest thing any person can do. But at the same time, since there are seemingly endless expenses you can torture yourself worrying and obsessing over money. Being able to take a step back from it knowing you’re doing the best you can right now is important too.

    • Erica House says:

      I can’t even begin to imagine the financial stress of having kids! I agree with needing to take a step back once in a while. I’ve been worrying myself sick (literally) with stress lately and just this morning I felt like I was going to have a panic attack with everything I have going on. I need to remember I’m doing everything I can, and just be at peace with that for now!

  • SuzLyfe says:

    I wish I knew more about how to handle money in general, but my parents definitely taught me to save, and to spend wisely. Sometimes we were frivolous, but it was within reason, so I am generally able to stick to a budget without really trying. I have a respect for money, but the problem is that I don’t always know what to do with it!

  • Katrina says:

    Ive ALWAYS had to learn the hard way – but hey we learn right?

  • Carla says:

    Im so grateful—and these days more than ever—my parents were HUGE HUGE HUGE SAVERS. HUGE.

    • Erica House says:

      If I have kids I think they will be embarrassed at how frugal I’m going to be #ParentWin

      • :-D It is great to hear, coming from this generation. You are bombarded with advertising and consumerism … with everything coming at you via all sorts of media!

        We were TV addicts, back in the day … but you can’t even use a smartphone (I personally no longer use one) or mobile technology, or even go to the grocery store without being bomBARDed … !!

  • Linz says:

    great post! my parents were really good about teaching us to save money and leading by example which is helpful now since my husband and i don’t make much. but money doesn’t make you happy so we’re all good :)

  • See, my parents had not been particularly well-educated; they did not trust advertisers. They’d trusted nobody. They’d lived through the Great Depression. And junk bargain shopping had been my mother’s recreation. She could not afford to know quality, when quantity is what she needed on her sole head of household income.

    Of course, I had never been brought up to have a triple-jar, coded piggy bank system. You’ve got that many problems, who could be analytical? But I have 20 credit cards.

    Have been in thousands of dollars of debt before, due to job insecurity, but I’ve done years of couch surfing to dig my way out. I am fighting not to be railroaded on to Medicaid right now because I will work through the Affordable Care Act, and pay my share. And I don’t qualify right now; above its ceiling.

    Like many of today’s personal finance writers state, I wish my FICO score reflected things other than it does.

    NEWSFLASH: Your liquidity ratio is much more important than your FICO score.

    • Erica House says:

      My Mom embraces a lot of what her grandmother taught/did during the Great Depression. It’s a shame that job insecurity forces people to go further into debt. It sounds like you are doing everything possible to get on the right track again!

      • Thank you. I actually, counterintuitively, would like to make some “happy mistakes” again. Spend like a college kid. You see, my FICO score is great–for right now. But that’s a mirage. I hope to LOWER it by going on a strictly cash basis. I cannot afford to use any of my 20 credit cards right now for impulse buys, bargain or otherwise. I buy next to nothing and go nowhere. And, certainly I will not be going onto Medicaid, if I could help it. I am diabetic type 2; am managing it well. Healthcare insurance was not mentioned in this article. Why? It is so important. There are different types of “poor-people’s” insurance. The Affordable Care Act still has the better option for me. Rarely is health insurance fully paid for by whom you work these days …

  • Oldman says:

    My parents taught me to never buy anything except a house or a car on credit. I have never paid interest as I always pay my credit card off each month.

    Call your internet or cable provider and ask for a break or a discount. It doesn’t hurt to ask and cry poor.

    • Erica House says:

      I buy everything on my credit card so I can save up the points and use them every year for Christmas presents. I pay the card off every month though otherwise it’s a slippery slope! I was able to pay my car off a year early, and now the only thing I pay interest on is student loans.

      I’ll definitely try calling the internet folks to see what they can do to cut the bill!

  • marthabrownieruns says:

    My parents struggled with debt too and I grew up having an unhealthy relationship with money. When I started working and got a credit card, I treated it like free money. When my husband and I got married we paid everything off, including student loans and saved very aggressively. It’s hard to do so when we’re both professionals and our friends are buying new everything. But it’s given me the freedom to start my own business, not be stuck in a job I hate, and apply to grad school. We’re also paying for that in cash, so I am taking it way more seriously.
    I recommend the blog and page becoming minimalist. Great inspiration, like this post, to live below your means and buy experiences and not things.
    Great post!

    • Erica House says:

      I fell into the financial comparison trap BAD when I first graduated with my Masters. Many of my friends landed jobs making 60k+ a year and were buying new cars, houses, going on vacations,…and I’m sitting there trying to decide if I can afford netflix. It was humbling for sure, but I had to keep telling my self that it was up to ME to decide if I wanted to let not having money bother me. After a few years of it I finally took control of the situation!

  • My husband and I have been broke ever since our wedding (a little over a year) and every time I say I can’t afford something the response is “But you both work.” It is so frustrating and annoying. As you said, unexpected expenses come up all the time. Thanks for this post!

    • Erica House says:

      HA. I love how some people are genuinely clueless that other’s may not be in the same financial situation as they are, no matter how hard they work or what people assume they make.

  • slimsanity says:

    I did NOT get good financial advice from my parents. In fact, they had to claim bankruptcy twice. I learned the hard way on credit cards. I had the ‘I’ll pay it off when I get a job’ mentality when I was toward the end of my college career and landed myself with $13k in credit card debt. I kick myself in the butt right now thinking about all the money I could have put toward my student loans instead of credit cards! My husband and I are very financially savvy now. We budget everything!

  • Andree says:

    Cannot agree more with this post!
    My parents are two complete extremes when it comes to money. My mom buys things she does not need and then complains about how money is tight. Meanwhile my father is like a money hoarder and would fit in on one of those Extreme Cheapskate shows. Since he left my mom 5 years ago he has lived in the family camp with a leaky roof and no shower despite having a very good income.
    I like to think that I’m a happy medium between the two and have done pretty well for myself. I own a decent car and have no debt which, considering that I have been in school for 9 years, is pretty damn good.
    I think the big thing is evaluating what your priorities are and learning to distinguish between want and need. I refuse to cheap out on food, but instead I rarely eat out, etc.

    • Erica House says:

      Wow! Your parents are definitely polar opposite! It reminds me of how many studies I’ve read citing financial differences as a common ground for divorce. I also think the hardest think for most people is differentiating between want and need. I mean, theoretically I shouldn’t have to buy clothes for years until mine literally fall apart. When I do, I could go to a thrift store (but I’m sure I’ll be at Target instead!) I also prioritize healthy food and travel so I sacrifice a lot to have those things.

  • I’m generally a cheap person (I don’t mean it in a bad way) but lately I’ve been spending a lot of my savings on stuff for our house, even though that was the whole point of me saving money I’m having a hard time letting it go. Simultaneously, everyone is getting engaged (myself included) so now I have weddings to be in and my own to plan. Being a bridesmaid puts a HUGE stress on me financially but I don’t know how to avoid it! I haven’t had a pedicure in years but she wants us to get them, as well as hair and make-up, etc. Not to mention the dress/alterations. Any tips for dealing with this kind of thing?

    • Erica House says:

      Sometimes I’m glad I don’t have a lot of super close friends as I couldn’t afford to be asked to be in weddings! It’s ridiculous when I hear my friends say how much money they had to spend when part of a bridal party. If it were me, I’d assume I’m pretty good friends with the bride if she asked me to be in the wedding, and I’d talk to her privately about it. Let her know you feel comfortable doing your own hair/nails/make-up and that you just can’t afford it at this time. I certainly would hope that she’d understand!

  • I LOVE this post! I grew up poor. My dad didn’t go to college, didn’t have a good job, and unexpectedly became a single parent to two little girls. He taught me the importance of never buying things you can’t afford and making due with what you have. I was also really glad he taught me how to properly use credit cards. He made me open one when I was 18, and I now have fantastic credit thanks to him. (And lots of earned credit card perks!)

    I really agree that being broke does not make you broken. Josh and I are fortunate to be able to live comfortably but I’m the same person I always was. Being able to afford things does not make you a better person. It can make things a lot easier, and your life a lot less stressful, but it does nothing for your character.

    • In contrast, and this had been back in the day… my father never encouraged me to get a credit card. [Whereas, before I had not … the one time I got credit at all, was based on my making one bad impulse purchase at a dance studio, which put me on the radar by age 19 … years before … by 22 I’d had my first credit card.] In my mid-twenties I’d gotten my third-ever credit card. It had been a JC Penney credit card; and I’d gone a little wild! Penney’s had been – to me – a real, middle-class store!!

      My dad had scolded me when I’d brought the purchases home.
      “You have to pay all that back, you know. The money to pay for it is not YOURS!”

      But then, after a while, he had loved it when I opened my mail and invariably would see $ 0.00

      “That $0.00 just as important as getting an A on your report card.”

      Me, with six times as much education as he’d had.

    • Erica House says:

      So, your Dad is basically a Saint, right?

      • Maybe a little too much. As you know I’m pretty ancient compared to the rest of you, but there once had been an actual Toy Department, nearly as good as that of FAO Schwarz — which people in my family’s tax bracket choose to not hear of — in the New York City Macy’s Herald Square. I was always encouraged to hands-on PLAY with the actual demo toys on display when I had been a kid, by my father who’d brought me there and supervised that my play with those toys did not get out of hand …

        He very frequently had to rein me in. I was FRUSTRATED as hell. [Cue Mick Jagger singing, “You can’t always get what you want … but if you try some time, you get what you need …”] Of course, we’d bought nothing–not even a token $ 0.39 cent purchase. Freeloaders in training.

        A tad sense of covetousness was bred into me by my father. However, he’d never admired people who had money, judging from his behaviors towards them, never respected them, never kowtowed to them. He’d never stolen from them. He would just tell me to figure out how much some rich people would make in their sleep. Per hour. From this guy, my father, who really did not like arithmetic.

        But he knew when to grab that which was “freely” offered.

        And I sort of grew to like numbers in my jobs later on ….

      • He’s seriously my hero. And one of the smartest people I know. It kills me he doesn’t have a lot of confidence in himself because he was told his whole life he’s stupid because he wasn’t able to become successful by conventional standards.

        • Erica House says:

          I hate hearing that! Some of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met didn’t have any formal education, but were just great at doing well in life. Treated others well, were happy, and took care of themselves. That’s smart.

  • Lauren says:

    Great post. Literally was in tears yesterday over my financial situation and an unexpected new bill. I’m definitely limiting credit card spending and prioritizing purchases! Medical bills, rent, and student loans come first before I spend on things I don’t really need!

    • Erica House says:

      Girl – you have no idea how much I feel you right now. Money can SUCK. At the end of the day I just have to tell myself I’m doing as much as I can usually by spending as little as possible, and making as much as possible, and that’s all I can do!

  • Traci says:

    My parents were very vocal about spending & saving & all things money related. We had savings accounts at a bank when we were very young & it was a big deal to go to the bank & make a deposit! Things were very tight for my family after my dad was laid off & had to take a job making half his salary. When I look back on it & see how little money they had it’s amazing the difference in how people live now. When we had birthday money or things like that my parents never had the attitude that it was our money & we could blow it if we wanted. It was all about saving.

    • Erica House says:

      I vaguely remember having a savings account at a bank in high school also, and thinking it was the coolest thing ever! I worked for a nanny agency for tourist kids in the summer my last two years of high school and made bank money (like $10 plus tips) and I think I saved most of it. I was a money hoarder from a young age :)

      • I have to say, not me. When I figured money could buy me candy and hot dogs … I went at it, every day.

        Of course, I’d become overfed (my mother had not any inclination to find out what I’d had before dinner) … and maybe there was a kiddie price for everything the kosher-style deli around the block sold me or something … but food seemed cheap.

        I had not spent money on anything else except once on fingernail extender solution (as advertised on TV) that had not worked …

  • Kristin says:

    I really loved this post. When I was first starting out and could only afford rent and food, it was so easy to say no to things I couldn’t afford, and I even managed to save up a little money in that time. Now that I make more, though, it’s much harder to say that I shouldn’t, since I know I *can*. I’m fascinated with the way we and our spending habits change over the course of a lifetime. Lifestyle inflation – I try hard to avoid it, but it isn’t easy!

    • Erica House says:

      Lifestyle inflation – I don’t think I’ve heard that term before but I love it! I find that when I don’t have ANY extra money all I can do is think of things I want to buy. Then, I have a bit of spending money and I just want to save every bit of it!

  • Jenny says:

    Oh my goodness. My parents taught me exactly what NOT to do with my finances. We were POOOOORRRR!!!

    Which is probably how I ended up in the investment industry.

    I wanted to have better control of my future and I learned how to properly plan for retirement AND now I get paid to teach others how to as well! It was a win win!

    • Erica House says:

      You are one of the few people I know who seem to genuinely love their jobs. I wish I had enough money left over to ask you what I should do with it :)

  • Great tips! We did a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class right when we got married and it was very valuable! We don’t ALWAYS stick to our budget, but it is always there as a guide for us. We do need to be more aggressive in our savings goals. Thankfully, since we paid off debt we can afford to live super-cheaply and make our little paychecks stretch!

  • biz319 says:

    I have renegotiated our cable/phone/wifi bill every year. I tell them I want the same “new customer rate” that they are getting, or else I will go elsewhere, and I have always gotten what I have asked for – I just called and got $70 a month savings for the next 12 months!

    • Erica House says:

      Awesome! I will use that same phrase and see if it works on my company.

      • I don’t DARE … I have the absolute basic, basic, basic cable on my 30 years’ vintage used tv whose bi-prong analog antenna has to be jerry-built with duct tape to my digital box, or I get NO reception at ALL. This tv had lain fallow for 5 years with no service, no reception and little use (my dvd player-only does not ferry much of a dvd collection to that tube, either–I make up my own, tougher routines in the main for exercise–and the player is not good enough to play pre-owned movies) …

        The cable company had me down as a “squatter” (AS IF) and would not grant me cable service for over a month at the first. I’m finally glad I did get the service which is to broadcast channels and NY1 only, a little over a year and a half ago. This is if only to keep me connected in a retro-push-technology sort of way … subject to change. As in disconnection. We’ll see.

  • Nice post! I love reading the comments and what people have come to financially. If I had to go back twenty years or so I would try to engineer a way to buy some commercial real estate. Just if it’s a duplex and I could live in one side. It’s a great way to make money stretch farther, getting tenants to pay for half your living quarters.

    • Erica House says:

      Yep, as soon as I am able to I’d like to start investing in real estate. Of all the ‘rich’ friends I know they all make a significant portion of their income from rental properties.

  • Awesome tips! It’s amazing how small things can add up. I’m fortunate that my husband is an officer in the Army and I obtained a decent paying management position that is not ideal, but transferrable. My parents were cheap…his parent’s were not! We definitely clash sometimes.

    • Erica House says:

      The bf and I have somewhat different spending/saving patterns, but we are similar enough I don’t see there being any huge clashes over money (famous last words!) That’s great you found a gig that’s transferable!

  • Krista says:

    Great post! :) I’ve been a saver since I can remember. It’s like I get a “high” from saving like some people get from spending. I rent books from the library, buy generic when possible, don’t have cable TV, rarely eat out, rarely buy new clothes/shoes and have used the same one purse for the past 6 years, don’t drink (I can’t believe how much $$$ some people spend on alcohol alone!), seek out free entertainment, etc. There are still those pesky unplanned for expenses though…like my cat’s $1200 thyroid radiation therapy last Fall — gulp! (she’s worth it!), or the new fridge I had to buy when my other one conked (gotta have a fridge). Thankfully, I’m a minimalist so, like you, I prefer experiences over stuff. And I’ve never cared about “keeping up with the Jones’…the Jones’ may not be happy!). I wish more financial & budgeting skills were taught in schools.

    • Erica House says:

      Oh I totally know the savings ‘high’ you are talking about. You and I have almost identical spending patterns (or more appropriately non-spending patterns!) I’ve had the same $8 purse from walmart for … 3 years now. Travis and I both love to cook and meal prep at home, we don’t drink, and the only new clothes/shoes we buy are running related :) I will drop a grand no problem if Salem needed it though! What do you think inspired you to have such minimalist financial ideologies?

      • Krista says:

        As for what started it… my parents created a small savings account for me when I was young (my first deposit was probably $15 or so). I remember my Mom showing me the monthly statements and even if I hadn’t deposited anything, the amount of $ in my account would go UP! I was free to take money out whenever I wanted to buy something, but I rarely took it out because I remember thinking how cool it was that I was getting “paid” to have money in the bank! :) As I grew into an independent adult, it was also out of a need for a sense of security being on my own.

      • See, now sometimes living on threadbare goods, that will look shabby fast (unless you’ve got banging reweaving skills.. and I DON’T. I have sewing skills and some cooking skills)–and bragging about it–makes my skin crawl. I will not go there!

        I think maybe it’s because I grew up too poor, too fat, in too depressing surroundings; and looked like s–t everyday. In a city of fashion, cash and flash. I’d left and stayed away for well over a decade, but I’d come back!

        I think my father, had he been able to actually earn a living beyond a VA disability pension, after a certain point (he had extreme disabilities, but was pretty able-bodied) may have been similar. Because he was a hoarder. Scratch any hoarder, controlling for income, of course; and you have an acquisitive lover of luxury.

        That’s my theory, anyway.

  • I love this! My parents never paid for anything they couldn’t afford in cash (including their cars!) and paid their credit card bills off every month. My family as a whole is so fiscally responsible it definitely taught me not to live out of my means… I also automatically put 1/4 of each pay check in my savings account so if something comes up (i.e. if I get my car towed) I have the money to go get it fixed!

    • Erica House says:

      Wowwwww – you are killing the savings! My income is so sporadic it’s hard for me to save a lot sometimes, but this Fall I hope to put away at least 25%.

  • Good thoughts and I really need to save more. It’s hard with 3 kids and so many expenses. I definitely value experiences over things too!

  • ‘Buy the best you can afford.’

    Wise words from a wise woman! I usually say, ‘Buy once, cry once.’

  • Danielle says:

    Ah I can totally relate to this. Student loans, starting with a low paying job out of college (basically minimum wage..really?), plus we’ve moved a bunch, had several lay offs, and now my fiance isn’t working because of UC…so anyway, being in your 20s can be rough! I really appreciate when bloggers open up about finances (like your post about how much you made from blogging). We’re all at different points and it’s comforting to hear these stories when I feel like everyone around me is buying a house and having a nice wedding.

    • Erica House says:

      It can be verrrry discouraging when you start comparing yourself to others in your age bracket. I wonder why we never compared down, only to those above us? I known for me it feels like most of my friend my age are better off financially. When I talk more to them about money though they often will talk about debt they have or spending problems they are trying to control. You never know the whole picture!

  • There you go getting me all thinking again. Well actually it started last week when I was sick in bed, I decided I need to plan my finances better. I like comfortably but I want to travel more and such and so I am going to make some changes!

  • Ashley N. says:

    This is 100% story of my life at the moment! I graduated with my bachelors in December of 2012, then found a job and was laid off in December of 2013. Now I am in a position making $11/hour, which I know I should be grateful to have a job period but MAN is it difficult! I have $30,000+ in student loans to pay back, incredibly difficult with the money I earn. I am however diligently job searching but it seems most jobs I find want more experience and/or a masters. I hope one day I could afford to get my masters but definitely not in the near future. I deleted my Facebook last fall to try and put an end to the comparison trap, such a bad cycle! It does blow my mind though that people I graduated with are making $50k and didn’t work a single job in college, yet I’ve been working since I was 15! Hopefully one day we will all find the answers we need. :)

    • Erica House says:

      I’ve OFTEN thought about deleting my FB for the same reason. If I didn’t have constant visual reminders of how ‘perfect’ everyone’s life is I think I’d be more content with my own (Although most days I’m thankfully very happy with it!) So many of my students struggle with finding a job with their BA, and unfortunately as you said $11 is considered to be a ‘great’ job now. I’ll never understand how some people seem to land these incredible jobs, and other people (like you and I) struggle along for a few years. I had NO idea I’d end up where I’m at now, with writing the blog, freelancing, and teaching on the side. It’s basically my dream situation and I never would have gotten here had it not been for the tough years after I graduated. I’m sure the same is going to be true for you!

    • I want to do it, too!

      My niece and nephew are high-powered professionals just out of school a few years, ALSO living in New York City. I get a card from them once a year. Never do they extend an invitation for me to visit them. This was just as true when I had been working, as well; although they have some idea that my jobs have not been steady and that I barely have been surviving. I have NEVER met my grandnephew except through Facebook. And before they nested, they bragged about being everywhere Caribbean, Alaska, Europe … I don’t really remember but they were traveling every weekend!

      They blocked me temporarily when I’d complained. Blood relatives!

      Why should I continue to be on that time waster?

      Wish I had the courage to leave it. My sister isn’t on Facebook! She would have been more the myspace type if she’d embraced technology at all though …

    • Well, I just did it. I chose to deactivate my Facebook account.

      Reason: I don’t find Facebook useful.

      Further explanation (verbatim):

      “It takes up my time. ENOUGH ALREADY with the upward lifestyle comparisons! People in MY SAME CITY, new generations of relatives being born that I NEVER HAVE GOTTEN TO MEET. They can still see that I once had an account if deactivated. THAT WILL SHOW THEM. or not. I DO NOT CARE about this anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

      Well, my age makes it easy for me to deactivate.
      I will have that status Permanently. While looking for a job, I’d spent HOURS two months ago, scrubbing my “Likes” and entries totally clean (not that I had been tagged binge drinking–I’m a teetotaler for medical reasons–just stuff that might show my age or tastes, etc.) As of now, I don’t care (and stuff started accumulating again, btw … )

      I guess it takes even more courage and toughness to permanently delete. I mean this to send a message to my family members who, except for my sister, are overwhelmingly my FB friends; and are on Facebook.

      They will have to learn how to use email again when dealing with me (they are scattered geographically; although I have the niece/nephew/grandnephew/cousins on it in the same city whom I once in a blue moon see); and there’s always the phone, the cell and snail mail.

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