“They have my money!” said my boyfriend, “I realised that about five different companies owe me money and they are sitting on it, getting my interest. The bastards.” This is what happens to the self-employed: you know you have to get those invoices out there and boringly badger people who conveniently forget to pay you or else. I have called accounts departments every single day saying, “Hello, it is the hound from hell Karen Krizanovich, wondering where my money is,” until they send that darned cheque. You never know when you may need that money. Having spent £2000 on the installation of a new computer and home ADSL system (I know, I know and I don’t even have a new monitor!!! Am I an idiot?! The answer is patently-bloody-yes-shoot-me-now), I am painfully aware of the money thing. Or more precisely the LACK of money thing. I have been all my life, as most of us I suppose.
My parents never had enough money for holidays, although I seem to remember we ate at restaurants a lot and drove enormous cars. They never had enough money to build on. If I could reshape my childhood, I think I would have asked my parents to put all those pennies which I saved up for my first horse into a savings account. Maybe now, I wouldn’t feel that between pension payments, rent, computer costs and all, I was getting squeezed like a citrus fruit with a blooming wallet. It is a bad thing to worry about how you’re going to pay what you owe, much less wonder how you will ever save for a flat or a car or a nice holiday. Being without money makes you feel like a failure when, really, you’re not. You’re doing what our ancestors did all along: work like hell just to survive.
Not that working for a living is a bad thing. I read recently that Charlie Sheen has set up a fund so that his daughter Cassandra never has to work again for the rest of her life. Having friends who don’t have to work for a living (and it is strange how they ALL hang out with each other, talking about Kenya and playing the fucking guitar at parties…yes, they are friends…sort of), I think Mr Sheen has made a bad move. People who don’t work for a living are really boring. They know they are boring. They bore the shite out of themselves. Why else would they worry about where they go on holiday or what other people think? Other thing, why are they always trying to prove something? Could it because mummy and daddy’s love (in the form of British Sterling) has hamstrung them? Being a trustafarian often means low self-esteem, drug addiction and a very chippy first twenty years of one’s life. Well, that’s how they seem to me. I know only two chaps who don’t have to work who are also square, hard-working people. (You know who you are, O and M.)
In the lyrics for God Bless The Child That’s Got His Own, it says, ‘them that’s got shall get, them’s that not shall lose’ and boy, it does seem to be true. Rich folks – and I have no problem with people who like to have a lot of money – don’t tip big. They don’t go for show unless they absolutely have to. They don’t give things away to friends, preferring to sell them. They also grab as much as they can if something is free. Because of my make-up column in the Sunday Express Magazine, I often find myself with make-up that needs a home. I’ve learned not to let my wealthiest friends get their mitts on it: they take the lot. Poor folks, on the other hand, are generous tippers. They give things away and don’t worry about the cost of something. They do know the value of something. The poorer the person, the more they savour what they have.
With the dot com companies folding stateside, there is a new upsurge in business for the pawn shops. I’ve never been in a pawn shop but I would love to know how it works and if I can buy other people’s stuff (not that I would to be cruel, just if it was there and nice). As I have no rings or jewellery or anything of genuine worth to pawn, I am at a loss. If I needed money, I don’t have anything the broker would want. I feel even less secure having read an article from America where a women commented that she would have to sell her kids’ Playstation to pay the electric bill. “Luckily they are pretty understanding,” she added. She’s got kids and a Playstation! Yeah, sure she has bills she can’t pay too but who’s really winning here? [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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