Mar 10 2011

poverty: the stress of a downward spiral [day 287]

My rent payment is $286.  My utilities are $190 this month.  I don’t own a phone, I don’t have a job and I have a baby to take care of.  My name is Iris Isaacson… but only in this temporary make-believe world.  This world I’m speaking of is a poverty simulation, a game to teach people what it’s like to live in poverty.

I participated in this event last night.  At first, I thought it seemed like a lot of work and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be there.  In the middle of it, I was thinking, “…what a chaotic game…”, but also realizing much of it was like real life.  At the end of it, I was worn out.  I couldn’t pay my bills, the ones I did pay were late, I had to pawn my jewelry, sold my camera, and after all the hardships and paying everything late, I got evicted anyway.  Here’s a description of the simulation.

The Poverty Simulation is a simulation experience developed by the Missouri Association for Community Action. During the simulation, participants pretend to be members of a low-income community attempting to survive four 15-minute weeks of poverty. The simulation relies on role playing techniques and extensive props to help participants understand the day to day challenges faced by families living in poverty.  Continue reading


Dec 17 2010

what frugal geeks do with a spare 15 minutes [day 205]

In a creative-type job, if you have an extra 15 minutes, that’s just play time.  It’s not enough time to start a project, because in 14 minutes, you would just be getting into your creative zone, then have to stop.  Frustrating!  While Jerod and I were waiting for a meeting start, he was shopping for an HDMI coupler and I was doing my social media stuff.  I heard Jerod laugh and say he was going to finance an HDMI coupler for 36 months.  Honestly, I didn’t heard a thing he said after, “…I’m going to finance…”  Jerod wouldn’t finance anything if his life depended on it.  Then I understood why he was laughing.  This thing he needs costs $16.99 and they offer financing plans.  Check it out.

So, with the other 13 minutes, he researched the financing terms.  He only has to pay 1% of the balance per month with an annual percentage rate of 25.24%.  This is a church item, so it would have no tax on it and the monthly payment would be $.17.  If you chose this plan, you would never be able to pay it off, as you would be accruing debt for the rest of your life.   Continue reading