Sunday, January 29, 2012

How to be irresponsible in this life


Recession proofing your single life

"Broke is temporary. Poor is forever. " - Robert Kiyosaki


Let's face it. We live in hard economic times. As part of my overdue midlife crisis, I came to ask myself how did I make it this far?

I live in the nation's city that is reputed for its high cost of living. I have on more than one occasion been outdone by professionals in my field. I've been on more than one occasion been stuck in a situation where I really had no idea how the fuck I'm going pull something out of my ass for answers. I lead a lackluster life in IT made enthralling only be my infrequent bouts of incompetence. It is sometimes these occasional episodes of ignorance that I come up with the solutions less ventured.

Somehow I manage to get paid a median salary that borders a managerial job back home and a job befitting with a little more responsibility here yet I currently have none of those complexities in my position. I know, I know. I am stagnating my career. In one of those talks, my superiors expected more from me and I'm like, what for, I'll most likely be out of this company in a year's time anyway? It is no big secret that this field increases your worth with each job hop. Nevermind the need for career advancement, we will always be needed.

That being said, it is for these same reasons that I enter into my midlife crisis. How? How, indeed. How did I manage to weasel my ass out of these tight situations and yet survive a somewhat lavish life of fine dining, road trips, expensively cheap women and a few things in my room I would only grow envious of in my past life. Today, I grow bored of them.

If there's one thing I learned about my past experience with low budget companies it's surviving. I have always been a survivor emotionally and financially. I could wind up in some part of the world and usually within a week I would know my way around. I would be able to know where and what to find. I could just as well blend in within a community.

So here are my tips for surviving the urban jungle:

Pay Rent
People keep telling me that with what I am earning I should be getting a house or a condo. Don't get me wrong there was a point a year ago that I considered it. I pay a hefty amount for my rent but in spite of it, I still pay it diligently. Why? I'm a walking distance from where I work. I have a great view out my window. I don't need boots or a small boat to row my wet ass through flood waters. I have good roommates and a kind caretaker (you can't find that very easily). If you ask me, my rent is worth every penny. Why not buy a place then? As I have mentioned earlier, I am a weasel who wiggles out of responsibility. A house requires a monthly amortization (why that is a bad thing will be explained later), a downpayment, a subdivision fee or a condo due, a contract *cringe* (which means some bank owns you), and miscellaneous taxes *cringe some more*. In short, too much responsibility. If that wasn't enough to put you off in this volatile job market the thought of a bank foreclosure will. Can you guarantee that you will always have a job during the recession? Let's say you can, the fact that your money is going fixed narrows your spending power because it all goes to an investment of real estate and we all know how "well" that's going right now. 

So unless I won the lottery tomorrow, you can shut up about me getting a house. Believe me, even if I did win the lottery, I'd spend it around so the money can circulate in the economy. Renting adds the convenience of having to get up and go whenever you need to.

Avoid recurring monthly expenses
Cable, postpaid mobile plans, electricity and water all need to be paid on a monthly basis. Again, my impulse to avoid responsibility carries over here as well. Seriously, most of us bitch about nothing on TV. So download movies on an "as needed" basis. Watch the news on websites. Go prepaid internet or cable if you still insist on doing so. 

There's not much you can do with utility bills. I share my place with other roomies so I get to split that. Most of us don't stay at home during the day so the bill didn't cost that much anyway.

Keep the cash coming and going
The mistake of most people during the recession was that people had too many fixed assets. You need your money in the bank where you can easily cash out and start spending. Money that is spent is money circulated. In my country, we have reputed stereotypical ethnical groups who are known to withhold money due to the misconception about surviving in a bad economy. This is a bad idea. If all of you held on to your money we'd all be poor in a few months time and our economy would slow to a grinding halt. If you've got money, don't hesitate to spend it on what you need. Splurge a little. Live a little. Numerous small purchases here and there go a long way to help the economy. Don't put your money away on things that neither you nor anyone else can use.

We live in this world as a traveler passing by, I still consider it pointless to stop and settle because sooner or later, we need to check out.

Keep your relationships cheap and shallow
A serious relationship means a long term relationship. This consequentially equates to more expenses going to another person when you need to be spending on yourself to survive. Being single means a smaller room (probably even living with your parents), paying for solo meals, cheaper holidays and one less birthday to worry about plus being free of emotional frustration. That being said, if you MUST insist on being in one, get a partner with questionable standards and an obvious outlook that you will NEVER have a future with them. That way, you can have a brief and quick exit when you feel like you don't need to take on more responsibility (and commitment). This doesn't mean you have to be selfish but you have to put yourself in a situation where you only share your blessings voluntarily and not by obligation.

Take low responsibility jobs
I prefer jobs that are just between managerial and entry level positions. That way it's NEVER your fault. It's always the fault of the guy up top or the guy down you. An ideal job position would be one where you would still be hands on so you don't get rusty but never good enough to actually take responsibility for a lot of work. This position also enables you to keep jumping careers for higher income value should you get bored and find somewhere else to go.

Get degrees that do not require your credibility to be derived from a governing authority
If you want to weasel in and out of society with minimal reach from third parties especially from groups run by overpaid and over-educated idiots, avoid jobs and skills that require a license or accreditation to practice. Let's just say you can scratch your dreams of becoming a doctor or a pilot unless by some great shift in society those occupations no longer require them. Seriously, are you willing to have your credibility rated by some higher power whose only role in your life is to extort you for money to tell the whole world you can be trusted? Historically, that has proven to be unreliable. Lastly, if you are an asshole like I am then you cease being one once you're at the mercy of these panel of crack smoking wallflowers.

Get insurance and save for retirement
There are a lot of good insurance products out there. You should get one because without this key element in my advice, you can only do all the things I mentioned above for so long before you get too old and too worthless to carry on. Make sure you have shit put aside to give you a comfortable life in your old age. 

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