If not poverty, then what?

It’s fairly easy to be good with money when you have none.

Now that I have a steady source of income, I have to admit that I’m somewhat hesitant to embrace this new phase of things going well for me. Not because I don’t feel I deserve happiness. The fact is, I’m terrified I’m going to make the same financial mistakes I did at the beginning of my journey into poverty.

Speaking of which, I think it’s safe for me to say that I’m no longer in poverty. Instead, I have moved up to join the ranks of low-income families. Which is good news because it means I have a established a steady income of sorts.

In order to not repeat the mistakes of my past, I need to remind myself that I’m just as responsible for getting myself into this mess as I am getting out of it now. Here’s a recap of how I did it;

  • Dec 2011 – At the end of an inconsistent year work, my laptops were stolen from my home.
  • May 2012 – After several months of falling farther and farther behind on bills and losing my last two clients, I filed for bankruptcy.
  • June 2012 – Applied for and started receiving Income Assistance. My parents helped out a lot.
  • Aug 2012 – Started a back-to-work program that offered so much more than how to get back to work.
  • Oct 2012 – Got a part-time job with a non-profit.
  • Jan 2013 – Started the process of applying for PWD (persons with a disability).
  • March 2013 – PWD application finally submitted.
  • April 2013 – Non-profit I worked for ran out of funding to pay me, but did sign me on for another project.
  • May 2013 – Child support increased. Identified health problems.
  • June 2013 – Approved for PWD status. Got bus pass.
  • July 2013 – Roommate moving in. Taking courses online. Starting new project for non-profit. Rectifying health issues.

Writing down my accomplishments has reminded me how much I’ve learned in the last 18-months. I have acquired new coping skills and have built a network of people who support and love me. I’ve made new friends and have reconnected with old ones. I have gone from getting paid once a week to getting paid once a month and you know what? Yes, I’m (finally) better at managing my money.

The only direction to go now is up.

What has the last 18-month’s looked like for you?

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