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Flying Fox AKA Ted L Glines

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Member Since: Dec, 2006

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Blogs by Flying Fox AKA Ted L Glines

Low Maintenance
11/28/2008 7:28:04 AM

Life in the fast lane is the only way to survive, today, or so we have been told by the proponents of "Life According to CNN" -- but ... don't you believe it ...

Low Maintenance
by Ted L Glines

This happened several years back, but it remains on my mind (as most puzzles often do). I had been in an email correspondence with a friend out in Arizona. She was/is a very talented artist and I had seen much of her work. But she had no schooling nor background in the trade so she could not get anyone to market her work. Without too much effort or expense, I was able to gift her with a scholarhip in advanced graphic arts. She told me she could not accept such a gift; it was too expensive. It took a bit to convince her that it was okay to accept this gift because it brought a challenge for her to learn and go on to succeed in her craft. She took the challenge and went on to become a “name” which makes me very proud to have been there at the right time.

But her initial defensive “refusal” gave me a chuckle. We shall see why.

Comprising 34% of the U.S. population, the average middle class person earns about $60 thousand per year. They are the highest consumers in the world, owning the largest homes, the most appliances, and the most automobiles. They have the highest credit debt and pay the highest for special entertainment services, and they pay the highest medical and hospital bills. In short, the average middle class person is extremely high maintenance, and they are heavily in debt. These are the people who are most vulnerable during an economic downturn.

My annual gross income is $12 thousand. Most people would think me very poor. By my own choice, I work only four shifts, 32 hours per week. Today was payday and I already had two past paychecks, undeposited, in my briefcase. This is typical, and I will make a bank deposit next Monday. No rush, for my bank account is very healthy. How is this possible? For one thing, I have zero debts. My only monthly payments are for my rent ($300), which includes all utilities, and my telecommunications services ($80). No mortgage, no car payments, no credit payments, and no medical expenses of any kind. Thus, out of $1,000 earned salary per month, $620 is spendable income. Not many people can claim that 62% of their annual income is freely spendable. And there is no secret, other than living a low maintenance lifestyle, unencumbered by credit debt and attending fast-lane stress. It does not get more simple than that.

Our grandparents weathered the Great Depression, and they came out of that knowing that you do not spend what you have not earned. They taught this simple concept to their children. Their economy recovered and all was going well. But, as happens, the obituaries claimed them and the money-lenders came to chase away their wisdom from our world. Not from mine, however.

All of my needs are met. I do not want for anything. I am almost 68 and some have asked me why I have no medical expenses, and they seem stunned when I tell them that I have had no cause to visit any medical doctor since I was 19 years old. Why? I do not know; I simply do not get sick. Maybe it is because of choosing to live a stress-free life as much as possible (in between high-stress adventures). Maybe I am just lucky. Maybe God loves me. Well, of course He does because I love Him all the time, every day. I do not stress myself out by agonizing over it. Today is always the right time to love my life and to love all of the people in it, and I wish that more people could be as poor as I am.

So, when the lady said she “... could not accept such a gift; it was too expensive,” I chuckled.



Comments (6)

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