I was out with a couple friends last month, and we were talking about some of our backgrounds. During the course of this conversation it occurred to me that everyone in my life came from a “working” background. They had jobs, worked throughout their childhood and adult lives, and are self-sufficient. Not one person came from money or “advantages”. I have also been thinking more about this lately, especially in lieu of the booming job market and what we do here at needhelppayingbills.
This is one thing I think my mom was great at. She insisted on us kids getting and education and working for what we need and/or want. Even after my dad left and money was very tight (non-existent), the goal she set of education, working, not asking for say government assistance, and going to college for our education never changed. While she stressed these things with us, we as kids, including me, worked for it and “executed” on it. We all wanted to be self-sufficient. No one handed the kids inb my home (at least younger ones) an education or a job.
I had my first job as a paperboy around 11 or so. When I was 15 I had 2 jobs, and during college I had 3 jobs or more. All 5 of my siblings worked, starting as early as 13 or so and all through high school, and I think most had jobs during college too. Right after we all graduated with hit the job market to earn a living. Every person in my life has also worked for their own money. This is self-sufficiency, and grinding it out.
Everyone in my orbit holds down jobs, came from working backgrounds, and no one was entitled to a thing. They all worked to become self-sufficient, and everyone works today. No one came from wealth or a family with advantages, and in fact some came from “broken” households
This is one reason I think it can be hard and uncomfortable for me to talk about what I do/did/have accomplished professionally and financially. Maybe it is sometimes I think I do not deserve what I accomplished? Or maybe I am afraid others will look at me differently if I speak of this?
Self-sufficiency for those that need help paying bills
Bringing this back to the website, this is another thing I struggle with, probably do to my background as I indicated above. The job market is stronger than it has been in 50 years, with millions of jobs (many decent paying) available per the JOLTs report. Employers are dying for workers and countless job opportunities are out there. Yet we still get emails from people who are not employed.
Now we understand that some people are disabled, either mentally or physically. However there are even jobs for them provided their condition is not too bad. Or maybe someone is not working because they are sick, have criminal records (even though some companies are starting to hire ex-cons as businesses are so desperate for help), have a sick child, are very old seniors, etc. Or maybe they is some other legitimate barrier to employment….whatever the story may be, But there are all types of jobs…work from home, flexible part time jobs for single parents, and others. With the job market booming, employers are going out of their way to offer flexible solutions to try to draw people back into the job market.
Living in a small town is also probably a poor excuse to being unemployed or not self-sufficient. As even most small rural communities have jobs available and companies are digging for workers. Heck the states with lowest unemployment rates are some of the most rural in the US, and the states with lowest employment rates include: Hawaii 2.2%, Iowa 2.5, Idaho 2.7%, New Hampshire 2.7, North Dakota 2.7%, Minnesota 2.8, Nebraska 2.8, Vermont, 2.9.
When we get emails, and I read some, from those who can’t find a job (so they need financial help) it is hard to believe that. It is hard to not just tell them to go get a job! And live within your means! And we have asked that question (why not working?) of some people and some of the excuses we get our ridiculous. We are logging some of those for a future post.
And we understand some people just have no idea how to get a job. Or they face other challenges. Or maybe they want more skills to help them increase their income. But there are many job training organizations, grants, and other options out there in which the person can get free assistance in locating a job.
With the economy booming it is hard for someone to say they are not working. And granted not every job can pay every bill, so there are roommates services, shared housing, options for saving money on bills (such as cable), tons of apps for cutting back on food expenses, etc. We report on them as well.
Working, and living smartly and within budgets, not having kids if you can’t afford them or may not be able to afford them in the future, and living smartly should help many people become self-sufficient. All throughout this site you will find resources to help you become self-sufficient, whether it is information on our job programs or work from home positions to our information on budgeting, saving money, living with means, and more. It may be easier to meet this goal this today than anytime in generations.