I’ve been struggling to find a way to become independent from my family for the last year or two. I think it is the biggest step a person can take in moving past having family issues is to not rely on them in such an all demanding way. The problem is I’ve lived my life as a spoiled middle class girl that wasn’t supposed to work. You could say my savings and job related skills were minimal.
All of that aside, I was sitting with a friend one day going over what I now know about money and how I want to take steps towards separating financially from my family by the time I graduate undergrad and a comment was made about me owning stocks. It was made to connect the dots with being someone in the upper middle class economic bracket. And being told that got me thinking about being middle class. I mean first off, owning stocks doesn’t equal having actual money. I mean it is mostly used for continuous reinvestment that you don’t touch until future unless emergency. Plus, when shit goes bad in the market you lose the money. Yea, there is privilege about knowing about stocks, but it is definitely not a type of thing you can wake up and buy and then have a bunch of money.
And my grandparents, the one who provide for my family’s lifestyle? Well, my grandpa is his old age still gets up between 4 and 5 in the morning to prepare to work all day in the store. I kind of get why he is a crabby Republican. He was definitely someone who never got much from the government except the benefits of being in the army. However, it was the Vietnam era and so were benefits even worth that much if the risk was such more while serving? He thinks he achieved the American dream for his family of poor immigrants, but I’m not so certain. My grandmother on the other hand is completely pessimistic about the American dream. Hard work can only go so far for her. Yet, she works even harder than my grandfather.
My grandmother grew up in a wealthy family that had to spend the money to about every other person or vice in the family then her. She didn’t go to college and she didn’t have a chance to work much, because she married young and became a house wife. My grandparents didn’t have money in those days. My grandma’s family only helped my grandfather find a job and take them out for a weekend dinner. So she became the Queen of Couponing and making all your furniture. When she even got the nice house though there was still struggles. Where we were in the ‘middle class bracket’ would constantly go up and down. Sometimes, they could afford a second house. Other times they had to sell it. Sometimes I could afford private school. Other times my mom had to take a less paying job to work at the school for reduced tuition or I had to get a scholarship.
But you don’t see all of that, because being anywhere in the realm of middle class you are dressed up presentable. Comments can’t or shouldn’t be made because then you would be a snob, or undeserving of your luck. It doesn’t matter if you yourself don’t care about money, or if you are only trying to understand the worth of it. It seems to constantly be going, so up and down no matter where you started (unless you are super rich then you really don’t have that problem).
But even if I was still upper middle class, I got a lot of problems. A lack of money always seems to be a more physical problem. However, having money always seems to bring psychological ones. A shit ton of them. I mean the wealthy side has disowned and abandoned the middle class side. Eight to nine years later they still don’t talk. My mother expects a paycheck from me if I exceed in any manner of economic stability in the future….Well, I don’t think that one is such a bad thing. You know, tradition, family paying back what’s due or someone’s care. Although, my grandparents point that out as wrong. Ah…whatever this isn’t about my mother’s shallow future shoe or botox collection.
I think it just about with money you always get a struggle and you never seem to know your place. There is the broad sense of you are poor, so it doesn’t matter to the world technically how poor you are. There is the out of the realm sense where you are so rich it is painful to know how much, or else you will become a maniac. There’s the middle class where you are so overly critical that you are constantly filling out paperwork or questionnaire’s to know technically where exactly you stand.
But see. In any case you still have problems. And in my case, even if my family is middle class, they don’t just pull out a card and give me what I want. It’s always what they think I should want. I still had to work for my interests alone on my own dime… and not any dimes I earned from owning stocks.
I kind of hate money even if it important for society… It is always leaving a sticky imprint on everyone’s’ lives.
I can’t even afford rent on my own. Independence is a far away dream,
She Works Hard For The Money – Donna Summer