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I don't really have a lot of means, but then I have more means than anyone stuck on the streets. Despite the fact that I'm currently living on credit (which is only kind of okay, since I know there's money on the way—my cash flow just goes in cycles that are several-months sized rather than biweekly), I find myself agonising over charity. The thought is that I can't really afford to give charity, but isn't that because of my own lack of money management skills? Really, I can give charity in the very strict sense even if I don't get better with money otherwise, and I will manage and figure out how to get by with what I have left just fine.

Today I passed a man huddled in front of the nearby London Drugs, bundled up against the unexpectedly-strong winds. On my way back I gave him a box of cereal, the densest I could find in there. I agonised over it in the store. What eventually decided it was that I would, me being me, clearly remember that moment of indecision when the financial relief comes, and in remembering it I would regret it if I hadn't helped because of a temporary minus sign on my balance sheets.

But enough about me. He was grateful, and that food will do him good for a little while.

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You're so *present*, so connected, you know? Not just in this way -- it's in everything you do.

You're an inspiration, sweetheart; I love you.

I still suck at taking complements well

Thanks love.

Strange, I always thought you were quite good at managing money- I was just thinking a couple of days ago how you always seem to make do, with what you have. You have good credit, and you don't max out your credit cards- and that right there puts you in the 10% bracket above all the other north americans.

I've maxed out my card before, and oddly enough that was when I was actually working.

I find I tend to go through a splurge and scrimp cycle: Whenever I have a healthy bank balance I spend too easily, and then I do a 180˚ and start being miserly when I notice it falling perilously low. That's where most of my sense of "I don't handle money well" comes from.

The decent credit is mostly paying bills on time (not paying utilities in a timely manner can tank a credit rating) and happy accident: my mom co-signed when I bought my bed and I paid that off quickly, then she co-signed my car loan. That let me actually get some debt so I could show I was good for it.

Too many people continue spending freely even when they don't have a healthy bank balance. Spending in ways which are appropriate to your current level of affluence seems like a much better way to handle money than some.

That's true, so I guess it's at least partly functional. My objection to it in myself is mostly as it's so much a reaction to my carefree-spending attitude earlier in the cycle. Really, if I can moderate that first part, the second should follow.

But yeah, there are worse relationships to have with money.

5,000 karma points for you. Redeemable after you are dead.

You're a better man than I. I find myself using the "I'm a student; I'm too broke" excuse far too often for comfort, even though I'm somewhat solvent. (Well, most of the time, anyhow.)

Usually I'm thinking that very same thing. I'm not quite sure why today was different. Maybe I just hit an internal quota on the "I'm a student" excuse today.

One of the books I'm reading at the moment (Conscious Conception by Jeannine Parvati Baker) suggests that money exchange is a direct analogy in our lives for energy exchange.

When we think of money as something we "can't afford" to give away we are cementing in ourselves the idea of scarcity, and that we do not have enough. When we give money away (or goods bought with money, one would assume) we are, in fact, giving ourselves a gift, acknowledging our own abundance.

Thanks. That gives a good additional perspective on the stuff I've been thinking. It does feel like a large part of it was recognising abundance despite the seeming lack of it on the surface.

I've always preferred to give food rather than money, though it's been some time since I came across anyone needing help who wasn't sitting in a traffic island with a sign. If I have an apple, I'll hand it out to them, but I tend to avoid giving money and I'm usually unprepared in that situation. Peanut butter and crackers used to be my gift of choice, and I've bought some KFC and MacDonalds too - but that's only when I have time to grab it, and hand it off before I need to be somewhere.

I think we need to realize that the majority of the people we know and love are only a month or two away from being out on the street should some personal or financial crisis arise. I'd like to think that someone would take time to help me out if they could.

Yeah, the difference between being here and being on the streets is sometime only the help of our social network.

This is where I think a country that has a problem with high rates of homelessness is failing: lacking that social network that keeps most of the population from suffering that fate at one point in life or another, the government really has a responsibility to fill in the hole.

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