Hunting for new money-saving ideas this morning, I came across a link to a thread on the netmums website.
One of their members was obviously really struggling, asking the community for ideas to make money fast. She was seriously, horribly broke, with children to feed and energy bills to pay. She’d even sold everything of any value long ago, to buy Christmas presents.
Blimey. It made me feel awful, really guilty. I’m one of the lucky ones who saves money through choice, not necessity. I just don’t like spending more than I need to, probably because I’m as tight as a gnat’s chuff!
On the plus side, the community seems incredibly close, helpful and supportive. One person even said if they had spare money they’d send it to her. I read through the entire thread and ended up feeling pretty emotional. People can be so lovely. I’m actually welling up right now, just thinking about it.
It’s far too easy to be glib about saving money. A lot of people really are having a genuinely awful time of it. And it’s extremely difficult making savings when you don’t have a penny to your name in the first place.
This woman had tried literally everything she could think of to get herself out of the hole she was in. She’d had a go at all the ideas her fellow netmums members had come up with, but was still stuck in this dreadful poverty trap, on the edge of resorting to a food bank. There’s no shame in that, of course, but it illustrates just how close to the edge she is and how frighteningly easy it would be to fall through the cracks.
Tell you what, I’m filled with admiration for people like her. And I wish I could do something to help. If I ran the netmums site I’d add a PayPal donate button and let those of us who have a bit more cash help the people who really need it. As it is, there’s not a lot I can do except express my respect, send emotional support across the web-waves and hope life gets easier for her soon.