I have a rock solid belief that anyone can step it up in life.
Meaning that you (or anyone) don't have to be in the same old rut, don't have to live in dire straits all the time, and don't have to have the same poor conditions next year as you're suffering this year.
Call this a "Drive for Pride" entry. Because that's what it is. It's time to get the pride of life, in the good sense of the phrase, and not to dwell in the same old disgusting pits.
I was helping someone with some forms, tax forms. We came to the space for the refund, routing it to a savings or checking account. You don't have a savings account? You don't have a checking account? No and No.
"Good grief," one's thinking goes, "How are you cashing checks? By paying constant fees? That's crazy! Is it that the minimum balance is too much? Some places it's only $100. You could quit buying DVDs, CDs, and junk food for a month and probably have $100 in discretionary income sufficient to have the minimum balance in the bank. What would it take? About an ounce of discipline? You could surely muster an ounce of discipline. Then who knows? You save all the money on cashing your checks, and in a little while that $100 minimum balance has paid for itself."
This whole short term living it up spirit of things is terrible. With a growing balance, putting away something, trying to live within your means, having something for a rainy day, etc., it's going to eventually do something for your pride and confidence as well. There's something to it, financial security.
To me this is crystal clear. I'm not rich by any means. But I'm not on the verge of total collapse from one minute to another. And I'm trying to make progress. I couldn't handle endless catastrophes, but maybe a few. Then once they'd passed, I'd try to rebuild in the event of the next one.
Stepping it up in life is a matter of saying, "I may have made some terrible choices in the past. But I'm not going to live that way anymore. I'm going to get a hold of myself. I'm going to get a grip. I'm going to be the master of my fate (to the extent that I can be) instead of letting fate master me."
Do it. Do it immediately. Step it up. It may be hard. But there's a lot more regrets in not stepping it up. You can bank on it!