(8) Homelessness is a way to beat the recession
I was thinking for a while, that I could probably pull off being homeless for a few months... I would need:
- A post office box.
- A storage unit for all my "stuff"
- My car.
- A job (but not necessarily)
- A membership at a 24-hour gym
Now, you sleep every night in the car outside of the gym, when bothered by any fuzz, just go IN the damned gym, workout for a couple minutes and all should be fine. Worried about smelling? Take a shower before you leave the gym, the showers are there for a reason. When the heat is off, camp out on one of the couches in the gym, or go back to sleep in the car.
Let us assess what "homelessness" will cost me per month, in "bills":
Storage unit fee - maybe $50.00/month
Insurance on an inexpensive car - $56.00/month
Gym Membership - $39.00/month
Cellphone bill - $63.00/month
Total - $208
That spares me $685 in mortgage, $98 for cable/internet, $100 for electricity and $25ish for water, which totals $908.
See what I just did? I cut my bills by 77% a month by not having to pay mortgage or utilities. Now, say I do this for 6 months, unfortunately having to sustain on restaurant food, unless I can manage to crash peoples' houses or hit moms and granny up for dinner here and there without tipping their hands to what I am doing. Now, having done this, I have freed roughly four THOUSAND dollars that I would have HAD to spend during that 6 month period, straight cash homie.
... now tell me that homelessness is wholly bad and mean it. Sure, I would likely have a totally sexless life for that 6 months unless I can pull off some TRULY magical shit, but I would manage, but I have gone longer before...
But who says you need to WORK to pull this off?
It stands to reason you can be functionally unemployed and make more money than a college educated and full-time employed person.
I went up onto Wendover avenue a while back and as I got to the exit, I noticed "fuck, it's a bunch of cars out this bitch."
Here's the rip. There are 2 left-turn lanes and 2 right-turns... Every hour of daylight, there is a panhandler next to the leftmost lane. On a good day, there are at least 20-30 cars PER light cycle in each lane turning left. The right lanes are not bound by "No Turn On Red" restrictions, so they matter not for this application... Let us say that the light is red for 2 minutes every cycle. Of those 20 cars, on average the panhandler gets 2 dollars total per cycle. Green light for 2 minutes, traffic is moving, then red light for 2 minutes, two more dollars... By my math, he is making 2 dollars cash EVERY 4 minutes, no? By my math, that is THIRTY FUCKING DOLLARS an hour.
Now, let's say he got there at no later than, uh... 7:15am? He must do this so no one beats him to the spot, and to capitalize on the people who are going to work at the deluge of call center jobs only 3-5 miles from the exit, not to mention the HEAVIEST concentration of retail/restaurant/hospitality/automotive in the entire metro area (note, I said "metro area," which includes 4 counties and over a million people).
Okay, he is out there at 7:15, and is making 30 dollars an hour for standing or sitting with a cardboard sign. He is sitting 50 yards from a gas station and a Burger King, another 50 beyond that from a pizza place and Moe's Southwestern Grill, he can get away for 15-20ish minutes to get food, if someone doesn't do him the favor of giving him something to eat. If he stays until 1-2pm, he gets in 6.5ish hours, which at the aforementioned payrate will net him roughly 200 bucks a day, TAX FUCKING FREE!!!
Let's say he does that 5 days a week and takes weekends "off" (yes, I know the concept of panhandlers taking a "day off" is ridiculous to us when we work 40+ fucking hours a week)... He is taking home $1000.00 a week. I just said he is TAKING HOME $1000 a week and does not pay taxes... That is equivalent to $52k a year AFTER taxes -- as in take home -- on average.
Do you make that? Because I sure as fuck don't.
Anywhere can be your home, but the difference between you and a guy sleeping in the shelter is that you own doorknobs.
When I think about this it makes me sad I am paying a mortgage and not sleeping in a bus shelter (during the summer, natch).