Cost of living get so high,
Rich and poor, they start a cry.
Now the weak must get strong.
They say, â€œOh, what a tribulation.”
Bob Marley dropped Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) in 1974 and the lyrics still hold so true today. Things are getting tougher and tougher everywhere you look. My sister just told me in Trinidad, even basic groceries are getting scarce — barely a bag of rice for sale at the grocery store, and even here in America, people are stockpiling food and having a hard time making ends meet. I’ve been hearing a lot of stories about people selling their heirlooms on Craigslist and purchasing scooters instead of cars. (If I didn’t have a 45-minute long commute to work, I might consider such a thing myself. But Miami in the summertime with that continual rain… no thanks).
I am not a big rice-eater, so the scarcity of that particular grain doesn’t bother me that much. As I just told my sister when she complained about not having enough rice to make a pot of pelau, it’s a good excuse to lighten up on the heavy meals. Make a dinner salad or veggie stir fry instead, buy some produce from your local farmer for a change, and figure out ways around the expenses and limitations you may be creating yourself. The Jamaica Gleaner is advising citizens to start growing their own food. The food situation is terrible, but if you ask me… the worst possible siphon for my money right about now is my gas tank. UGH. Gas prices are KILLING ME.
So the other morning I’m on my way to work in that aforementioned 45-minute commute (public transportation isn’t exactly Miami’s strongsuit, plus to get to work it would require driving to the Metrorail station, taking the Metrorail, then the People Mover, THEN a bus. I’ve done it before, and I just get to work frustrated. So hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the gas station I must go). I waited as long as I could, cruising down Coral Way where there’s gas stations of all varieties — from BP and Mobile to cheapie stations like U-Gas and Marathon. I was utterly heartbroken to discover that the two cheapest stations that typically one-up each other with low prices were both stuck at 3:69 a gallon. Ouch. Meanwhile, the fat bastards at Exxon are profiting.
And all I could mutter under my breath was, “I should have used Gas Buddy.” If you don’t know about Gas Buddy, allow me to introduce you. The site helps you find the cheapest prices in your city. It can be really depressing — I just did a search for my zipcode and the lowest gallon price was $3.61, and the station is waaay out there. But it’s a small help. Car-pooling is another way to save both the environment and your bank account, and I’ve also been turning to my new friend The Frugalista for her money-saving savvy.
For this Thursday throwback, here’s the reggae legend himself, imploring you to forget your troubles and dance. It ain’t easy, Bob.
And now, I gotta go get on that 45-minute, gas guzzling commute to work. Sigh. It’ll take more than dancing for me to forget those troubles. How’s the economy affecting you these days? Do you have any money saving advice, bellas?