One Dollar At A Time

The increase in taxes, dues and insurance is necessitating a rental increase of $### month for your unit. The new rent effective 1/1/2018 will be $####. This is still considerably below the going rent for similar units.

Thank you for being long time renters

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That moment at work, after a weekend spent going over the budget and coming to the sickening conclusion that you've got less than $200 a month left over after the bills are all paid, when it shows up. An email from your landlord telling you that the rent is increasing. Just a little increase. Just the legal limit he can do. But it's OK, he says sweetly, because you're still "below going rent". Never mind that "going rent" in is pure insanity. Never mind that, if you lose this place, you can't afford to live anywhere else. Never mind that if you have to leave the the area, you'll leave your son behind. Never mind that if you are forced to move back in with family out of state, that you'll lose all legal access and rights to your 11 year old son.

Never mind that the little increase is going to take up every...single...extra...dime you thought you had. Or that it won't be the only expense that will increase just a little bit. Or maybe alot. It's all about the money, man. Everyone's after it. And if you don't have it, that's too bad. Get a better job. Get a second job, a third one. Hustle more, Motherfucker. Hustle more or get out. Cut your costs. Do more with less. Go to work. Come home. Only eat in. Wear your clothes until they fall apart. Stress about not being able to buy a birthday present for your kid, fiance, or family. Never spend a cent on anything but going to work and coming home.

Pay the money or get the fuck out if it's rent. Pay the money or die if it's medical bills. Pay the money or your teeth fall out of it's dental bills. God help you if you don't have insurance.

Pay the money or else.

One dollar at a time. They'll get you one damn dollar at a time. That's what life is like if you're one of the over 70% of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck and are in debt. Every dollar counts. Right now I'm actively contemplating riding my bike 9 miles to the other side of Alameda in order to catch the Main St Ferry every day. That will add two hours a day to my commute but it could be worth it. Why? It'll save me $2 a day, which adds up to over $20 a month. My monthly photography budget is $30, so that'll pay for 2/3 of my photography. Rain or shine, it's $2. Every dollar matters right now. Pretty soon it'll be every penny matters.

But at least I can try to turn it into art, right? https://www.erikmathy.com/current-projects/#/1-dollar-at-a-time/