My friend Sam has a problem and can’t seem to figure out what to do about it.
Sam is a good guy and all. He tries to help people when he can.
He works at Starbucks and makes a little over $21,000 a year. $28K if the tips are real good.
But Sam’s problem is his expenses.
Sam lives in a 3 bedroom apartment, because he likes to have space for his video games, music, and comic book collections.
He got the Xbox One the day it came out.
As well as the Sony 4.
He has a car and a motorcycle.
He likes pizza and orders out every Monday. Tuesday is Taco night, which, of course, means he goes to Taco Bell. Wednesday is Chilies night. Thursday is poker, and usually eats at the bar. Typical grill food: cheese sticks or a hamburger. Unfortunately, he isn’t a very good poker player, and last week he blew $100 on a bad hand. Friday is date night. His girlfriend is Alecia. They see movies a lot. Sometimes they do a musical. It’s her call though, and she has good taste. Saturday is ethnic night. He likes to try exotic places like Greek or Russian cuisine. Sunday is sports. He does not go out much on Sunday but instead orders Chinese Take out.
I have 3 kids and a wife, so I can’t be nearly as reckless with my money as Sam is with his.
I didn’t realize until recently just how big of a problem Sam has. I want to be a good friend about it, but I don’t know how to help him. You see…Sam and I were drinking one night, and he opened up about his finances. He told me he really hopes he gets a raise at work. Evidently Starbucks is looking to promote a shift supervisor, and it would be a good raise for him. He thinks if he works hard for a year or two as a shift supervisor, he can then apply for a manager position.
“They make almost 30,000 a year!” he said with innocent naivite. “I could really use the raise.”
“Are you worried about money?” I asked.
Sam got quiet and wouldn’t look at me. “A little,” he admitted. “My dad was talking to me last week. I think I maxed out his credit card.”
“You’ve been living off of your dad’s credit card?” I asked.
“And my Grandpa’s. Both of Grandpa’s, actually.”
“Sam . . . ” I said without knowing what else to say.
“My dad told me I spent $38,000 last year. Between all the credit cards, I think I added $16,500 to the balance.”
“Wait…you ADDED over 16 grand to your parents’ credit cards?” I asked trying to wrap my mind around what I was hearing.
“That’s what he said. My grandpa was pretty upset.”
“How much do you owe? I mean the total balance?” I asked.
“Over 142 thousand dollars. My dad told me I had to cut back on my expenses.”
“Yeah, I would agree with that.”
“I was looking at the budget he gave me. I think I’m going to stop getting cokes at the gas station from now on.”
“Yeah, well those are over $1. I figure that if I cut that out, I could save $385 a year. That will help, won’t it?”
I don’t even know where to begin.
Do you have any suggestions for Sam?
The United States of America brings in about $2,170,000,000,000 in tax revenue each year.
The annual budget of the United States is $3,820,000,000,000.
The United States of America added $1,650,000,000,000 in debt last year.
The National debt is about $14,271,000,000,000
Last year, the United States of America cut $38,500,000,000 from the annual budget…and those budget cuts led to the shut down the government because we couldn’t agree on how to fix our financial problem.
IF YOU JUST REMOVE 8 ZEROS FROM THE ABOVE FIGURES…YOU WILL UNDERSTAND MY FRIEND “SAM’S” PROBLEM.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR “SAM?”