As part of this weeks class discussion, we had to participate in an online game called SPENT. The game begins with me being a single parent who has no job, lost my house, and is down to $1,000. I begin by searching for a job and take one as s server making $262 a week. Next I have to pick a place to live and to lower costs, I settle on a place about 30 miles away from work to lower the cost of rent to $700/ month, but leaving me with transportation totaling $100 a month.
Now begins my journey. I am supposed to move into my apartment, but I have way to much stuff so to make a bit more money I decide to hold a yard sale. I get rid of a lot, but only bring in $150. Now with only $350 left, I begin to run into problems. My landlord decides to raise my rent by $150, I decide to pay it. Then I get sick, but decide to go to work anyways, my sink leaks, I have to fix it myself, my electric and gas bills are due, I pay them, but now I only have $43. Because I don’t have much money, I can’t send my kid to a birthday party, to get ice cream from the ice cream truck, or on a class field trip. Now its time to buy groceries, but I can’t get nearly enough.
Luckily, for me, a friend of mine offers $200 to stay at my place and since I am in desperate need of money, I gladly say yes. But only a few days later I have to pay $250 in student loans. So I am back down to only $86 and my pet has gotten extremely sick and needs either $400 in treatments or $50 to be put to sleep. I have always had family pets and even though this is not real life for me, it is a really hard decision for me. I have made it to day 25, only 5 more to go, do I do what I’m sure lots of people in this situation do and put the dog to sleep, or do I decide to give up when I’ve gotten this far? Knowing that I could never do that to my puppy, I decide that it is the end of my ’30 day’ journey.
Although, for me, this activity was just a game to see if I could get through a mere 30 days, it is a reality for many people. My family has had its fair share of struggles, but luckily my parents have been able to overcome even our worst times to maintain a steady lifestyle for my siblings and I. After this experience, I learned just how blessed I am. At any moment there is the possibility that my parents could lose their jobs, which could lead to the loss of our house, car, etc. I am not sure how my future will play out, but I do believe that it is part of my social responsibility to pay it forward and try to make a difference by sparing a few dollars or hours at a local food pantry or homeless shelter to help out those in need. Not only will it help them, but it will also enhance my life.
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