"She sent this to YOU. She knows you’re poor." Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
Sadly, I can relate to the poverty mentality. I was brought up to the idea that a “woman is nothing (failure) without being married and having children”. However, I was always interested in having my own business and had no interest in getting married or having children. The two ideas were at total odds to me, so I struggled financially. Finally in my 40’s, I found my vocation and a way to mentally get over my life’s -purpose programming. It was like i had been ill and now I was well. Who would have guessed it was a mental idea that kept me in poverty mindset, not circumstances? Now I have “enough” and live for my mission. I guess you learn these things when you’re ready.
A great enlightening perspective for all of us to understand, poor ("faux poor") or not. Thanks for reposting.
This article is well written! Anyone with such insight, eloquence and self reflection is absolutely capable of learning how to make good decisions about money. I hope she will share those with us as her successes mount.
We grew up without a lot of money, but my parents taught us to save and how to work and it has paid off. It was tough raising two kids as a single mom but they are strong adults now. We were never homeless but came close more than once. And thankfully my parents gave us lots of food! It is so tough to get out of the poverty loop. Payday loans are a death trap.
Uffff. This really hit home. It’s me!! I’ve never managed my money, and I’ve had great paying jobs. I embraced the mantra, “do the right things and the money will follow”. It’s BS!! The money never found me! Great article; if I had the money, I’d switch to a paid account! :)
Kristine might had been poor but she had not lived In poverty. The fact that she had made a decision to go out of being poor and succeeded in it telling about the mindset first and the circumstance second.
The financial culture - the culture of having and spending money - should be learn from the early age, as a part of the school curriculum.
We all know about the lottery winners that had lost everything shortly after winning all of the money. Why?
No money practice.
Let me just say, Lancaster, PA is a great area. The city is a weird but pleasant mix of political and cultural diversity, with many wonderful restaurants and attractions, not to mention it’s so close to so much more. And no, I don’t live in Lancaster, but I do live just over the Susquehanna River and a short drive. My eldest daughter lives there, and that’s given me a myriad of excuses and reasons for going to dinner and just hanging out there. And it’s far more affordable than Connecticut or Rhode Island.
An interesting juxtaposition, an article about lack of money, followed up with a news item about food prices going thru the roof but PepsiCo’s profits were up 20% from the sale of soda and chips. Anyone ever hear of water,Kool-Ade,and popcorn 🍿?
Regarding Lancaster, PA -- one of my long-time good friends has lived there over the last 20+ years and has some insights into what's unique and compelling about this small city. In addition to the qualities US New mentioned (and they didn't do a great job of explaining them), Lancaster is a place where people of all kinds, beliefs, politics, and religions come together to take care of each other in the community. They have a city-wide giving day that brings in resources from far and wide to make measurable differences in various challenges across the community. They work together as a community -- something we've lost in so much of the rest of the US. Especially in a diverse community like Lancaster. Where else do people focus on what's possible rather than complaining. That is the heart and soul of Lancaster. And perhaps that reflects the agrarian and self-sufficient underpinnings of this community. Truly a place that works on many levels. If I didn't feel so attached to being near a coast, I'd live there -- lively arts, good restaurants, easy to get involved, beautiful, full of connection and commitment, and energetic.
When I was in HS we had Consumer Ed. The semester long project required us to get a job, find an apartment, find an actual utility bill for each of the utilities that we would need, figure out Food shopping, gas, etc. We also had to get married and deal with one person working or having dual incomes. I, and my fake husband, failed miserably. Luckily it did not translate into real life, but it stayed in my mind for many years knowing that all of these things were going to be my responsibility one day, and I would have to figure out what I was going to do to pay for my independence. My parents didn't have money to loan me, so I really had to learn how to survive.
Poverty will not go away ever, but reducing the amount of people who live below the poverty line can be achieved by keeping those types of courses in our schools. The school district we live in now requires every student to take a financial literacy course as a requirement for graduation. It's also nice to hear that there are free courses offered to help adults become financially literate.
There are many reasons why people wind up in poverty. Taking responsibility for your own financials is a step in the right direction. And for those just getting out of college, perhaps you can start with paying off your own student loans.
It's like I was reading an article written by me, that's how close to home it hit. I grew up poor and with a mom who declared bankruptcy twice by the time I graduated high school. As a result, I inherited her horrible financial wisdom and fiscal irresponsibility. I keep grinding though, working two full time jobs and keep filling the hole I was in with cement so I never go back down it again.
My father was an NCO in the Air Force. We were quite poor, even living on base housing. If I wanted anything I had to get creative. In middle school I shoveled snow and washed cars. I began bagging groceries (for tips only) once I hit 15. The officers and their wives tipped incredible while the NCO families hardly tipped at all. That’s when I really first understood how poor we really were. Once I was 16 I got a job painting the city water works substations. After that I worked at a clothing department stores. Always working.
Growing up the way I did gave me inspiration and motivation to grow beyond. I was successful and spent over half of my career in $100,000+ positions. I made quite a few sacrifices along the way but they were all worth it. I retired at 62 and just began taking SS at full retirement. Life is good and I “…did it my way.”
Absolutely LOVE this article. It hits close to home. While I grew up in a middle class family and had good financial sense, my sister did not. And I witness her doing EVERYTHING the writer lists. Like literally everything. My sister is super smart and has a college education and all sorts of options, yet, she continues to make the wrong ones. I like the line of "Being poor with the illusion of survival, believing you’re resourceful and smart while you’re making ridiculous decisions is seductive." I feel that sums her up perfectly. I hope some read this and it helps them be better decision makers.
Shades of myself in Kristine’s essay today. At age 76 and newly widowed, I’m finding making decisions about everything now almost overwhelming. The political predictions don’t help much either. Trying to figure out whether I’ll have enough savings to last my lifetime is a difficult challenge. Right now, I’m thinking seriously about moving out of this country just to stretch what I do have. Ugh!
I'm troubled by the way this story puts all the blame on individuals for their poverty, as if they weren't existing within a system that is designed to keep some people poor and others rich. Of course individuals bear some responsibility for our decisions, and some people do seem to make really terrible decisions habitually. But the stress of poverty has been shown to change the brain, making it harder to make good decisions. Those of us who aren't poor can consider ourselves lucky for having learned habits and strategies to escape poverty.