Most of my childhood was spent sharing things six ways, (including a $40,000 income before taxes at one point). Growing up in rural Champaign Urbana, there weren’t too many of my peers who were strapped for cash. Out of embarrassment, I did everything in my power to hide that I was poor.
(pin for later…)
If you have ever lived below the poverty line, then you already know of a few preconceived notions about the less fortunate: They’re lazy, not as smart, or uneducated. However, these factors are simply assumptions. Here are 6 truths about poor people that many do not think to consider.
We sometimes act out of fear of becoming poor again.
The moment that I crossed the threshold into the middle class, a sense of relief washed over me.
For many people in similar situations, this can be followed by the sobering realization that everything can be taken away. There is always a possibility that you may end up back at square one.
A lot of decisions made depend on whether or not you may end up broke or homeless.
When you’re poor, every season is hibernation season
You ever wonder how animals of the mammalian type know to store those nuts away for the winter? Just ask someone who used to be poor, and we will tell you it’s FEAR.
People who used to be poor never want to be caught off guard by a car issue, or a medical emergency. Despite what many think, we all don’t splurge on unnecessary things, or try to impress total strangers!
We save like mad-men
As soon as I got my first job out of college, it took exactly one year for me to become financially comfortable enough to do other things with my money besides save.
The common misconception is that poor people spend more than they make, or we always put the most effort into keeping up with the joneses.
That is the opposite of true for many less fortunate people, who are often just as hardworking and responsible with money.
We educate ourselves
Growing up poor is not always due to having parents who are intentionally irresponsible with their money. The main reason why I was poor was a mixture of two things:
– a lack of financial literacy.
– having only one stream of income.
There is nothing more difficult than not being able to depend on your parents or security. Instead of following in less than stellar habits, many of us have coped with this by searching for our own source of security by doing research, and applying to jobs.
The common misconception is that poor people are complacent in what they have; that they believe that they’re poor due to lack of luck. This is false.
Many of the less fortunate work hard everyday to change their reality. We have contributed to the thousands of success stories that are seen today.
We are vigilant and responsible with our money
On average I spend about 300/month on non-bill essentials.( travel, fun, restaurants, clothes etc.).
As soon as I get paid, I make sure to save 60% of my income and then pay bills right after.
This has allowed me to invest around 7-10 thousand dollars per year on average since entering the workforce.
I was only one example out of the millions in the world who are simply misunderstood based on class.
We want to learn and help others grow
Poor people are often depicted with a few stereotypes:
– self pitying.
– taking advantage of government programs.
– displaying other self destructive behaviors.
The reality is that most of us do not even qualify for government assistance.
Poor people are out here grinding, going to school, and reading up on how to invest for financial growth.
I personally have always loved the opportunity to learn of new streams of income to provide for my future family. Some of us are even open to networking, and helping others learn the the tips that we struggled to find on our own.
Those are 6 unspoken truths about people who are, or were once poor. What are your thoughts?
There are many more misconceptions made about the less fortunate that I didn’t include in this blog post that I would love to discuss with you. What are some ways that growing up without wealth shaped you as an adult?