When I was a child I use to think that poverty was the lack of income a household was able to bring in relative the number of people in a household. It wasn’t until I was an adult until I realized that poverty is more of a mind frame than the money in your pocket. Being raised in a single parent household, I initially didn’t realize I was impoverished. We always had food in the refrigerator, a roof over our heads, and clothes on my sisters and I backs. Before I go into the mind frame of a person, I will allow you to understand my background. Like I said, a mother who raised three children with less than $24,000 income plus a little child support. This qualified us by way of the government as an impoverished family. She made less money necessary to raise a family in the state of Wisconsin. Rent was about $450 – $500, not including utilities, plus food and putting clothes on our backs, she was broke a lot of times. How does the mind frame come into play if all I am focusing on is money?
Well, growing up in my mother’s house we would go grocery shopping. Once we returned home and unloaded the groceries into the refrigerator, she went to the phonebook. She took the phone and contacted the Chinese restaurant and some nights we agreed on pizza or sit down dining. How about that, food in the fridge and eating at a restaurant. Something seemed wrong with that picture once I became an adult. Why would someone order food at a restaurant and spend $30, $40, $50, or $60, when they have food in the fridge? Not only that, living already in poverty, why spend more money in such a useless manner? My mother was raised impoverished herself, and raised her kids the only way she knew how. The problem with doing what you know, is that fiscal responsibility must be more than just what I think I know. Like I said, poverty is a mind frame as well. She went to the grocery store at least once every two weeks. We could have saved an extra $1,000 a year in the household by not doing spending with food in the fridge.
Another way in which she would spend, is taking us to the clothing stores with child support. That in itself could have been cut down by shopping at less expensive stores. My mother wanted us to have a better life than herself so she overcompensated by spending unnecessary money we didn’t have. There is nothing wrong with wanting more for your children, but as time went on, I looked back and realized why this was a problem. In an impoverished community, yet you have new shoes on your feet. The utilities are due, but let’s make arrangements on bills to buy clothes. What this does is negatively effects your credit, thus making it harder to overcome your current economic situation. Had my mother have known by way of being taught about money, we could have had our own home. She could have been a home owner by cutting back on clothes for us as well as restaurant food with groceries at home. So I reiterate, poverty can be a mind frame and not just money.
With all that has been said, people all over the nation make these same mistakes. I live in Harlem, New York, and there are huge lines outside sneaker stores. People are living in a poverty, some homeless, but everyone has the latest technology and clothing. Now as an adult, I look at how I was raised and my current neighborhood, and think to myself. If I were to give everyone in this community $100,000; who would be broke by the end of the year and who would be doing fine. If you were to give $100,000 to a poor family right before Black Friday, I winder how much would go toward their bills versus Christmas gifts. Another move would be who would quit their jobs with a little more. Some people might stop working if you gave them $1 million. One million dollars is not enough to stop working for life, but to a poor person they might think they’re rich. This is why, for instance, the lottery effect exists so much among athletes. They make a substantial amount of money young, and die poor. These athletes don’t understand the value of a dollar, how to properly spend their dollar, nor do they know how their own money work. So, someone else watches their income at the same time they’re spending money. When you have never had money it’s hard to make money, and even harder to keep it when you get it; never knowing what it was like to have it.
In my opinion, the longer you take to build your wealth, the more likely you are to keep your money. You start to be more cognitive about the money you spend. You slowly come out of the poverty mind frame and become fiscally responsible. The problem is that you start to see the mistakes of those around you. They may not fully grasp the concept of fiscal spending or don’t care. These are people you slowly start to lose and at times distance yourselves from because of this mindset. They are the live for today and not tomorrow people. Eventually it manifests itself in the way they live their lives and look at themselves. So in my opinion, spend wisely like there is a tomorrow even if tomorrow never happens.