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staying in poverty

February 8th, 2019 at 05:49 pm

So I have to further explain to CCF how hard it is to get out of poverty. It really is when people are always telling you no and not helping you.

So my grandfather wanted to be a engineer. His dad said no way. No money and go get a job to help support the family. Lucky for him he was born number 9 out of 13 kids. He got to finish high school. His older brother finished 6th grade and got jobs for money to help support the family. This is why I always give a $1 to every salvation army bell ringer I see. I make my kids because my grandpa always did. He got their Holiday Baskets growing up. Wearing rice bags sucked since they couldn't afford clothes, good thing hawaii was warm.

Anyway he had dreams, but the dreams were beaten down by his family who said why bother with education? Go work. You don't need to study. Make money. The example was to drink and gamble. So it wasn't exactly encouraging. So he gambled and worked and had 4 kids. Lucky for them the Ob/Gyn said Mrs C you can't afford more kids lets sterilize you. THANK GOD or my mom would have been really poor. Yeah I don't think Dr are supposed to do that and now they would be sued.

But my grandparents were fun, young, caring parents. When he went on a gambling winning streak there was money and food. That's when you pay rent, shoes, clothes, and food. They didn't have a checking account until the 1970s when all their kids had checking/savings accounts and my uncle helped them.

My uncle at age 14 went to work and started paying the bills. He took each younger sister and taught her how a checking account work. How to pay using checks, how to be frugal. He said it was something he heard about from others not within our family. The rest of the family well they weren't exactly model citizens on my grandpa's side and my grandma's side was just poor.

Her father passed shortly after she left home and left a single mother with 6 kids at home. My great grandmother needed all the kids at home to work and help her financially as she cleaned homes, museum, and took in laundry and sewing and her mom lived with her. My aunts aunts on that side also learned after leaving home from their husbands. They lived in the country so they had very little and no way to help.

So it's not like people sit there and teach you how to budget. They also don't encourage you to save money. I guess they knew but there was never enough money.

Like I said I always feel bad my mom went into debt for us to go to Disneyland. But she said she never regretted it. We took out a personal loan from the bank. I mean when she got divorced from my dad she cut up all her CC and never charged what we couldn't afford. But what we could afford was meager. The real problem was we had a hard time saving. But things got better.

But by the same token my DH came from middle class. His parents both worked but they had no idea how to navigate this country when they arrived. They worked stereotypical immigrant jobs like delivering chinese food/driving a cab, bakery/dry cleaner. Again they had no idea how to manage money but DH's uncle, the one who died, he came first and fortunately smart guy sent money home to the rest of the family and helped each of his siblings come over and figure out how money worked. DH's dad grew up in a shelter and went to boarding school because they were smart and couldn't afford to live otherwise. So it was really hard to get ahead without the one person who quickly learned how to survive. His uncle always said it was luck.

So I think we need more education programs to help people learn about having more. Otherwise all they hear is they can't do anything. They can't figure out without help how to get out of their situation. But nowadays it just seems harder than ever. Wages have stagnated. No more pensions. Instead you have to save for yourself. A lot of these low-middle income people could retire because you didn't have to save or know how to save or invest (like my mom). Instead you work 30 years and there is your retirement! Presto!

I know it's not feasible but I think pensions help lower income people by far more than higher income people who usually know how to manage.

Have you seen people able to get out of lower income levels? Have you done it? If you have, how did they do it?

7 Responses to “staying in poverty”

  1. Smallsteps Says:

    I have seen some get out of some really desperate situations and I although was not in as bad of situations as I have seen, it was by far not a good situation. the common denominator is freeing yourself of bad influences and EXCUSES
    Now the first thing I will say is those around you / family and often even friends can and often do hold you back. To this day I have family that tell me the dumbest things pretending they are an expert on a subject and try to tell my how what I am doing is going to fail. I am sure they want that to justify their choices.
    Now a person asked me for help I told them they would have to cut off the people dragging them down like an addict or alcoholic can not hang out with the same crowd after they get clean and sober.
    Sounds cold perhaps but just like an addiction they are enablers and justify making the same choices again and again.

    All those whom climbed out started up slow and steady, lived frugally and did not let others talk them out of things or into things.
    They also found new friends / mentors.
    Just like your uncle all most people need is directions and tools to the path out.
    My best moments honestly when i did things that were scary and that those in my family were afraid to do. People simply do not want to realize that change is hard and requires sticking to it, not running back to the familiar.
    My SIL comes from the kind of poverty that they ran out of rentals at midnight and had kids leave their toys and such. eating very poorly everyone in family has digestive issues. I almost cry at some of the memories he shared. in less then 2 years dating/ married into our family he has a good future money in the bank and retirement. His family often sniffs around trying to get him to pay for their mistakes but he knows it is like feeding a stray cat they will never not have their hand out.



  2. creditcardfree Says:

    I find you calling me out very rude, LAL. I wasn't the only one that responded to your post. I don't know why you feel the need to convince me specifically. I could tell a similar story of my grandparents...my grandfather worked as a cashier at a gas station in the 1950s when my dad was 18. He also farmed...you know before we had insurance for farms and subsidies, thus much more risk. My grandmother took in ironing for extra funds. We probably all know or have known someone in poverty. Thanks for making your family seem like they are special, but many of us could tell the same story. My grandparents died in their 50s, never to have received social security or any benefits they worked for. My dad was the only one to go to college in his family. He paid his own way. He paid most of my way. We pay for our girls. Just because we have money doesn't mean we don't appreciate those with less, have no sympathy or that we don't give to those who are less fortunate. When our daughter was needing volunteer hours for school...we picked a food bank to help. Seemed better than a pet shelter.

    You explained in your very first post on this topic how your own parents were poor and clearly now have more money than I do, so I think you have seen it happen first hand. Why do you call me out? I think you see my family as 'all set' because my husband 'may' have a pension if he completes 20 years of federal active service. Sorry...you don't have to "explain" poverty to me.

    Plain rude to call me out.

  3. Butterscotch Says:

    “Except for the poor/disable relying only on government funds, I will always believe everyone can acquire emergency funds. I believe it to be THE most important building block of financial stability.

    Yes, you may wear hand me downs, you may walk to work, or trade services. These are not bad things, these are signs of responsible decision making. Not buying your child a coat because the parent buys beer and cigarettes almost daily is not a good decision.”

    CCF, I don’t know that LAL was trying to make you feel bad, I think she may have just been expanding on her original thoughts based on the quote above. It could come across as a bit cavalier. Stating that you will ALWAYS believe that EVERYONE can do something could be taken as narrow minded and judgmental. I think what LAL is trying to say is that people can be a victim of circumstances, and not everyone has the hypothetical bootstraps to pull on. A lot of people in poverty cannot save even $5 for ‘emergencies’ because their day to day life is an emergency. How it became that way may be a result of poor decisions, but not always.

    And I’m sure you know all this, so I’m going to bow out and hope you don’t get mad at me too. I should actually just let LAL speak for herself, but you seemed so upset that I felt motivated to jump in.

  4. mumof2 Says:

    I cant relate as our country is different but I do think that people who live in poorer suburbs don't have the same resources, money, schooling, food etc...so they don't start off equal at all...not through any fault of their own...but yes I think if they are taught how to better of themselves financially then yes they could improve their situation...but in saying that theyhave to really to stick to it...some people even those who have good incomes but a lot of debt it seems that if they don't see results quickly then they give up...and thats one of the issues...but schools should be teaching budgets in their maths classes in middle school...we have a great guy over here "barefoot investor" he puts books out that relate to Aust financials and he has just put one out for parents with kids and it is actually a really good book on how to teach them about money....but people can also make poor decisions throughtout their life that may put them in their situation...but I also believe if you keep giving someone who is in a bad situation money to help them out then they will never learn either...so I think each situation is different and should be treated as such.

  5. Sarah Says:

    I know of one person in my family who got out of lower income levels. However, I seen it through a child's eyes so I'm not exactly sure how she done it. All I know is that she moved out of the country, worked a few jobs then years later ended up with her own business. She was in her twenties when she left. Now,I notice that she is the "go-to" person in the family. She paid for her brother's funeral -nobody else had any savings -and now,years later,they're still paying her back. She pays for family to visit. The sad thing is that when they argue,money is always brought up.

  6. rob62521 Says:

    I would say based on my immediate family, I am one who wound up doing way better than my parents and grandparents. A lot of it was I learned from them -- save what I could. But my parents kept telling me to get an education and not just any education, but one that had a profession. There were times I worked 2-3 jobs. I worked almost full time in college earning my bachelor's degree so I didn't have any outstanding loans. After I got established into teaching, I went back to school twice to get post graduate degree and credit to get step raises. I lived below my means when I was single -- choosing to live with my parents until I married and pay them rent and help out with things to save money. Simple things like buying things second hand, finding ways to save money on things, doing without. When we married, instead of a big wedding, we put money on a down payment for a house and had lower house payments and we didn't go crazy on furnishing or decorating. We didn't travel extensively. We didn't keep up with the Joneses. Throughout this I had money taken out for a retirement account and when I first started teaching, it was tough, but I'm so glad now. When my parents got older, we helped them with expenses. One piece of advice that probably helped me the most came from dad -- if someone is willing to teach you something, take them up on it. You never know when that will come in handy. When I graduated from high school, I was working at a small newspaper. One afternoon one of the gals in the back asked me if I wanted to learn how to use the typesetter. I said yes and she showed me. It helped me continue working there when things were tough because I could do more than just work in the front office. When I was in college, it helped me get a job on campus and then later off campus to help pay for my college.

  7. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    CCF, that quote

    “Except for the poor/disable relying only on government funds, I will always believe everyone can acquire emergency funds. I believe it to be THE most important building block of financial stability.

    Yes, you may wear hand me downs, you may walk to work, or trade services. These are not bad things, these are signs of responsible decision making. Not buying your child a coat because the parent buys beer and cigarettes almost daily is not a good decision.”

    There are other reasons people don't get out or ahead. There are many reasons. Yes many make poor decisions. One of my cousins tried to commit suicide and ended up homeless. Thankfully during a lucid period he called his dad and they went to get him and my mom helped him get treatment and in-patient stay. I see the scars on his wrists and I feel awful. He's a vet by the way and I know that it's a struggle to get ahead even with the military disability. He's a great guy but it's a constant struggle and he gets a lot of financial help from his parents. His dad has asked my mom for help about setting up a trust and ideas on who to talk to and what they can do.

    He's not the only one. Another aunt ended up in jail and her kids taken away recently. My mom refused to give her a handout. Yes bad life decisions. But it's really sad that sometimes education can't help and others do hold you back instead of helping you up.

    I apologize for making you feel "called" out. I'm explaining that it's not straightforward to live middle class. That it's not always easy to get out. That there are more roadbloacks.

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