I am poor. I work around poor people. I live in a neighborhood filled with poor people. There are poor people at the grocery store shopping around me and when I commute to work, it’s poor people driving in the cars beside me.
But they don’t know they’re poor.
They may know that their checking account is low right now or say “times are tough right now because of the economy, job market, inflation, etc.”
But it’s just “right now.” Not always. It’s temporary…
They say, “When I win the lottery….” or “Well, when I make my millions….” and “I’ll be able to pay this off when I get that book deal, earn that degree, open that business, score that better job, get famous, etc.”
It’s a special kind of insanity that plagues many people when they find themselves consistently using the twisted logic of “let me buy this NOW because I’ve decided things will be different LATER.”
They seem to avoid acknowledging their actual present lot in life. They surround themselves with things to prove to themselves that they’re not poor. “I can’t be poor if I drive this nice car and shop at the expensive boutiques and eat gourmet. I can’t possibly be poor since I have this big house, these rich friends, and I take vacations abroad.”
Never mind the credit card debt or the student loans or the mortgage loan or the car payments. You can lay it all out for them and show them the numbers and they’ll still ignore it. They live their lives in complete denial. They fuel their denial by making excuses and turning their nose up at “poor people stuff” like budgets, frugality, and doing without.
In their eyes, they are not poor. They are temporarily embarrassed millionaires.
Sound depressing? It’s because it is. Denial and ignorance are incredibly depressing. Why do so many choose to live in a false reality they construct from excuses and denial?
Because they don’t know HOW to be poor.
And let’s be honest. It’s terrifying to admit or realize that you are something that you don’t know how to be! It’s far more comforting to revert back to the habits that reinforce not the reality but the possibilities. Why live in reality when you can easily live in a dream?
The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging that there is a problem. Most people don’t make it past this step. They may acknowledge the problem when they see their balances owed on their statements. But when they’re in the store or out with friends or dreaming of a new car or a new travel destination, they stop acknowledging the problem.
Being poor is not depressing. Denial of being poor is depressing. Being impoverished is scary. But being poor is quite manageable……if you know how to be poor.
I am not a temporarily embarrassed millionaire and I work hard to avoid the mindset. I am poor. And I live my life with the intent of being poor in the best way. This is not a blog on how to get rich, it’s a blog on how to be poor.
I am not an expert. I’m just trying to figure this out and document the journey. Feeling motivated? Me, too.