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Did I catch your attention with that title? Speaking from experience, there are several stupid things that poor people do. Yes, I’m sure I know wealthy people do some of these too but for now, let’s just focus on this subject. I’ve seen several of these points first hand. I’ve struggled with many of them myself.
Stupid Things Poor People Do:
This is by far one of the stupidest things anyone, in any situation can do. However, it’s a reality to those living with low incomes. I have neglected my own health (at great consequence) at times to pay my rent or buy groceries.
Buy Junk Food
Guess what? If you use coupons, it’s often cheaper to buy junk food. Yes, there are ways to shop for groceries without couponing but it is easier and cheaper to buy junk. This goes back to the neglecting health. Junk food is, well, junk. But, if you are hungry, you’re going to eat what you can afford. (***I am not advocating abstaining from all sorts of junk food forever. I enjoy my ice cream and cake as much as the next girl!)
Drive Unsafe Cars
Ugh. This is something I am totally guilty of doing. Not only is it unsafe…it gets expensive. Really quick.
Pay Bills With Credit Cards
What to do you do when your electric bill is due and you don’t have the money to pay it? Why, you put it on a credit card of course. Seems like a logical solution but it will bite you in your butt later on.
Take Out Loans With High-Interest Rates
When you are strapped for cash, what else can you do but take out a loan with high rates?
Avoid Psychiatric Treatment
I’ve seen so many people broke avoid paying for a counselor or medication when they need it.
Breaking Vehicle Laws
If you don’t have the money to pay your registration or insurance, it’s tempting to continue driving anyways. Don’t do it. The ticket you get is not worth it.
Take Up Vices
Smoking and drinking feel good. When you are broke, you do what you can to feel better about your situation. Please note that I do not advocate this. I’ve recently was able to quit smoking and I know you can too!
View Children As A Burden
Doctor’s visits, school clothes, food and toys are all expensive. Sometimes, people start to (even subconsciously) view their own children as a burden. Don’t think of your children this way. I don’t care how poor you are, if you love your child, you can be a good parent. There are programs available to assist you if you need help. (I’ve wrote about a lot of these in my e-book “Poor Me: Practical Advice For Navigating Welfare)
Spends Way Too Much Time Caring About Other People’s Opinions
Are you embarrassed to have people over to your home because of how run down it is? Does your car embarrass you in the parking lot? Do you feel that people are judging your clothing? It’s a common thing to feel judged. But, do you really care what strangers think? So what if you are driving a (safe!) clunker….it’s really no one else’s business. Unless they plan on buying you a new car (hey if anyone wants to take me on a shopping spree, I’m all in!). I’m reminded of a story that Crystal Paine told of when she and her husband were paying cash for a house (awesomeness right there!), they were driving an old beat up vehicle. I look at that story and think how easy would it be for others to judge them for the state of the car, not realizing it was because they were actually smart and saved every cent to buy a mortgage free house. No one knows why you live where you live, drive what you drive or wear what you wear.
Do Not Keep Up With Technology
Technology is an important part of the world. When you are poor, it is hard to keep up with it all. While, you don’t need to go into debt to purchase the latest gadget, keep your computer skills up to par. You never know when you will need them for a job. Often, libraries will offer computer classes for free for their patrons.
Go Into Debt
Debt is a slippery slope. It starts out innocently enough with a little credit card and slowly, it builds and builds. Just, don’t do it. Trust me, it sucks.
Not Planning And Dreaming
Don’t give up on your dreams because of a temporary setback. Keep trying (and failing) until you get where you want to be. One thing I try to remind myself is that I’ve been in worse situations.
I did not make this list to judge anyone. I have struggled with several of these points myself. Yes, I write from experience. I’ve heard it say that poverty is an endless cycle. When you start making these choices, that’s what it becomes. Learn from your mistakes and hardships and move on, even if you can only afford to move on mentally.
What do you think are some of the stupidest things poor people do?