This post may contain affiliate links. Please view my disclosure policy for more information.
Are you in poverty by American standards or by the worlds? Do you consider yourself poor or rich? By what standards do you judge it by?
By American standards, you are poor if:
You do not live in a home with bedrooms for each individual person.
Imagine the mother who wishes she could put a stable roof over her children’s heads.
You do not own a car that is under 5 years old for each adult in the family.
A single, older model car would be like winning the lottery.
You do not have a funded IRA/401K/College Fund.
This isn’t even a thought. Surviving childhood and adulthood is the goal.
You do not take yearly (or seasonally) vacations.
It would be a vacation for your children to attend school instead of working.
You can’t afford to shop for fun.
Imagine that it takes everything you have to barely feed your own children.
Your electronic gadgets are over 3 years old.
Think about what it would be like not having access to any electricity at all.
You are on any sort of government assistance.
You have no access to clean water.
You struggle paying co-pays or health insurance premiums.
You do not access have basic health care. A simple antibiotic is often out of your reach.
I don’t own a home. I rent a very small place. My vehicle is several years old and has been out of order for months. When I look at my income vs bills on paper, I have no clue how we get by. But we do.
My daughter has more toys than she can play with.
I have a freezer and fridge full of food.
Even on my worst weeks, my family still has clean water, electricity, food, a roof over our heads and access to health care.
How can I consider that poor? I can’t. Not when I know how many people would love to be in my situation.
When I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself because I can’t afford to buy the newest computer (technology gadgets are my weak spot) I try to think about what it would be like to live without water or food.
That really puts it into perspective for me. How about you? Do you think that being poor in America is a matter of perspective?