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We're the poorest family in the neighborhood tribe - Page 2

post #21 of 37
This is going to be us in a few months. Right now we live in an area where most people make about the same as us, but we will be moving into a new city in a much nicer neighborhood soon. This is not because we make a lot, but because be are so extremely frugal that we now own two modest homes free and clear which when we sell them, will allow us to afford something pretty decent. But we will still be poor! I'm starting to get nervous about living in a neighborhood where the pressure is on, but those are the only types of neighborhoods that are even somewhat safe where we're going.
post #22 of 37
Can i join?We live in a low income area,but our house is one of the worst on the street.Our lawnmower and weedwacker are on their way out,and we can't afford to replace them right now,so the yard is a mess.My dad owns the building,he lives on the first floor,my mom lives in the basement with her boyfriend,and the kids and I live on the 2nd floor.The house needs a LOT of work,especially floors.The linoleum is peeling up,and the walls just need painting.I'm embarressed to have people over because the floors and walls are so bad.We do have some of the nice toys though,ipods and a big screen tv(that needs repair,the convergence is off no matter how many times I fix it),a ps3 and a wii.But those are thanks to my parents.Dd and I have a cell phone,but my mom pays for that.My dad pays for the internet and sattelite tv.We live on my ds's SSI and food stamps.But we're happy,the kids are well fed and nicely clothed.I buy everything I can second hand,all my furniture was second hand,either found on the side of the road,given to us,or bought very cheap.I don't have a car.

We don't try to keep up with anybody,we just can't.I don't even know how I'm going to do the school uniforms this year(public school,hopefully the ACLU wins the fight against them).Last year everything came from yard sales and the salvation army,but the school is saying to purchase uniforms from places like JC Penney.I just can't do it.I've been looking for uniforms at the thrift stores and there just aren't any.So i don't know what to do.We'll figure something out.
post #23 of 37
We are the poorest and probably the youngest family in our subdivision. The only way we were able to get our house was due to a perfect storm of market decline, seller's need to relocate, and timing.

I stay home with the kids, and the yard isn't a concern, because we live off of a long driveway. But I am the mom who forgets to take her garbage pail in for a few days, who doesn't trim the (horrible) bushes near the mailbox. When people ask where I live and I respond, they look shocked. *shakes head*
post #24 of 37
This is me! Just moved into a sweet rental home in a high end area of wine country and everywhere I go I see people with things, wearing things, buying things that we could never swing. I used to splurge on good hair as my feel good item but friends tell me salon color and cuts are double the price than where I moved from. So I am going back to natural color and growing out my locks! Probably be so glad I had to do this when I realize that I am free from the grasp of the cosmetic world. Looking forward to thrift store finds kicked to the curb by the rich and extra rich!

Hoping the universe will send me some friends here like me!
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissNo View Post
We are the poorest and probably the youngest family in our subdivision. The only way we were able to get our house was due to a perfect storm of market decline, seller's need to relocate, and timing.
That's us.

I get really frustrated sometimes, because no one understands. My friends think I'm blowing them off if I say I can't afford to go to the movies, and my out-of-town friends want to know why I haven't visited them lately. I know so many people who say they're "broke" when they have savings, credit cards, and money in the bank, and no one seems to understand that when I say I'm broke, I mean it.
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by laughingfox View Post
That's us.

I get really frustrated sometimes, because no one understands. My friends think I'm blowing them off if I say I can't afford to go to the movies, and my out-of-town friends want to know why I haven't visited them lately. I know so many people who say they're "broke" when they have savings, credit cards, and money in the bank, and no one seems to understand that when I say I'm broke, I mean it.
I can relate. When I say I'm broke, I mean that. I feel badly sometimes that I can't keep up with friends due to lack of funds, and it is frustrating.

We live in a middle class neighborhood, and it seems many families are struggling. I'm not sure we're the poorest, but we're definitely the "Adams Family" of the block. My husband and I are heavily tattooed, we garden, our eldest son has autism, and we basically don't fit the typical mold around here. Phhh, whatever. I have no interest in competing with anyone.
post #27 of 37
We are proud owners of the cheapest house in our snooty neighborhood; their overendulgences are keeping our housing appraisal up And I totally agree with one comment made here that "money can't buy class"- SO true!! Around here everyone is so focused on which decorator to use, lawn service, "shopping and lunch"- it makes me want to vomit. We are not poor per say but choose to live a frugal life to keep me a SAHM and then avoid debt. Several of my neighbors won't give me the time of day either and then their husbands complain to my husband about how much money their wives are spending!
post #28 of 37
yep thats us..we live in an upper middle class area, and our income is well below poverty level.We don't have a car, and our condo is a wreck (family owned and needs major work) but my kids are happy and go to awesome schools..even though everyone in the city thinks we are crazy!
post #29 of 37
I definitely belong!
We live in an expensive neighbourhood in Manhattan in a small studio duplex apartment that is DH's paycheck for his part time job (its parsonage so totally worth it for us). Most of the other mom's are at least 10 years older than I am and live in expensive doorman buildings and have full time nannys. Everyone thinks we are crazy for staying in a tiny one bedroom when in reality we don't have a choice, and because we cosleep it really isn't a big deal at all.
post #30 of 37
Hello!

I think I belong in this tribe . . . .

I found out I had endo at 22, so the future Mr. and I moved back in with my folks to pay for fertility treatments and start our family. While I attempt to finish school and raise our daughter, we're staying in the family basement.

We live in a soldily middle class neighborhood, sandwiched between a church and a catholic high school. Unmarried, livin' with the folks, and grateful for my little lady!
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by laughingfox View Post
That's us.

I get really frustrated sometimes, because no one understands. My friends think I'm blowing them off if I say I can't afford to go to the movies, and my out-of-town friends want to know why I haven't visited them lately. I know so many people who say they're "broke" when they have savings, credit cards, and money in the bank, and no one seems to understand that when I say I'm broke, I mean it.
Same here! We used to be comfortable financially, but then we went through a time where we were so terribly poor I was truly scared we’d end up homeless. Well-meaning friends would tell me how they lived paycheck to paycheck and couldn’t afford things either, but I just wished we COULD live paycheck to paycheck. And these were friends who could go to theme parks with all their children, movies, date nights, conferences, etc. It was frustrating.

We live in a neighborhood now where I know we are not the poorest, but we might be close. Still, it’s partly a choice as I CHOOSE to stay at home with my children and live frugally and responsibly. I have to remind myself frequently that I don’t NEED make-up, designer purses, designer clothes (or even NEW clothes!), a new car, etc. I have to remind myself that having that kind of money would probably make me less appreciative, less concerned. It would be nice to be able to get the nasty carpet cleaned though! (Rental house - I *hate* carpet!)
post #32 of 37
sign us up! most of our friends jokingly refer to us as 'downwardly mobile', but really the description does fit, in an economic sense. one of our ideals is to live as well as possible on as little money as possible (and with minimum environmental impact - the two often seem to dovetail naturally). we have our extravagances, but we recognise them as treats and not baseline ways of living. lately we've been making more money than we're accustomed to, so we're carefully considering how to best allocate it rather than just frittering it away on this or that. living in other countries has been immensely instructive in this matter - in Nepal, for instance, we learned how to live on a maximum of three dollars (USD) per day! it's made our lives feel richer, also....we have more fun finding alternate ways of meeting material needs than just putting out cash.

it's alienated some of our friends, though - the sorts who we knew as crazy teenagers but decided to try to be as 'normal' as possible the moment they conceived of themselves as 'Adults'. it feels horrible to be rejected by people you care about simply because you don't pursue or value money in the same way they do.

thankfully, our two year old daughter gave us the perfect mantra. when asked why we do things the way we do, she responds (with all the self-assurance of a toddler) 'because that's the way we like it'
post #33 of 37
I think I belong here. I won't say we're the poorest, but we're definitely near the bottom. We live on the "poor" end of town with my parents in a house that was damaged during Katrina. I haven't been able to find permanent work in somewhere between 1.5 and 2 years. My husband was injured on the job and, consequently, lost the job. (There's a long story there!) In the end, we have no income except what my dad makes. Mom is disabled, though unable to draw disability, and my dad should be. We have one car between all of us. (Even the other "poor" people around here seem to have multiple NICE cars... Guess there are differences of priority somewhere?) We have a 2-year-old son, and I am 12 weeks pregnant with a second child. (Amazing how I have to explain to people that we actually did have an income when I got pregnant both times.) My husband might be able to get a desk job soon, but it's still another couple of weeks before the job will even start. We're doing our best to live as frugally as possible. Luckily, we had the desire to do so before it became a necessity.
post #34 of 37
May I join in? We moved recently to a town a lot better than the previous one where we lived. It was dh's idea. The previous town had it's bad parts but we rented in a good part. We moved because of some unavoidable circumstances. I wanted to go to a place equally good but not worse. Wherever we decided to go we were going to end up paying more rent because you start a new lease and have to pay by present standards not what you would pay 6 yrs ago, like we did at the old place. There was a more affordable town but dh didn't want the stressful commute to work. So here we are in 1/2 of a house and are the poorest ones around. But here's the worst part. After we moved dh realizes he doesn't like the house because of privacy issues. (I never liked it. It was an extremely stressful move for me, but that's another story.) So, now we are in this expensive town with nowhere to go as all independent apts. cost an arm and a leg and he still refuses to have a slightly longer commute. We are poor and unfortunately not happy either.
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLMom6Kids View Post

We live in a neighborhood now where I know we are not the poorest, but we might be close. Still, it’s partly a choice as I CHOOSE to stay at home with my children and live frugally and responsibly. I have to remind myself frequently that I don’t NEED make-up, designer purses, designer clothes (or even NEW clothes!), a new car, etc. I have to remind myself that having that kind of money would probably make me less appreciative, less concerned.
yeah, this is us too. if i worked, i would double our income. BUT 1) i would have to find a job in this economy, and 2) i would be putting my babies in daycare and not be able to hs. it is a choice we have made, but it is still frustrating.
post #36 of 37
LOVE this tribe; this is so us!!!

We don't consider ourselves to be poor (okay, dp does ), but part of the "global middle class". We have food, shelter, clothing, electricity... oh yeah, and we spend 1/3 of our teeny-tiny income on private school for ds. No true hardships.
We live in a 1 bedroom that we share with ds, and are veggie for mostly economic reasons (so we can buy most of our food at the Farmer's Mkt).
And that's it. Our expenses are: rent, school, utilities, and food. No frills. But lots of fun "poor" friends, and music, and trade... and dumpster diving .

Beth
post #37 of 37

While there are lots of other people in our neighborhood like us, who rent an apartment in a house, there are lots more who don't...especially DD's school where she says her best friend is SO lucky because her mom said she can get WHATEVER she wants when she loses her teeth.  I do have lots of friends who thrift store shop but I am also surrounded by people who have live-in help.  So many people do not cook their own food.  I also live among people who buy LOTS of meat which is expensive.  Thankfully I do have friends who value thrifty living, but it's hard because we are surrounded by so much affluence.

 

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