So what do you recommend doing to NOT be poor? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums
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#91 of 120 Old 02-14-2006, 06:20 PM
 
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#92 of 120 Old 02-14-2006, 06:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DoubleOven
If you are coming from one of THE most expensive areas in the country to live (N. NJ/NYC, DC/N.VA/parts of CA,etc), the huge difference in housing prices will make up for the salary reduction.

I'm not saying it will enable somebody to live like a king, but in terms of the op's question, it can ease a family's financial burden.
Maybe, but maybe not. If you are living in a high housing cost area, and are an IT manager, and you move to a low cost housing area and work for Walmart at their entry level wage, you are not going to be better off. Otherwise, we would all be out of here Having said that, nearly everyone who had left the company I work for over the past 2 years has left the state - moved to Atlanta, or Heuston or other parts...so I guess it was worth it to them...
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#93 of 120 Old 02-14-2006, 06:54 PM
 
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What is poor? We made the move to northeastern Vermont last fall and are living off of a very modest amount... less than $25,000/year yet we are renting a single family home, have plenty and most importantly have each other and time. We hope to buy our homestead and when that happens our housing expenses should actually be reduced.

Warm wishes,
Tonya

Simple Living, Joyful Homemaking, Homeschooling Mom of 6
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#94 of 120 Old 02-14-2006, 08:22 PM
 
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I think one's financial goals must depend on what your life goals are. To be honest, I think this is about the scariest thing I've ever heard:

"Also, have a house paid for by the time you retire. If you don't then retirment will not be enjoyable and you might have to work."

And I mean absolutely no offense here because it might be someone else's dream - it's just that I never had dreams that included that. I just can't imagine trading my lifetime for a thing. I mean, maybe there's something wrong with me, but the very idea of a mortgage makes me feel sick and trapped.
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#95 of 120 Old 02-14-2006, 08:59 PM
 
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So what is the alternative to a mortgage rabbithorns? I don't want to spend my life paying rent (in essense paying for someone else's mortgage). Few people can buy a house outright - especially in the very expensive city I live in. Plus, buying our house has been an investment. We could sell it tomorrow if Dh got laid off and make a lot of money.

I think it is important to have a house paid for when you retire because my mom makes $1100 a month in retirement but has a $700 a month house payment. That does not leave much to live off of. But she has little choice since rent would be higher than her house payment and she can't work anymore due to having had cancer and the complications of it (she only has one usable arm now).

But I do agree that life goals and financial goals are tied together. My sister values travel and I do not. I would rather spend my money on other things but it is all a matter of what means more to you. I am a homebody and so I don't look at it as being tied to a mortgage - I love my home. And I will pay it off oneday! it is actually the only type of debt my Dh and I allow ourselves to carry.
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#96 of 120 Old 02-14-2006, 11:09 PM
 
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We pay LESS in the apartment than we did on the maufactured house we bought for $4K down on $40K, and we don't have to pay to fix things here, have a pool and hot tub, landscaping, security, private courtyard - when our AC went out, guess what it cost to fix: $0. But when our AC broke at our home, it cost: $1450. Why? Because though it had one month left on the warranty, we weren't the original owners.

What's the alternative to a mortgage? FREEDOM. We can go where we want, live where we want. If the neighborhood turns to poop, we can go to another one.

My parents live in a great house on 2 wooded acres on the prairie. Two years ago it was assessed at $400,000. They paid 1/4 of that to buy it 30 years ago. But oops, I forgot, the neighboring suburban sprawl just annexed it. The traffic is so backed up on their country road, they had to get a PO box because the postman can't even stop there, the mailbox has been run over 3 times in 2 weeks anyway, and my younger brother has to leave the driveway to the right and drive 4 miles out of his way to get to work because he can't even turn left out of the driveway without getting hit.

They loved their home, too. But they tried to sell it but no one wants it because of the road situation. And it isn't zoned commercial yet so they can't sell it to a developer. They worked all their lives to make this home a place to be for the rest of their lives. Now they are miserable.

Consider that a mortgage is paying for something you think you'll have. But it's something that doesn't exist now and you can never know how it will really pan out.

I'd rather work less, pay less, and see what I'm getting when I do pay for something. As long as I can't see the future, I won't bank on it.
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#97 of 120 Old 02-15-2006, 02:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rabbithorns
..
What's the alternative to a mortgage? FREEDOM. We can go where we want, live where we want. If the neighborhood turns to poop, we can go to another one.
...
Consider that a mortgage is paying for something you think you'll have. But it's something that doesn't exist now and you can never know how it will really pan out.

I'd rather work less, pay less, and see what I'm getting when I do pay for something. As long as I can't see the future, I won't bank on it.
I see it opposite from you. Our mortgage is cheaper than rent. And Mortgage = money you might see again, whereas rent = money you will never, ever in a million years recover.
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#98 of 120 Old 02-15-2006, 11:40 AM
 
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I agree with Boingo. Our morgage is WAY cheaper than rent for the same size house or apartment. We consider it a savings account of sorts, especially because it is likely that we will have to relocate to a much more expensive part of the country once we finish school and this will let us buy a (similar size but more expensive) house there.
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#99 of 120 Old 02-15-2006, 12:23 PM
 
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Our mortgage was half what our rent was, but with all the other costs of owning a home, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc. living in a house cost $400 more per month. Are you adding in all those other costs?

And as for mortgage being money I'll see again, I just showed how it isn't necessarily so. People lose their houses all the time because of weather damage, fire, loss of employment. It may work out very well for some and I say - go for it. If you WANT a home to take care of, then that SHOULD be your passion and the very way you show love to your family.

But for me it's a waste of my time. I want to be a leaf on the wind. And that's one way not to be poor.
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#100 of 120 Old 02-15-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rabbithorns
Our mortgage was half what our rent was, but with all the other costs of owning a home, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc. living in a house cost $400 more per month. Are you adding in all those other costs?
Taxes = $35/month. Insurance = $30/month. Both are in escrow- that is, they are IN my mortgage payment, so yeah, I'm including them. Maintenance - nothing broken so far, but we're saving up in case.

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And as for mortgage being money I'll see again, I just showed how it isn't necessarily so.
Don't misquote me. I said money you MIGHT see again, vs rent which is money you will never see again.

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People lose their houses all the time because of weather damage, fire, loss of employment.
All of those things would result in you "losing" your rental/lease too, with nothing to show for it. With a mortgage, you could file insurance in the first scenarios, and sell before the foreclosure in the 2nd. (Usually foreclosures take at least 6 months to go through.)

Anyhow, if we want to play worst-case scenario, I could come up with plenty for rentals too....

Quote:
It may work out very well for some and I say - go for it. If you WANT a home to take care of, then that SHOULD be your passion and the very way you show love to your family.

But for me it's a waste of my time. I want to be a leaf on the wind. And that's one way not to be poor.
Nothing wrong with valuing the freedom to pick up and leave at any time above the possibility of recovering your housing money spent someday. But don't categorize mortgages as a colossal waste of money - it's not true.
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#101 of 120 Old 02-15-2006, 04:03 PM
 
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If you are looking at a mortgage just in terms of the comparison to rent right now, this is a very short sited way to compare. Rent is an expense, a house is an investment.

If you bought a house with a fixed rate 30 year mortgage, as inflation goes up, your mortgage payment does not. However, rent will increase with inflation. Lets say Mr. Renter and Mr. Buyer make the same amount of money. Mr. Renter rents at 50% of his income and Mr. Buyer's mortgage payment is 60% of his income. 15 years later, Mr. Renter is still paying 50% of his income in rent, but Mr. Buyer is only paying 40% of his income in a mortgage payment. (BTW, I am not taking this off the top of my head, I did it out in an excell spreadsheet - and taking into account that the tax will increase)

In addition Mr. Buyer has been able to deduct about half or more of what he paid on his income tax (so that may be more like 35% of his income really). And at 15 years, he has paid off half the mortgage, and the house is worth almost double the value of when purchased (assuming it just followed inflation, however historically real estate appreciates at a higher rate long term), so he has 3/4 or more of the equity in the house. All of this is based on very conservative estimates.

I'm not saying there aren't situations where renting does make the most sense and I appreciate that not everyone has the credit or the down payment to buy, but I think one of the ways to get yourself out of poverty is to do everything you can to be able to buy a property rather than rent and make the money you pay every month work for you. DH and I are buying a house that we will live in for a few years until rent catches up with the mortgage, then we'll rent it out and buy another house.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#102 of 120 Old 02-15-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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There's a point being missed in this conversation: there are more than two choices here.

No one has to choose between either Mr. Buyer or Mr. Renter who both sound like they spend all their lives paying for a place to live. It's possible to be Mrs. Free Spirit who lives in a solar-powered $20,000 straw bale home that only took 2 years to save for and build for cash and is much easier on the world's resources.

It's possible to do lots of other things. There's caretaking, co-housing, communal living, cooperatives, intergenerational living (move back into the family home) - all kinds of ways to have a home. I just don't think we can say one thing is more secure than another. On paper, maybe. But life is not a piece of paper; it's layoffs, stock losses, terminal illness. It's radon in the basement, Hurricane Katrina, bad county road management. It just breaks my heart to see people work so hard for something that can be taken away so easily.

Even my straw bale dream has no real security - one site we chose had a power plant approved to be built within a few miles - a coal burning plant at that. But for me, renting and then building my cabin will only take 2 years for the same lack of security as a 30 year mortgage. It's important for young people to know they have choices (and should be able to make an informed choice) - between one insecure thing and another insecure thing.
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#103 of 120 Old 02-15-2006, 10:04 PM
 
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I haven't read all the responses yet, so please forgive me if I repeat ideas or am not following the progression of the thread.

I think it was Robert Kiosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad) or Tony Robbins who says that being broke is a temporary setback while being poor is a lifestyle. There's no shame in being broke as most all of us experience it at some point and make the conscious effort to get out of 'brokeness'.

I think if I were in the situation where I needed to figure out the direction of my life and career, I'd examine what I'm qualified to do. Though I'm all for bachelors + degrees, I think what is most useful to someone starting out is a trade, certificate or diploma program to a specific career like nursing, HVAC repair, dental hygienist, electrician/plumber/etc. You're practically guaranteed a position when you finish the program as many schools offer job placement services.

Have a skill you can trade/barter for other things. I sew for example, and can trade my wares for all sorts of goods/services. Maybe you can paint, plan gardens well, cut hair or babysit. If I needed quick money, I'd try to wait tables at the nicest restaurant that would have me. Or I'd clean houses for $40/hr (a common price up here in NH, though you can find cheaper).

I'd apply for every government program I qualify for and use each to my absolute advantage. Even subsidized housing and food pantries if they are available. Consider it a temporary situation, not the way you'll live forever.

Go to the library and devour every book like the Millionaire Next Door (for example) and get motivated. Learn to determine needs from wants and to not be affected by how society determines who is successful and who isn't John De Graf's book Affluenza is a FANTASTIC choice to help counter the keeping up with the joneses mentality. It can be really hard to not just go buy what it is that you're desiring. Paying in cash only like our grandparents did can really help.

Using all the debt-fighting, spend-reducing tactics that have probably been listed already.

Surround yourself with friends who you think are successful. If you hang with unmotivated losers, you risk falling into their slump. I think this is really important.

If you decide home ownership is right for you apply for a FHA loan or a Habitat for Humanity house, or buy a small, fixer-upper to slowly renovate. You will create equity that renting won't offer. Rent a room out if you can. I'd buy a mobile home on its own land if it's all I could afford. The land value will appreciate even if the trailer doesn't. Always make sure it's insured. Homeowners insurance really isn't expensive at all (ours is less expensive than our vehicle insurance).

Read Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin and/or Linda Breen Pierce's book (I'm spacing the title, but it's also about simple living) and see how others trade high income for a more meaningful, chosen life. Not poverty because they're stuck there and can't figure out how to make ends meet, but truly living so that they don't need much money and can afford to spend time on things they love. Many rent a tiny studio apartment and spend lots of time at libraries, gardens or with friends, something they couldn't do with a hefty mortgage and a demanding career.

Get active in a church if you're so inclined. TONS of support will be extended to you because that's what churches do for their members.

Believe in yourself. Write your affirmations on a huge sheet of paper and hang it where you can see it to remind yourself of your goals and attributes for the days when you're forgetting what the point of it all is. YOU CAN DO IT!!! And then you can help someone else do the same.
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#104 of 120 Old 02-16-2006, 03:48 AM
 
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I don't understand the "Paying yourself first" thing, honestly.
I totally agree. If we paid ourselves 10% (or even 5%) of each paycheck we couldn't pay the rent (and we pay the.cheapest.rent in our area - we know our landlord and they charge us nothing NEAR what the place is worth ... and if we had a mortgage for this place we'd be paying twice as much as its monthly rental value, so buying isn't the cheaper option for us). Things are too tight for most of the suggestions given in those 'save $400 this month' lists (ie don't buy your lunch each day and save $50 a week ... I make our lunches and sure if I stop eating I'll also save money but then I'll be dead from starvation. Sure I'd cut cable but we don't have it. Downgrade your dial-up, okay, but we get it for free anyway. Get another job? We already have 5 between us, and that's not counting me classifying as a SAHM - I only work while the kids are at school. What's next? Sell a kidney! I hear they get good money on the black market and you really only need one to live, right).

Seriously, as someone who looks at the posts about living in America (there was a post in TAO - how much would this house sell for in your area ... it was a mansion and it was only $100,000), about how people can actually afford to only spend $100 on groceries per month (groceries are mega expensive here, most people I know budget over $1000 a month, we try to get by on $650 but we struggle), about how gas is only $2 a gallon ... I think we'd be rich if we moved to the US. Things are SO CHEAP in the US!

It's very hard to get ahead in some parts of the world. Most of the time I try not to complain about it ... I love where we live and I don't want to move, and I know we could move to a gazillion places where we'd be considered rich. I know we could move to a gazillion places and we'd feel rich. We've made our choice and we have to do the best we can at living here. The way we do it is to make things from scratch - we don't buy cookies, cakes, frozen dinners etc. We reuse and recycle whatever we can. We trade services with others. We utilise cooperatives. But as a few other people have said, a bigger perspective is needed sometimes. Whenever I'm grumpy about being broke I try to force myself to remember that the majority of the world's citizens are poorer than I am.

I found an online calculator once ... you entered your income and it told you how 'poor' you really were. Most people living in Europe or the US are in the top 10% of the world's richest people.
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#105 of 120 Old 02-16-2006, 03:52 AM
 
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#106 of 120 Old 02-16-2006, 11:38 AM
 
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Regarding college vs. no college:

My dad always told us "find something you love to do that people will pay you for." Out of 9 kids, one has a masters degree, two have bachelor degrees, one has an associates degree, and the rest have no college degree. And guess what...they all are doing what they love, and getting paid. One of my sisters wanted to be a family therapist, so she has a masters degree. It was the only way to get where she wanted to be. College can be a great resource but it can also be a hinderence to "getting on with your life" if you don't have a sensible plan. A few of my sisters own a successful business together. One has a college degree, one doesn't. In their case, formal education means nothing compared to the fact that they are both smart, talented, "don't take no for an answer" types of women.
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#107 of 120 Old 02-16-2006, 12:17 PM
 
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Caloli - what a find! I typed in our $20,000 a year (which qualifies us for all sorts of "poor" benefits in the States although we don't take them) and we were in the top 11%.

I also typed in $48,000 which is considered the median family income in the US and it was in the top 1% of the world. And people here are struggling on that $48,000....Amazing.
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#108 of 120 Old 02-16-2006, 01:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by caloli
..
Seriously, as someone who looks at the posts about living in America (there was a post in TAO - how much would this house sell for in your area ... it was a mansion and it was only $100,000)...
Please do not take that house to represent all of America. The house prices in that area are severly depressed. There are old houses for sale there, $8900 takes it. The reason is that the unemployment in that area is over 10%, the crime is 4x the national average, the wages are down. In a chart of the local incomes, there were more households in the $0-$10,000 A YEAR range than any other bracket.
The economy where that house is, has collapsed. Pretty much everywhere else in the whole US, (anywhere worth living, anyhow..) that house would be $600,000+.


http://www.globalrichlist.com/

According to that site, I am in the top 11%. But I am not sure that site knows diddly-poop, because it thinks I make $16 an hour, which is 1.5 times the ACTUAL hourly wage on my income. They apparently assume that everyone works a mere 27 hours weekly - baloney.
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#109 of 120 Old 02-16-2006, 02:59 PM
 
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I'd say my advice would be:

1) Live beneath your means, if at all possible. The reason we were able to buy a house and pay for our wedding was that I went from earning $16,000/year to 40,000/year, but we did not change our lifestyle. Also, we qualified for more house than we bought, by quite a bit.

2) Ignore the Joneses.

3) Do an honest cost-benefit analysis on EVERYTHING you buy. Be willing to lower your standards and compromise. I would love to buy all-organic food--I am a huge support of organic ag--but I only buy what I can afford and I do not lie awake at night worrying about it. I do not believe nonorganics to be a health risk to me or my children in a statistically significant way. I CD, and I love CDing, but if it cost me more than disposables (which it doesn't; I use a very low-cost system--prefolds and velcro covers) I would have to go to disposies. I would hate throwing all that away, but I would figure that I could make it up to Mama Earth in other ways. Do not cling to your principles at the cost of your financial life.

4) Do your homework, and be willing to drastically change the way you live based on the available evidence.

5) Sometimes you really do have to spend money to save money. This might mean that you need to borrow money from relatives or do something really creative with how and where you live for a while. If you start out with a cushion, you are going to have a lot more options and feel a lot more secure, and you should be able to avoid having to make bad short-term choices because you can't afford the intitally more expensive but life-cycle cheaper alternative.

I have been thinking a lot about renting vs. buying myself. We bought this house for $82,000 two and a half years ago. We now owe about $75,000. We could probably sell it for at least $100,000, and perhaps $120,000. Sounds great, but that money is going to turn around and go straight into paying realtor fees, closing costs and down payment on another house when we move, which we do plan to do in the next year or two for various reasons.

Pretty much anywhere we move, we are going to pay more for a house than we did here...and we are just getting by now. The maintenance costs on this house have made it hard for us to get by on my husband's income; we have spent several thousand dollars this year alone in essential repairs. I really am wondering if we might not be better off selling the house, taking the money we make when we sell the house and investing it, and going back to renting for a while till I reenter the workforce. I am just finding that supporting a house on our income is hard. Even though our mortgage is less than we would pay to rent a similar house, we could live smaller than we do now, and we would not have all the repair costs.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#110 of 120 Old 02-16-2006, 08:46 PM
 
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If you are looking at a mortgage just in terms of the comparison to rent right now, this is a very short sited way to compare. Rent is an expense, a house is an investment.
Or you can look at it the other way - rent is dead money, but so is the majority of the money you pay back in a mortgage (interest). If we borrowed to buy a house our interest repayments would be way more than our rent. It's better to rent for an extra 5 or 10 years and pay dead money to your landlord than it is to borrow a huge amount and pay dead money to your bank. The extra years you rent, you can save more money for a house deposit, which leads to better savings patterns which - when followed through after getting a mortgage will only be beneficial. This means you cut your interest repayments, cut the amount of time it will take you to pay back the house, and save the total amount of dead money you pay in the end. And you still have the investment in the end (and in the same amount of time you would have it if you got the mortgage earlier).

Thanks for pointing out that the $100,000 house isn't so desirable in terms of area etc. Even so, on the whole, it's still cheap to live in America.
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#111 of 120 Old 02-16-2006, 08:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rabbithorns
Caloli - what a find! I typed in our $20,000 a year (which qualifies us for all sorts of "poor" benefits in the States although we don't take them) and we were in the top 11%.

I also typed in $48,000 which is considered the median family income in the US and it was in the top 1% of the world. And people here are struggling on that $48,000....Amazing.
I know! It really is amazing.

Quote:
According to that site, I am in the top 11%. But I am not sure that site knows diddly-poop, because it thinks I make $16 an hour, which is 1.5 times the ACTUAL hourly wage on my income. They apparently assume that everyone works a mere 27 hours weekly - baloney.
I think you've missed the point of the site. Even if you earn $8 an hour it doesn't matter if you work 3 hours a week or 60. You're still rich compared to the rest of the world. I've seen people come out in the top 2% of the world and still complain that they're not really wealthy - it costs so much to insure their house and cars, and after investing their money they don't have any extra to go to the movies each week. If you were in the bottom 50% of the world's money earners you wouldn't have a car or house to worry about.
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#112 of 120 Old 02-16-2006, 09:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by caloli
I think you've missed the point of the site. Even if you earn $8 an hour it doesn't matter if you work 3 hours a week or 60. You're still rich compared to the rest of the world. I've seen people come out in the top 2% of the world and still complain that they're not really wealthy - it costs so much to insure their house and cars, and after investing their money they don't have any extra to go to the movies each week. If you were in the bottom 50% of the world's money earners you wouldn't have a car or house to worry about.
The fact that poor people in the US are, for the most part, much better off than poor people in other parts of the world doesn't change the fact that they are, in fact, impoverished. In fact, I think that poverty in the US is a much bigger problem and a much sadder thing, because this country has *so much* in terms of money and resources that nobody should be forced to do the things that many Americans have to do to get by.

I think that a lot of people romanticize the poor in other countries, and see the poor in the US as whiners. That's not helpful, and it's not conducive to positive change (which was, I thought, what the OP was looking for).

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#113 of 120 Old 02-16-2006, 09:27 PM
 
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I'm not arguing against that, I'm simply echoing the thoughts of previous posters who said having a change in mindset has helped them overcome their lack of wealth. Isn't the point of this thread to give ideas on how not to be poor? Lots of people have said it - "change the way you think". Putting things into perspective helps to change the way you think about money.

I think most people have times when they're poor - but as others have said, don't wallow in it. There's a huge difference between the two people who have identical financial situations (both are living in poverty) but one focuses on the positive and doesn't dwell on their lack of money - they change their thinking so that they're not constantly reminded or clouded by their poverty, and the other person puts all of their energy into it, thinking how much better it would be if they weren't so poor.

If you don't like the recommendation, just go on to the next post. As I said earlier, a lot of ideas aren't applicable to my situation. I take what works for me and try to keep my chin up.

I disagree with this very much, though:
Quote:
I think that poverty in the US is a much bigger problem and a much sadder thing, because this country has *so much* in terms of money and resources that nobody should be forced to do the things that many Americans have to do to get by.
I think the fact that the world's richest people (not only the wealthy in the US) ignore anyone living in poverty, not just the impoverished in their own country, is awful. It's not more sad or terrible just because it's the US.
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#114 of 120 Old 02-16-2006, 09:38 PM
 
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It always helps me to look around my house and think that I have more things in my house than 85% of the people in the world. I could sell half my stuff and and use the money to pay for a whole village to live for a few years, that is how well off we are! This helps me buy less and enjoy what we have now!!
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#115 of 120 Old 02-17-2006, 03:08 PM
 
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I want to go back to the college and mortgage/rent debate.
I went to college right away. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I had some vague ideas. I then went to law school. I had decided I was interested in the subject, but I had no knowledge of the legal profession or even what it meant to earn and live on a certain amount of money in this expensive area (DC/Baltimore/Annapolis).
Because I didn't know how to research, what to research, and because I didn't have much life experience before I chose all of this schooling, I am deeply in debt. I have a degree, and a career, but I think I could have achieved those things (albeit in more years) through more fiscally responsible ways.
College is extraordinarily expensive-- too much so. It's also a less-meaningful degree as more people become college-educated. But regardless of what anyone chooses to do-- go to college or trade school, get a BA, AA, JD, MD, MA-- they have to have the resources to make a very informed decision. THAT is what I think makes the difference.

As to rent/housing. I see it this way. In my area housing has drastically increased in the past few years, while rent prices have not as much. I can't buy a 3 bedroom house for less than $400,000. I currently pay $1000 a month to rent 1000 sq feet in an apartment. As much as people like to think otherwise, I think the equity in your house only lets you 1) borrow more money, or 2) buy another house. If you buy your house for 100k and sell it for 400k, that's great. But the market has increased, so to buy in that market again, after selling, will cost you all of what you gained. Unless you move to a different area or downsize, you won't see much of that money.
I dont' think buying a house is a negative thing. I want to buy a house, and I will. Maybe mortgages are just a fact of life. But I won't pretend that it will do much for me but keep me dry and cost me money! And I don't think that homeowning should be as revered in this country as it is.
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#116 of 120 Old 02-17-2006, 07:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swimswamswum
I respectfully disagree.

I think that SOME people can "escape poverty" but that sometimes, no matter how hard people try and how smart they are, they are going to be poor. Some very smart people are born into poverty and never learn how not to be poor. Poverty isn't an individual choice even though some individuals can get out of it- if a really smart person has a whole lot of misfurtune without much support, it really doesn't matter how smart they are. . . Sometimes individuals can escape poverty, but they are the exception, not the rule. Also, it is a whole lot easier for some people to get out of being poor. I strongly believe that the US was built on inequality and depends on poverty and subjugation to maintain its power structures. I also believe that education is a good thing and an excellent step towards empowerment. I just don't agree that everyone (with certain abilities) can control their financial situation. Things are way more complicated than that.
Well said.

Under capitalism, the market capitulates to those who have, and if you don't have... well, the math is all over news.
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#117 of 120 Old 02-19-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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As much as people like to think otherwise, I think the equity in your house only lets you 1) borrow more money, or 2) buy another house. If you buy your house for 100k and sell it for 400k, that's great. But the market has increased, so to buy in that market again, after selling, will cost you all of what you gained. Unless you move to a different area or downsize, you won't see much of that money.
Yeah, this is exactly what I've been thinking about. There are some situations where it could be a benefit, though--especially for older people. The house can be sold so they can move in with family, or sold after their death to benefit their children.

You CAN make a lot of money buying and later selling, but people then tend to "trade up" and buy a more expensive house, and then, yes, that money is invisible. It does make one think. I mean, as I said, if we were to sell our hosue we would probably make at least $20,000. You could do a lot of things with that $20,000, and still have someplace decent to live, but you may have to think outside the box to do it.

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#118 of 120 Old 02-19-2006, 04:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by the_lissa
Yep I went to university. DP has a decent paying job, but my highest paying job has been 8/hour. We are so far in debt, it makes me want to cry. All our money that isn't for bills or food goes to our debts. I don't know if we will ever get out of debt. I don't regret it, but it is defnitely not a cure all for poverty.
I am another of these! and deferring my student loans b/c of economic harship! Now my "beau" is thinking of auto cad school (like architec. tech prog) b/c he builds houses and doesn't want to be a "pee on " when he's older. ahh... what's best???
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#119 of 120 Old 02-20-2006, 01:34 PM
 
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One more thing...

If your employer has a tuition assistance plan, take advantage of it. Even if you are too busy to take classes at a local college, there are always internet classes. My ex-employer paid 100% for my MBA. Thank you ex! The MBA is not so useful as a SAHM... my 3-year old "boss" does not appreciate my talents! But my DH got an MBA paid for too... and it has been really useful for his career.

Even when ex-employer was on tough ecconomic times and gave everyone a 15% pay cut, they still paid tution.
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#120 of 120 Old 02-21-2006, 11:41 AM
 
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I can't buy a 3 bedroom house for less than $400,000.
If you live near Baltimore, yes, you can. We're putting a contract on one near us that's bigger than what we live in now for $234,900 today.

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13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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