So what do you recommend doing to NOT be poor? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Seriously. How about solutions rather than put downs and judgements?

School seems like a no duh answer, but obviously it is not since plenty of people go to college and still cannot good paying jobs. I know people with years of experience who have been putting in 40+ hours a week looking for jobs and they cannot get hired. (No previous bad work history, either.)

So what is the answer? How do you stop being poor? Judgements and put downs certainly do not make it better, but if you have a true to life experience yourself, why not share it?


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#2 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 04:24 PM
 
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replace the word credit with debt every time you hear it. It isn't a credit card, it ia a debt card, it isn't your credit limit, it is your debt limit. Get a bike. Realize how little you need to live by. My husband and I are technically below the poverty line. But we spend so little and feel no need to. No car either. Our one big expense really is rent but it is inclusive with laundry a huge yard and walking distance to every where. being poor isn't about how much money you make really (I mean to an extent, yeah, b/c you can only do so much with minimum wage) but how smart you spend and save and live.

I had my son when I was 17 and at about 19 I realized I was destined for poverty if I didn't do something. I became a nurse because it is a diverse and respected profession where I could get an education relatively quickly (fast tracked crazy and completed the program in two years) and have a secure decent paying job. I had a child to think of so couldn't bother with a lofty degree that wouldn't get me anywhere. But here, in Canada, I could get a loan from the federal goverment, interest free while I was in school, to cover all my expenses. So...unless you have a way to pay, no edumacation for you!

Those pennies add up, you can save and watch what you do, but you have to find ways to enjoy your life and keep it worthwhile too. I can't wait to scrimp together enough for a down payment so I can stop shelling out rent!
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#3 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 04:32 PM
 
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I'm not sure, because most people would probably consider me poor, but I don't. I think I was poor before, but really think it was due to my own mismanagement of finances and poor priorities. I started paying myself first, before bills, before rent, before groceries. Ten percent of my income (which, when you make next to nothing, really isn't much.) Once I got used to doing this, it didn't seem too hard. It was frequently tempting to take some money from myself to pay the bills, but once I decided I wasn't going to do that, it seemed to work out alright. What's the difference if I'm $50 short or $70 short on my bills? Having money was a real motivator to have more money. I kept cash so I could hold it and count it. Dh and I were both excited that we actually had money for once. It made us want to save more. We sat down and made a budget. We listed our expenses by the month (which included 10% to ourselves,) and listed our income by the month. Since we are paid weekly, we divide everything by 4 and put that much money into an account every week when we get paid. All bills, mortgage payments, etc. come out of that account.

I must say that we cut some expenses. I cancelled my newspaper subscription, downgraded my internet and cable services, got a smaller hot water heater, made a menu to save on groceries, etc. Lots of little things add up to make a difference. But the main thing was to pay ourselves first. (It took a long time to get "caught up," and really make this work.)

ETA: I NEVER buy coffee out, nor do we ever eat out. Buying a coffee every day (which many people do,) would make me broke.
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#4 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 04:56 PM
 
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We cut out a lot of fluff. No cable. No dining out. energy saving bulbs. When I was beyond poor I rode a bike or walked instead of driving a car. If you live in the city a bus pass isn't too expensive. We got government food commonities when I was little. Mom would cook goods with these ingredients and sell them. It was ALL profit. We recycled a lot of things. Bedsheets became curtains. Curtains became pillow cases pillow cases became dish cloths. We had chickens sold their eggs. Sold the cows milk. Made cheese and sold it. Funny thing we had a Collie dog that always shed. My mom and I would finger spin his fur into yarn and make things to sell. Yeah how many crocheted planters do you have made from dog fur? Pa worked as much as he could and we understood why. We had to eat somehow. Some people will take two jobs to help suppliment the income. I know some think that is a horrible idea especially if you have DC. I went through it as a child and I just always understood that if we wanted to keep a roof over our heads it is what had to be done. My brother sister and I all got jobs at young ages (babysitting, odd jobs for neighbors, bailing hay or straw etc). It saved mom and pa from having to clothe us. We paid for our own food somethimes as well. I was into myself and bought the better shampoo and other health and beauty supplies so they wouldn't have to. Keeping your living simple helps out the most. Then you have less debt to worry about. Keeping your "necessities" to a minimum is nice too because you have less to worry about.
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#5 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 04:59 PM
 
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I agree, living within your means is key. We live well on a decent income (when dh is employed that is), not a high income by any means, middle middle class. We don't have debt except for our house, we drive older cars, we don't spend much, we eat out but on a budget, etc. Many people would think that they couldn't live on what we live on comfortably.
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#6 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 05:07 PM
 
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If you don't have the money, don't buy or sign-up for or lease or anything else anything not necessary. Most people cannot do without a car, but it doesn't have to be an SUV or anything fancy or expensive. Cable is a luxury, internet is usually a luxury, cellphones are usually a luxury, and so it goes.

I like that "credit card = debt card" If you don't have the money in the bank, don't use the card. DH and I pay off the cards every month the vast majority of the time. Keep in mind the items that only get paid a couple of times/year, like car insurance. Budget and save for that so you don't get socked with a surprise debt due to not paying attention.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#7 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 05:09 PM
 
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Buy something for yourself. Dont deny yourself everything, you will BLOW your budget if you do that. Im not saying go spend 100 bucks on yourself, but make sure you do treat yourself everyonce and awhile. Even going to the lib. and getting a magazine will help.

Get on a payment plan for your utilities. Its not taking a hand-out, they just let you pay it in more reasonable payments. You pay it all back, just not at once.

MEAL PLAN. Down to snacks. Dont go shopping when you are down to the last of your food, keep up so you always have enough, in case you hit a bump in the road, you wont worry about starving.

Trade services. Instead of paying for things like a plumber, ect..see what you can do for them in return for their services.

Garden and grow as much as you can. Go to the lib. and get out books, you can grow many things indoors or in small pots, ect.

Ralize in most cases you have to spend money to make money. IE: going to college will cost alot, but it will pay you back in the long run. Buying rice in bulk may cost a bit more, but it will save you in the long run.

HAVE DREAMS!!! Kepp dreaming, and know that you most likely wont be poor forever. Just because we are poor doesnt mean we cant dream and dream BIG!! It keeps you going when you have goals, have some easy to meet goals and some far fetched ones. When you reach one it will feel awesome, and you will realise your hard work payed off!~

We are going to be poor for years, but not forever. I know this, its what keep sme going.
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#8 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 05:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvinmy4
..
School seems like a no duh answer, but obviously it is not since plenty of people go to college and still cannot good paying jobs. I know people with years of experience who have been putting in 40+ hours a week looking for jobs and they cannot get hired. (No previous bad work history, either.)..
Actually I think a lot of times, college is a ticket to more poverty. You incur massive amounts of debt, often for a degree that gets you nowhere.
I prefer self-teaching for technical trades, college for things it's necessary for. (Like being a doctor..obviously..) but for computer related trades, you're often spending megabucks to learn old technology.
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#9 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 05:18 PM
 
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If you (or your dh) are one of those people who works 40 plus hours a week and isn't making enough to get by, keep yourself in the job market. Skim the paper every week for job listings. Go to meetings like Business Networking International and the chamber of commerce. My dh got a job lead from a guy at a BNI meeting and doubled our income.

If you're a stay at home parent, put yourself on the market as a babysitter. I've always nannied and took my kids with me, since my first ds was a baby. I have two families right now waiting to hear back from me.

Lastly, don't spend money on stuff you don't need. I know this seems super obvious, but a lady I work with at the YMCA lives in government housing in a bad part of the city, depends on food stamps to buy groceries, but goes on the occasional spending spree at The Children's Place and dresses her kids in expensive clothes so she doesn't feel poor. If she were putting that money in savings, they would have a decent emergency fund.

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#10 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 05:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boingo82
Actually I think a lot of times, college is a ticket to more poverty. You incur massive amounts of debt, often for a degree that gets you nowhere.
I prefer self-teaching for technical trades, college for things it's necessary for. (Like being a doctor..obviously..) but for computer related trades, you're often spending megabucks to learn old technology.

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.

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#11 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 06:04 PM
 
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I agree with the education thing. It is not necessarily the key to making more money, and it if is it involves specific degrees.

My second thought upon reading this thread title (my first thought was rob banks) was that where you are born plays a big part in how poor you will be. You are more likely to be much poorer if you are born in, say, Bangladesh than in North America or Europe.

Honestly, I don't know since it seems to me that our global economy (and national and regional economies for that matter) depends on a vast number of people being poor.

Good suggestions here for improving your personal situations. I know some people follow the Tightwad Gazette suggestions fairly closely.
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#12 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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#13 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by noorjahan
but always wondered why Americans have hard time getting job with college degree and all the Intl Student that I personally know including my friends and class mates all got a job just like that...
Check out Population vs available jobs, and you'll find out.
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#14 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 06:26 PM
 
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we do college one class at a time, cash. It will take awhile, but it will be worth it. ALso, if you are poor enough, they will give you grants that,while not paying for a fulltime class secd. will pay for a few classes. I personaly think it is worth it, but again, its my PO.
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#15 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 06:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by noorjahan
Ok, I don't know how this will sound BUT- can't you get a college degree without a loan? By working your @$$ off during summer or something???? Here I'm talking about students who do not have kids by the way.


Why I am saying this is because, I was an International Student, so was my older brother, my brother in law, my aunt in law, now my sister. Except for us (my family-lucky us for having a generous dad & scholarship) my bil and aunt-in-law worked their ass off during Summer to pay for the college as Intl Student DO NOT get financial aid. And very few colleges will loan out to them.

And they worked like crazy during summer as that was the only time as school was off we could get work permit to work off campus. My bil got a job exactly right after graduation as an Analyst,he studied Computer Science, and my aunt-in-law got job also right after graduatian as Respatory Therapist. My brother studied Aeronautical Engineering but never worked in that field one day in his life but got a job at Citigroup as a comp programmer soon after grad (he also took some prog classes). I took a job as a bank teller for a year and then took the experience with me and now working at a German Bank as a Operations Administrator, where I am making exactly twice than before.

So, what I am saying is to hear some success stories I guess Americans should hear from Intl Students.....and I'm not kidding. We go through lots and lots of hard work to pay for college and to do well in school. I've heard it so many times about Foreigners coming to the USA and stealing jobs.........!!!

Sorry for rambling.......but always wondered why Americans have hard time getting job with college degree and all the Intl Student that I personally know including my friends and class mates all got a job just like that...

Not me. I worked my ass off during the summer and during school months, and I barely had enough to live, let alone to pay for school.

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#16 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 06:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noorjahan
I've heard it so many times about Foreigners coming to the USA and stealing jobs.........!!!

Sorry for rambling.......but always wondered why Americans have hard time getting job with college degree and all the Intl Student that I personally know including my friends and class mates all got a job just like that...

Now see, the complaint I'm more familiar with is that a lot of the jobs are going overseas.

I think it depends on the type of college degree you have. My DH had a BA in International Affairs or some such thing. His friend graduated at the same time and had the same degree and did find a job, but my husband ended up having to go back to school and get a computer science degree before he could find a job that used his degree. I've always had a job, just not one that needed my degree, and when I started looking for other jobs, all they cared about was my work experience, not my education.
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#17 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by luvinmy4
How do you stop being poor?
Two options:die or get rich.

Want to live like a Queen? Move to a third world country and have someone in the US foot the bill.
My cousin lives in a huge house on the beach, pool, greenhouse, etc. He lives in some country i never heard of before and his mom is only out of $200 a month so he can attend college to be a doctor and live in luxury. He NEVER has to clean or cook! NEVER! There are people who do everything for him, and I am sure if he wanted, someone could wipe his b-u-t-t.
He came home to visit(cost more for the plane ticket then it did for two years of living), and said he takes his clothes off and throws them on the floor, there is a lady who immediately picks them up and launders and puts them away! They will cook him whatever he wants, whenever he wants it.

I asked him who these people were who did all the work and he said he didn't know. I asked him if he was bothered that they might be leaving small children at home just to 'serve' him, and he said, No.

I know that I couldn't do that. My Aunt even said that's why they never even thought of sending me, because they knew I would have the whole dang village living and eating at my place.


I really have no problem living in poverty. I have a harder time with the violence, crime, and basic bad sh!t that tends to go with it.
I so could live without many of these memories.
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#18 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 06:38 PM
 
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My family was really poor growing up. When I was in hs, my mom went back to community college and got her AA nursing degree. It was much less expensive than a university degree, took less time, and yet, she was just as much an RN as the next nurse. That really turned things around for our family. Look at the other programs at the CC or at a technical college. Those jobs seemed more geared to the real world and a real paycheck.
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#19 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 06:43 PM
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Find a government job. Once you are hired it is close to impossible for them to fire you, reliable pay, retirement benefits, medical and overtime. Then you can fight the system from within!
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#20 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 07:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
He came home to visit(cost more for the plane ticket then it did for two years of living), and said he takes his clothes off and throws them on the floor, there is a lady who immediately picks them up and launders and puts them away! They will cook him whatever he wants, whenever he wants it.

I asked him who these people were who did all the work and he said he didn't know. I asked him if he was bothered that they might be leaving small children at home just to 'serve' him, and he said, No.

I was so disturbed by this same thing a few years ago. I was a part-time nanny for a very wealthy family. They had a birthday party in an artsy-American-ized area of a 3rd world country, and asked me and my girlfriend to come to babysit. (They also invited many of their friends, so we were there to watch all the kids). We stayed in their family's house they owned, and there were quite a few domestic workers that worked for them full-time.

I was SO uncomfortable having someone "serve" me in that way, heck *I* was even there as a worker! I couldn't believe the extent of the work-- I would take my clothes off on the bed and go take a shower, come back to my room and the clothes would be gone. I couldn't find anywhere to put my clothes so that I could wash them myself, everywhere I put them down they returned to me folded and ironed with ribbons around them early the next morning. If I left my bed for a fraction of a second, it was made before I could do it myself. If anyone noticed I was awake, breakfast was made and juice squeezed. No one took "no thank you" for an answer! It was like it was unheard of for me to do anything myself. I tried to get around it by doing things to help them out.

I was really upset over that, it's just so dehumanizing that there are such severe social divisions that one person could live their life never lifting a finger while the other works back breaking hours to take care of him/her.

Sorry this post was OT.
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#21 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 07:16 PM
 
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My dh and I are both currently attending school. We get grants enough to go full time and to cover some living expenses. So, he works part time. He is doing a 2 year tech program. He was in civil engineering tech, which has a startin salary around $39,000. Pretty good money for two years of school an zero debt. He has switched to AutoCAD, which is less money, but speaks to his strengths. Our community college does not do government loans, bc people were getting into huge trouble with them, and they would drop out of school and default.
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#22 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 07:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
Want to live like a Queen? Move to a third world country and have someone in the US foot the bill.
My cousin lives in a huge house on the beach, pool, greenhouse, etc. He lives in some country i never heard of before and his mom is only out of $200 a month so he can attend college to be a doctor and live in luxury. He NEVER has to clean or cook! NEVER! There are people who do everything for him, and I am sure if he wanted, someone could wipe his b-u-t-t.
He came home to visit(cost more for the plane ticket then it did for two years of living), and said he takes his clothes off and throws them on the floor, there is a lady who immediately picks them up and launders and puts them away! They will cook him whatever he wants, whenever he wants it.

I asked him who these people were who did all the work and he said he didn't know. I asked him if he was bothered that they might be leaving small children at home just to 'serve' him, and he said, No.

I know that I couldn't do that. My Aunt even said that's why they never even thought of sending me, because they knew I would have the whole dang village living and eating at my place.

What country is that?
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#23 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 07:34 PM
 
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for an entirely different perspective and take on poverty, you need to read the Soul Of Money by lynn twist. awesome book.

Midwifery student , Mama to my 4 amazing kids. treehugger.gif

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#24 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 07:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
My cousin lives in a huge house on the beach, pool, greenhouse, etc. He lives in some country i never heard of before and his mom is only out of $200 a month so he can attend college to be a doctor and live in luxury. He NEVER has to clean or cook! NEVER! There are people who do everything for him, and I am sure if he wanted, someone could wipe his b-u-t-t.
He came home to visit(cost more for the plane ticket then it did for two years of living), and said he takes his clothes off and throws them on the floor, there is a lady who immediately picks them up and launders and puts them away! They will cook him whatever he wants, whenever he wants it.
.
So then what, he pays them slave wages and doesn't care what their quality of life is like, or the safety of their children? That's pretty disgusting. Yeah, um, that's something to aim for. :

I think the OP meant how to not be poor but still be a good human.

It's also sad that you think it's either get rich or die. That's a very cynical, false statement. Rather defeatist. There is a huge grey area between rich and poor, and it is a BIG differnce to be in that grey area than it is to be poor. I've been POOR, poor, and in the grey. I can tell you that the grey is much better.

For me and many other families, being rich is impossible, but sneaking into, and making a home in that grey area is not only something to strive for, but is actually attainable.

I'm not trying to attack you, but I don't like it when people are told that they have so few options.

Kelly

Kelly, mama (12yoDS), doula, RN, and writer.
There's no where you can be that isn't where you were meant to be, its easy
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#25 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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BTW, I didn't post this for me specifically to get ideas. I could have used them a year or so ago, but I already have a plan for how to be more comfortable and it does involve specific schooling. It's just a matter of getting it done and waiting until all my kids are in school. For now I am happy to remain a low income SAHM and will gladly remain not well off financially if it means sahm. (Although I will also be talking as much of my schooling from home that I can before my kids are all school aged so I can go to a profession soon after.)

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#26 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by oetien
What country is that?
I don't remember, that is why I tried to just slip it past you guys. Belize?Brelize?Berlize? It sounds like that, it's on the ocean, 70 degrees is considered cold, and he said the cockroaches are huge and are everywhere! They are not fast and sneaky like MN roaches, though. They don't care if you are there, they will sit on the table and eat with you.

He is now married, living in Texas(why Texas, I have no idea) being a doctor and husband. They do NOT want children for maybe forever, so they say.

He was born in poverty and raised in poverty, just like the rest of us, but I think he got so scared that he doesn't even know how to live life, just make money so they will never be "poor".

I have so many awesome memories of my life that I know would never have happened if I hadn't been living in poverty.
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#27 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 09:04 PM
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Weeeellllll, funny you should ask.

I have always been poor. I dressed poor, thought poor, expect4ed to retire poor.


Read a book, The Wealthy Spirit. It changed my thinking. And as my thinking changed so did my finances.

I was so impressed with the change thaT I started a thread about it in Personal Growth.


Ok, so it was jusst a book. How could thinking change anything?




















Hmm, ever have a day when you just felt BEAUTIFUL? I mean, just perfect? Doesn't everything seem to go better? I bought a winter coat. A nice, woman-with-money coat. I got it for $10 at teh Salvy. Every time I put it on, I feel wealthy.


And people treat me differently.

Yep, men open doors agian, ladies with money smile at me. I get better service in restaurants. :


I also get job offers. No kidding! I've had one person call me at home and ofer me work.



Now I've struggled all my freaking life. I have 5 kids, had loads of debt, no hope ever, of getting it straight. And suddenly, it's going to work. Dh got a way better job right after we decided to actively think differently. Got loads of overtime. My web bussiness in wayyyy up.


I'm thinking about going to college! (i'm 47 and have never been)


It costs nothing, is easy, can't hurt and might help. THe book can be had at any library. Wanna join our thread? It's here.......
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#28 of 120 Old 12-31-2005, 10:10 PM
 
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For us it was using one car if need be (older car paid in full) move to an area where cost of living is less, no cable or phone, shop smart, keep energy costs down.

I would say that our bills come out to about $600 a month, and if we had to we could cut out internet and the cell phone (saving $90 a month) Our grocery bill with toiletries, cat food, ect is $200 a month. If DH made minimum wage we wouldn't be able to make it at all without assistance, but we would qualify for foodstamps ect, so we would be able to make do with that small of an income.

Luckily DH makes twice minimum wage. Although we are still considered "low income" I feel that we are better off financially than some people I know that make twice as much as us. I guess it's about spending your money wisely. Not many people my age that I know who owns their own house paid in full. Once we actually have it fixed up, we will never have to pay rent or a mortgage. Both of our cars are new looking, even thought they are both 10 years old.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#29 of 120 Old 01-01-2006, 01:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noorjahan
Ok, I don't know how this will sound BUT- can't you get a college degree without a loan? By working your @$$ off during summer or something???? Here I'm talking about students who do not have kids by the way.....
I am not saying that across-the-board, college is bad.
Just that in the 60's, not everyone went, and even fewer got degrees, and if you were college-educated it meant much more.

Now, going to college is much more common. It will no longer put you instantly into an elite class. Degrees are common, and many of them are pretty useless. (Arts, communication, etc.)
Especially in the case of computer science, you are learning on years-old equipment sometimes, and when a new concept comes out, the professor has to learn it before he can teach it, which puts an inevitable delay into the process. Because of that, you may not be completely up-to-date in a field that changes very rapidly.

I also do not think that everyone can or will put themselves through college without incurring debt. Student loans left alone, how many people sign up for their first credit cards in college and then use them to get by? How many REALLY understand the hole they're digging with those CCs? How many were taught even the most rudimentary concepts of money-management and credit in High School? I know I wasn't.
How many people are able to find a job that will fully support them while going to school? How many people are able to manage going to school full time AND working full time? And will that even get them by? At $8 hourly (a good starting wage here) you are lucky to just get by without paying for school out of that income too.

In a lot of cases, college can be a godsend, it can be a ticket into a better life. But that is not always the case by any means.
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#30 of 120 Old 01-01-2006, 02:17 PM
 
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Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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