We're the poorest family in the neighborhood tribe - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 06-09-2010, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are not "poor" but we live in a high-income area so I'm made to feel poor a lot. I am actually secure with our values - we choose to have more time in our lives than money. We have jobs that contribute to the common good etc. I feel like I don't relate sometimes - we are not jetting to Paris for a special birthday, don't have a vacation house, send our kids to private school etc. I'm trying to find a few people to relate to - I just want to feel like there is someone who I might see on a regular basis who "I'm in the same boat with".

Thanks for listening.
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#2 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 10:23 AM
 
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That's us, in a nutshell. We probably AREN'T the poorest family in town, but we certainly make no effort to compete with those who are wealthy. So, sometimes I feel like I am the poorest mom in town. My sons are happy and loved and thats what matters.
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#3 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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We're definitely among the lowest income in our town. It's not the end of the world though... our neighbors have awesome yardsales which supply my kids with clothes, and I visit the town dump 2-3 times per week to pick. My DD will be in kindergarten in the fall and I'm a bit apprehensive about her making friends and visiting them in their huge homes.

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#4 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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Same. We live on as little income as possible. But I feel quite far from being "poor" for it.

I've noticed that the closer our family stays in touch with the earth and natural rhythms the happier and more fulfilled we are.

We make a lot of things for ourselves rather than buy. When we do buy we try to find it second hand. Occasionally, we barter. Freecycle is also a source. We grow some (I wish all) of our food.

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#5 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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Funny to see this post today....
I too understand what you are talking about. I generally don't worry about it because we have everything that we need. We grow most of our own food, thrift shop (just got back in with some great scores!) and make ends meet. The only time I get in my head (like this afternoon) is when I see a woman whom "looks-high maintenance" and very beautiful (in most societies thoughts) and wonder if my natural look is good enough. I feel beautiful the way I am (most days) and know that is all I need. Still..... gets me sometimes.

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#6 of 37 Old 06-12-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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#7 of 37 Old 06-12-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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we're pretty broke and live in a middle-upper class neighborhood. We bought the house 2 years ago before it went into foreclosure. It was a mess, and still is pretty messy. My DH works a LOT of hours, and we have a 1 yr old, so our property is not as well maintained as it should be. We are surrounded by perfectly landscaped and maintained homes and properties. Our neighbors are mostly older than us, like our parents' age. Some of them are really nasty, to the point of calling the town 3 different times to complain that our pool is breeding mosquitos. (it's not--it's just a dirty work in progress because the previous owners didn't take care of it.) How unneighborly is it to call the town before asking us about it?!
Mostly it doesn't bother me, but it would be nice to be friendly with the neighbors.
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#8 of 37 Old 06-12-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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also, i want to start line drying some clothes. they're gonna love that.
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#9 of 37 Old 06-12-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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I'm looking forward to moving out of my town.

Mama, Painter, Special Needs Coordinator
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#10 of 37 Old 06-20-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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My husband is a Truck driver and currently the only one without Cell phone because of many factors but one of them being for the entire winter i was out of work. We had our gas cut off because of a misunderstanding. Still waiting for the appology on that one and we are now caught up on everything except taxes and Cc but we are diggin away at those on a new plan.

We live on the "rich side of town" according to local drivers my husband works with. They all live in houses that are "war time" houses small 2 bedroom no basement no dining room. etc.
We have spacious 3 bedroom back split with inground poool and 2 relatively new vehs (02 Subaru Legacy and 04 Ford F150 ) both purchased used.

But my husband complains that he is the poorest driver even though he is in the top 5 earners. He tried to blame my 3 months of no work but i reminded him of the 13 years of poor money management on both our parts that led to our current credit score. GRRRRR

One paycheck at a time we pay things down. I just wish i could go back to my salaried days and smack myself for not saving and paying things down THen.
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#11 of 37 Old 06-20-2010, 10:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melon View Post
My DH works a LOT of hours, and we have a 1 yr old, so our property is not as well maintained as it should be. We are surrounded by perfectly landscaped and maintained homes and properties. Our neighbors are mostly older than us, like our parents' age. Some of them are really nasty, to the point of calling the town 3 different times to complain that our pool is breeding mosquitos. (it's not--it's just a dirty work in progress because the previous owners didn't take care of it.) How unneighborly is it to call the town before asking us about it?!
Mostly it doesn't bother me, but it would be nice to be friendly with the neighbors.
I'm not alone!!!

last year my pool and garden was a mess.
this year i am ahead of the curve but i have been sick for 3 weeks making me worry about falling behind. I refuse to pay another year of some kid who cares not to mow my lawn and charge me 100 a month for it. I have to do it once a week and sometimes im doing it at 930 pm when i finish work and have some time when it is not scorching hot.
and my lawn is 80 % clover which stays green even when dry neighbours dont complain ... yet.
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#12 of 37 Old 06-20-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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oh and ... i have brocolli growing where i took out a bush this spring in the front yard. my immediate neighbour has no problem with it.
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#13 of 37 Old 06-25-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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Hi! This kinda sounds like us. We dont live in a "rich area" but we have one of the smallest houses in the area (just a ranch with a basement-everyone else has 2 or 3 story homes). We dont have any of the toys everyone else does-pools, boats, atv's, big screen tvs, ect. And my children are the only children in the neighborhood without a cell phone, and some kids in the neighborhood have ipods and iphones. And my kids are also the only kids that dont have tvs in their bedroom.
I used to try to keep up with everyone. Designer clothes for me and the kids, we had a pool that i couldnt keep up with the work for, coach purses, ect. But it wasnt me, and i was so unhappy and tired of trying to keep up with everyone.
We have one of the larger families out here. I dont work, I choose to stay home and homeschool. I am the only mom that doesnt work here. But I would rather stay home with my children now, than by them what ever they want.
I LOVE to garden and grow our own food too! We have apple and pear trees and I grow alot of veggies. We just put in a blueberry bush this year. But I, like some of you have said, just dont have time to keep up with the yard! When I get out to weed the flower garden in the front, my 1 year old takes off down the street. I try to pull weeds and work on the garden while chasing him.

dd 8, ds 6, ds 4,: (12/08), ds 1, me and dh:yawning Simplifying my life one day at a time! 925/2010
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#14 of 37 Old 06-25-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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I do have to add, that I am more happier living in our little world here. Than trying to keep up with the neighbors. I just keep a smile on my face and let them know that I am happy, no matter how much money we have.

dd 8, ds 6, ds 4,: (12/08), ds 1, me and dh:yawning Simplifying my life one day at a time! 925/2010
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#15 of 37 Old 06-27-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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This is us. We just moved into a rental in a really nice neighborhood. Everyone around us has fancy cars, boats, etc. There is no way we could keep up with " The Jones' ". We are doing the best with what we have. We are happy and healthy and that's all that matters to us.
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#16 of 37 Old 06-29-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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Our family is the same way. we are in what is considered one of the nicest areas of our town. It is a brand new home, and by the looks of it it is far from "poor" But we like to live frugally. The only reason we have this is b/c we have been so frugal and it was an unfinished foreclosure when we purchased it.
Living a natural, close to our mother earth lifestyle keeps me happy and grounded.
I do feel sometimes like a PP said that when I see a high maintenance momma, with kiddos in tow, and car, etc...am I measuring up? what makes me happy is very simple stuff, no makeup, drying my hair in the sun, and gardening, growing stuff, all natural things. I don't try to be that way, it is just IN me.
I am the kooky and so classy neighbor who hangs all my laundry on my deck, and my hand washables on hangers from trees in our backyard! I keep thinking at he next homeowners meeting they are going to make a no hanging laundry outside rule because of me!
I love reading all the PP because I feel that what we are doing is something special.
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#17 of 37 Old 06-29-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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We're like this! Everyone else in our area eats out four to five nights a week (!), has a gardener (even the people who _are_ gardeners, which kinda cracks me up), nanny or daycare even for SAHP, dogwalkers, new cars, yearly vacations, expensive salon trips (I can't even afford to get a decent haircut here, prices are so inflated.)

I mow our lawn, we share trimming the hedges and pruning the roses, hang laundry out on the back porch on indoor/outdoor racks (since the landlady won't let me replace the clothesline poles that were orginally here and are, sadly, falling sideways). I get asked all the time why I don't just "pay someone to do that." When people hear we cloth diaper the first thing they ask is "Oh, what service do you use?" When I say I wash them myself, I get anything from "Ew, doesn't that make your washing machine dirty?!" to "How can you handle the smell?" with the added, "Why don't you just pay someone to do that for you?"

Meaghan (29)  Torq's wife (34); Niall's SAHM (9/09); Rivka's birthmom (6/03)
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#18 of 37 Old 06-29-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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subbing

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#19 of 37 Old 06-29-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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Can I join? TBH we really are not the poorest family in town but a)We have bid debts we are sloooooooowly paying off and b)Our strong environmental/DIY values often leave me feeling quite shabby (and not in a chic kind of way ) even in this "green" area.

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#20 of 37 Old 07-05-2010, 09:10 PM
 
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This is so us. We rent a half a house in a nice part of a nice town which we could never afford to live in normally. I hang my diapers on the porch railing to dry in the sun and I hear the eyebrows raising....

We drive our rusting subaru to the town 2 over from us to grocery shop since it's so much cheaper than the local store....oh and none of our neighbors talk to us. We've lived here almost 9 months and not one person intruduced themselves to us. As my dh always says, money can't buy you class.

Michelle, Mama to ~ F (10/06) ~ S (7/08) ~ H (2/11) ~ B (11/12)
Expecting a surprise (5/15)
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#21 of 37 Old 07-06-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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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.
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#22 of 37 Old 07-06-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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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.

Student mama to one awesome,talented and unique dd,15 and one amazing, sweet and strong ds,12(born with heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot,also on the autism spectrum),9 cats,and 2 gerbils.
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#23 of 37 Old 07-07-2010, 08:31 AM
 
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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*

Mom to two lovely girls, 4 and 3. SAHW/M in need of sleep.
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#24 of 37 Old 07-07-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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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!

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#25 of 37 Old 08-02-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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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.

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9yo and brand new as of 4/28/10!
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#26 of 37 Old 08-02-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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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.

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#27 of 37 Old 08-07-2010, 11:11 AM
 
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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!
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#28 of 37 Old 09-21-2010, 12:33 AM
 
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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!

"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."- Kurt Cobain
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#29 of 37 Old 09-21-2010, 11:11 AM
 
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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.

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#30 of 37 Old 09-21-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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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!

L, student nurse and married to A, my union man. Happy parents to little S!   joy.gif

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