It used to be that having limited means made a person more frugal, but with the increase of consumerism as well as a significant change in the culture regarding money and debt, people have seemingly lost any concept of frugality. In fact, it's seen as something of an oddity when people live frugally. That is, except for those who are on public assistance. They are expected to live well within their given means, regardless of how meager those means might be.
This is where we go back to my childhood. I remember what it was to grow up poor, and as I mentioned in a past post, I remember the celebrations when we got paid, and why. You see, when you live the vast majority of your life being "put in your place", you tend to kick against such things. This is why we would do it up, and eat out, and buy things we probably shouldn't have bought. We spent most of our time being reminded of how worthless those around us thought we were, and how we didn't deserve this or that.
This kind of situation starts a financial death spiral, which is made worse today by predatory lending, and such businesses. We've become accustomed to a sense of human equality in our culture, and that includes stuff, belongings, material wants, and to say a person isn't worthy to have a thing because of their financial situation is tantamount to saying they're sub-par. That is exactly what it feels like in our culture to be poor, you're looked upon as less than, sub-par, undeserving, and worthless.
Sadly, many poor families get trapped in a broken system of thinking, all because they want to be seen as normal. This breaks a person's concept of saving, spending wisely, and many times it can rob them of all self worth, leaving them in the very situation that is causing them to feel so worthless to being with. It's important to know this, and come to terms with it for anyone who is trapped in the poverty mindset. Knowing this might also help those who know someone caught in this mindset to break free.
One final thought before I go, in my previous post I mentioned that my mom became a big spender on the 1st. This is because she finally felt worthy, if only for a short time. In my journey with money, I too, once felt that it was money that gave me worth, and regardless of how much a person has or makes, I can now say definitively that money is not what gives us worth. Money is a tool, and nothing else. It doesn't matter how much a person has, worth does not come from riches. That is one on the biggest hurdles I've had to get over on my way to financial recovery. Tune in next week for the next installment of my series on recovering from the poverty mindset.