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Old 10-11-2018, 12:29 AM #21
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Default Re: I Live in Poverty. Do you?

Wow, Happy Crafter, what a well-written post! It honestly makes more sense than your first thread.

You seem like a nice person, so I'll give you an insight of my experience.

I didn't know I lived in poverty until middle school. My parents worked SO HARD to give my brother and I the best life possible, more often than not sacrificing their own needs. My parents later would tell the story of how all they could afford for Christmas was one jacket, and it was during the coldest winter "in history" where they lived, and after Christmas the weather quickly warmed up, so they spent most of winter freezing just to say they had something to give each other for Christmas. And I don't remember the entire conversation, but my Dad was dropping me off at school, maybe I asked him for some money, I don't remember, but I remember him sadly telling me "I'm sorry, we can't, we're poor". Up until that moment I NEVER knew there were ever financial struggles in our family. I never knew how much my parents struggled until that moment and even then it wasn't until after high school when my parents opened up about how hard it was to support us. They worked so hard to make sure that my brother and I never felt poor, and we never did, we always thought we had the absolute best possible childhood.

Money as an adult is something I've always struggled with, especially during manic phases. I could save up hundreds, sometimes thousands of money for months, and blow it all in a week on a whim without even a second thought as to my end goal. Yes, that I can definitely blame on my bipolar, but I've done exceptionally well at overcoming this. The past three years I've worked so hard on correcting this behavior, it seems like I'm getting a handle on it. You should have seen me this year, I tried so, so hard to be diligent about saving. Every paycheck I set money aside. I had weak moments, but nothing so drastic that I screwed up my plans entirely. It wasn't easy, and it was on a step above minimum wage salary, but I saved up enough money to take a few months off of work.

I think I experience more stigma for my mental illness than I do for my poverty. I don't consider myself in poverty anymore, just a lot of struggling because I don't have an education and never had a passion. I've found my passion and plan to go to school so I can follow my dreams.

Your post was very inspiring. I'm very interested in what more you have to say.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:58 AM #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by healingme4me View Post
Nope, not a teacher although I am asked that irl more often than I ever imagined I could be. I work with the "nutrition" program as they now call it these days. It was a way into employment after not only divorcing and losing my mom to illness and a stint on unemployment after a daycare conflict but also it is municipal employment.
I interact with children of all ages pk-12.

Ground up employment in this department for me. The undercurrent has been where I had obtained my bachelor's degree. It has one of those local region name drop types of curiosities.
From ground up employment is where I am lost. Please, help me understand.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:02 AM #23
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Default Re: I Live in Poverty. Do you?

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Originally Posted by LiteraryLark View Post
Wow, Happy Crafter, what a well-written post! It honestly makes more sense than your first thread.

You seem like a nice person, so I'll give you an insight of my experience.

I didn't know I lived in poverty until middle school. My parents worked SO HARD to give my brother and I the best life possible, more often than not sacrificing their own needs. My parents later would tell the story of how all they could afford for Christmas was one jacket, and it was during the coldest winter "in history" where they lived, and after Christmas the weather quickly warmed up, so they spent most of winter freezing just to say they had something to give each other for Christmas. And I don't remember the entire conversation, but my Dad was dropping me off at school, maybe I asked him for some money, I don't remember, but I remember him sadly telling me "I'm sorry, we can't, we're poor". Up until that moment I NEVER knew there were ever financial struggles in our family. I never knew how much my parents struggled until that moment and even then it wasn't until after high school when my parents opened up about how hard it was to support us. They worked so hard to make sure that my brother and I never felt poor, and we never did, we always thought we had the absolute best possible childhood.

Money as an adult is something I've always struggled with, especially during manic phases. I could save up hundreds, sometimes thousands of money for months, and blow it all in a week on a whim without even a second thought as to my end goal. Yes, that I can definitely blame on my bipolar, but I've done exceptionally well at overcoming this. The past three years I've worked so hard on correcting this behavior, it seems like I'm getting a handle on it. You should have seen me this year, I tried so, so hard to be diligent about saving. Every paycheck I set money aside. I had weak moments, but nothing so drastic that I screwed up my plans entirely. It wasn't easy, and it was on a step above minimum wage salary, but I saved up enough money to take a few months off of work.

I think I experience more stigma for my mental illness than I do for my poverty. I don't consider myself in poverty anymore, just a lot of struggling because I don't have an education and never had a passion. I've found my passion and plan to go to school so I can follow my dreams.

Your post was very inspiring. I'm very interested in what more you have to say.
I thank you for your kind words, LL. To me, it sounds like you did have the most wonderful parents and the best childhood possible!

Please, how did you set money aside? I would love to hear more about that. I am dreadful managing money! And what is your passion?
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:24 PM #24
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I thank you for your kind words, LL. To me, it sounds like you did have the most wonderful parents and the best childhood possible!

Please, how did you set money aside? I would love to hear more about that. I am dreadful managing money! And what is your passion?
My passion is to work with the elderly, but caregiving alone won't suffice with living comfortably on my own, so I am going to school to become a geriatric nurse.

I will comment later on my budgeting skills. I am still waking up and have things to do today, but I enjoy sharing how I learned how to budget and definitely want to share something insightful and well-worded.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:52 PM #25
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Hi! Terrific thread. I'm feeling dense today, so forgive me...is this thread part of a social group? If it is, the social group format has changed and is SO much better. I used to belong to a couple of social groups, but gave up posting on them because of the awkward format.

I have a lot to add, but have to get ready to walk over to a rally for opposing the stigma around mental illness. NAMI rally. It's not really a rally, so much...it's more about hearing peer speakers and free pizza and ice cream...thank God for the latter because (speaking of poverty) my only food for breakfast and lunch today has been my last cup of coffee from yesterday, a peanut butter sandwich on my last 2 slices of stale bread, and a yam I bought a few days ago (another blessing!). Oh, and I had some kitty salmon treats (little pieces of vacuum packed salmon)...gave those to the kitties and ate little piece one myself. Pretty bad, I know, eating cat food...but I love them & give it to them, so...). I have no more food until tomorrow, when I can finally go to the grocery store.


HC, thank you so much for bringing up an issue that is an enormous one.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:53 PM #26
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Oh - okay, I see that this thread is on the Finances board. That's fine, too!
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:19 PM #27
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Default Re: I Live in Poverty. Do you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCrafter View Post
From ground up employment is where I am lost. Please, help me understand.
Started at the lowest employee level of the contract/department and am now the highest paid of that contract's/department's employees.

Edit: to add clarification. My boss is not on that contract although she's the same department.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:33 PM #28
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Speaking of meals, there had been times that my employee meal benefit was my only meal and I've been creative at home with recipes. Not having been too proud to receive staples from my church either, they would come to my home.

Though today, I'm not in need of charity, I'm still aware of where these two communities offer food to many. There's more than one location in the community that I currently live in. Where I work, I've been part of a Food Rescue program as assisting the volunteers in a limited capacity, for instance ensuring the bags, etc are diverted effectively.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:38 PM #29
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I was on SSI until I married my husband. Never qualified for SSDI because I didn't work long enough before becoming disabled.

Poverty is a hard cycle to break out of. If I hadn't married a man with a middle-class income, I don't know if I could ever have done it. Part of the problem is that the systems in place are designed to keep you dependent. Try to improve your circumstances, and some social worker somewhere is going to warn you not to. I can't count how many times I was warned I shouldn't try to get a job, or I might lose my SSI.

You're allowed to make some income on SSI before the check stops. Also, you can always get that check back again, if the job doesn't work out. But some people are led to believe, whether on purpose or not, that any income at all means your check instantly and permanently stops. If your condition worsens, too bad for you. You'll never see that check again. If you thought that was how it worked, wouldn't you be afraid to even try? Well, it doesn't work like that, but I've been in mental health programs where the staff would lead their clientele to believe it works like that. People were terrified to even look for a part-time minimum wage job. When I took one myself, I was actually told I was doing a stupid thing, rather than being congratulated on trying to improve my situation.

Sometimes people just don't do the math. I'll use round numbers for easy calculation. I don't even know what the actual figures are now, since I haven't been on SSI in ten years. So let's say I draw $600 a month. Then I get a part-time job making $1200 a month. They don't do anything about the first $100, but then for every two dollars on top of that, they take one dollar out of my check. So that's an overage of $1100, which would be $550 that they pull out. Now they're sending me a check for $50, in addition to the $1200 I'm earning. That's $1250 total, as opposed to the $600 I used to get, and I've still got my Medicaid. But ALL some people are going to look at is, "Oh, my gosh, they took almost my whole check! I better stop working!"

I was even warned not to marry my husband. If I did, I'd lose my Section 8 housing. Hello! That's the whole point! I don't need it anymore! Wouldn't it be better for me to live with my husband in a house we own, and save that Section 8 apartment for somebody who doesn't have other options?
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:50 AM #30
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I grew up in poverty....120-year old tenement house with roaches and rats, a criminal neighbor (who molested me and my sister), snow came in thru one crack in the wall...no phone, car, refrigerator, tub or shower....violent mother physically and verbally and I never knew my father (divorce)... I joined the army right out of high school and have been going ever since (divorced after 31 years of abuse); wrote my life story and won a scholarship at 60 and am a Sophomore at 70! Wrote a poetry book and my memoir. xoxo
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