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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Would a family of 10 living on less than $30,000 per year count?
    According to this, it would in 2012:
    http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/12poverty.shtml/

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  2. #12
    Senior Member Etherea's Avatar
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    As it would be experienced in your community/culture/context?

    About two years ago I was living in a situation that would be considered poverish. Even now I barely make enough to not be considered in poverty.

    What was it like?

    Miserable. Financial security is very important to me. I lived in an apartment with a roommate who had chronic appendicitis (he didn't know at the time) and he lost his job. My ex didn't bother looking hard and lied to me about it. I worked 15 hours a week and spent the rest of my time pawning, filling out surveys online and other things to make money. I was obsessed with making money actually.

    Was there anything good about it?

    Nope. It was the most miserable experience of my life, but it taught me to appreciate what I have now.

    Were you aware of it?

    Very. I thought about it constantly. I lived in constant stress, wondering how to keep the power and water on, let alone put food on the table.

    Did you feel trapped or did you just feel it was temporary or something you could escape easily enough?

    I felt absolutely trapped. Unable to escape. I worked very hard and nearly begged for an increase in hours. I hunted obsessively for jobs any of us could do.

    Did influence you feelings about poverty experienced by other people?

    I've always been pretty sympathetic to those in need. I grew up rather poor, but I was young and not as keenly aware of it. It made it hard for me to understand those who never tried. I managed to make a little bit of money nearly every day. It's easy if you put your mind to it (though what you make might not be enough for a family). I never begged, wasn't on welfare. I did what I could.
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  3. #13
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Yes. Before I was born, it would actually be considered worse off for my family. The things they told me they went through as children were fascinating. As I was born, things got better (but still would be considered poverty.) Some things that occurred as a kid:

    - Getting used clothes.
    - Getting some toys (some used, some not.)
    - Gently used furniture (some that neighbors didn't need.)
    - Driving used cars.
    - Hand-me-downs from my older brother.
    - Walking to the local farmers market on Sundays with my mother.
    - Getting free packed lunches during the summer.
    - Not having the latest "X."
    - Not having the things that many kids that age took for granted (ok, I lied, I got SOOOO into Pokemon like the rest of them kids.)
    - No vacation - summer vacation for me was at home with the neighbors.
    - Etc.

    Childhood wasn't too stressful, probably because the poor community I lived in wasn't bad... so there weren't any "bad" influences.

    That part, I am fairly lucky because it is REALLY BAD now (went there 7 years after moving while I was practicing to get my driver's license.)

    It is similar to @gromit I suppose. Like @Wolfie, feels like I can write a whole essay that went on with my childhood living in poverty.

    Didn't ask for much is probably all I can say.

  4. #14
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    - Getting some toys (some used, some not.)
    - Gently used furniture (some that neighbors didn't need.).
    Haha. Almost all of our furniture came from other people's trash. And my dad was really handy, he fixed up bicycles from the trash too. Spray-painted mine magenta so I would be convinced it was a "girl" bike.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  5. #15
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Yeah. Lived with no electricity or phone for a while, practically no food, and even when we got the electricity turned on we had no appliances that really worked well. Freezer didn't work, oven didn't work, the stove top had one burner on it that worked I think, no washer or dryer, and we had maybe three working light bulbs in the entire house.

  6. #16
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Haha. Almost all of our furniture came from other people's trash. And my dad was really handy, he fixed up bicycles from the trash too. Spray-painted mine magenta so I would be convinced it was a "girl" bike.
    Yeah, one of the things I remember is that if my parents saw something that was useful, we would just take it for ourselves. If it works, it is perfect. I mean, save money for other things like food.

    I think, one of the most amazing things that I can remember, as a toddler, is a senior couple that lived right next to my family. We would receive things they think we would want or would need. One of those things we received was a pretty old style color t.v (the ones you needed to turn a dial to change channels.) Two of the longest things we have kept, that we received from them, was a table and a clock.

    It is amazing that I can still remember them though. Can't remember their names or if they had relatives or children nearby... all I can remember was that they were seniors when I was a toddler.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Wolfie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I really get that you know, I dont like inverse snobbery, of which I was totally a culprit when I was in my later teens but I totally relate to that sentiment.

    I think that Cracked.com had a great article about five things which indicate you've grown up poor, one of them was about loving awful food, that one was totally true, the only other one I remember was about being generous to a fault and gift giving, sort of buying rubbish often rather than buying a single expensive but useful gift annually. I related to that piece too.
    It's interesting you say that about food. My mom titles herself a nutritionist, (obviously she wasn't working as one), so I grew up eating pretty healthy, but food was not in abundance and I think the health thing made me feel even more restricted. Once I became an adult and supported myself, I ate A LOT. Just being able to buy myself food, whatever food I wanted was just so amazing to me. As a result I have gained about 40 pounds and still have a compulsive attitude about food. I find it really hard to eat a portion of a meal or to turn down food, so even when I'm full I will stuff myself. I'm trying really hard to administer some self control and to restrict my diet, but because a lot of the issues go really deep and are from my childhood, it just makes it a lot harder than, say, if I simply liked food.
    ( . )( . )

  8. #18
    Senior Member You's Avatar
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    ill tell you all about it in my memoir - in say - 10 years or so.

    NY Times Best Seller, here I come. they hand those things out like food stamps.
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  9. #19
    Member khys's Avatar
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    when i was pregnant with my first son, we were on the run from an abusive, stalking ex who had started making death threats. i lived in my car for a few months up in the mountains, and then a crazy old hermit let me live in his enclosed patio when the snow hit. i had a job as a waitress so i had some money, but i had left everything at my old apartment. i had kind of just left in the night and never gone back. i didn't have a cell phone or insurance or an address even. i was homeless for about 9 months. honestly it didn't really bother me. i just kind of survived.

  10. #20
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Nope I never have experienced it and hope I never have to. I do have friends and relatives who have experienced it and it's made me more aware of the issue.
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