At its simplest level there are two reasons why people are poor:
- They do not earn enough money
- They spend too much money / Save too little
To avoid being poor, it is very important to earn as much as possible while trying to spend as little as possible. Good discipline in controlling spending can do a lot to stretch income, especially the more limited it is. This applies to not just the poor but to everyone, as a recent report noted, that its easier to make a million than it is to keep it.
With the two reasons listed above in mind, it is not possible to accurately determine how expensive something is just by looking at the price. To better determine how expensive things are, you should take the cost of the item and then figure out how many hours you have to work to earn the money to buy it.
So if you earn $8 an hour and a movie costs $8 to see, it will cost you one hour of work to enjoy a movie. That is actually a good deal because it only costs you an hour to earn the money and two hours to spend it.
Now add in the cost of a date +$8, dinner +$24, and movie snacks +$8, and your looking at an evening costing $48. Add to that going to lunch and a pack of cigarettes +$12, and your looking at $4 left over from what you earned that day for any other expenses you need to pay, like rent for example.
Strange enough, by using this method, depending on how often you smoke, smoking might not be that expensive. Of course, any amount spent on smoking is a waste of money, it just might be that your not wasting that much. However, you can surely find a better use for $100+ that you would have spent on smoking over the course of a year, like perhaps to use for gas to escape a hurricane, or use the money to pay for a picture ID.
Of course increasing your hourly wage now becomes even more important as it reduces the amount of time required to earn enough to afford the things you want, and take less time to pay for the things you need.
This can be a little difficult if you do not have a job. Then again, without a job, what the hell are you doing looking at designer handbags and expensive electronics instead of flipping through the help wanted pages?
Look, NOBODY is going to help you be less poor. This is something you need to work on yourself. It will take hard work and effort. Nobody is interested in helping an indifferent person. A handout might get you through the next couple of days, but it will not solve your problem. I am not saying to not take the handout. Accept it with thanks, but use it to your advantage and take the opportunity to put some money away.
Also, be careful about spending money to maintain some sort of image. Your friends should like you for who you are, not for what you wear or what you drive. Anyway, it is silly to project an image that is expensive to maintain, when at the end of the day, you are sleeping in a shithole or in the middle of the projects.
So before you go spending what little money you might have, you should really think twice about what is more important, the object, or cash socked away. Here is a list of items I consider potential ways to waste money:
- Do not buy a new car. (Used cars are just fine)
- Do not buy an SUV (Station wagons are just fine)
- Do not spend a ton of money customizing your car.
- Do not waste money on custom license plates
- Do not buy a flat-screen TV. (Regular ones are 1/10th the price)
- Do not order magazine subscriptions (Go to the library)
- Do not buy lotto tickets (They are supposed to help the poor through rich people buying them)
- Do not gamble
- CDs DVD – drain you of packet change
- Do not give money to politicians
- Do not give money to political parties
- Quit or cutback on smoking
- Cutback on drinking
- Do Not Do Drugs - Its certainly not going get you out of the poorhouse and if your use is noticeable, nobody will want to hire you.
- Do not steal - This can land you in jail and when you get out nobody will want to hire you, because nobody likes a thief, especially a coworker who is a thief.
- Do not eat at restaurants or fast food places (or eat out less)
- Bring your lunch to work
- Do not waste money on expensive hairdos
- Do not waste money on tattoos
- Do not waste money on expensive clothes
- Do not waste money on expensive shoes and sneakers
No matter how little you are earning, save something.
- Participate in a direct stock purchase plan.
- Many can be started for as little as $250. Additional contributions as small as $50 can be made with automatic deductions from your bank account.
- Yes, $250 is lots of money, but it is also a goal to reach when you start saving.
- If a teenager wants money, help them find a job.
- Teach them that when you have a job, that you do your job correctly.
- Do not worry about what others are getting away with, do things correctly. It will eventually be to your benefit.
Consider the possibility that you need to move to a different part of the country to find a decent job with a decent wage.
Stop blaming all your problems on race. Try taking advantage of it for a change. there are opportunities available to minorities that are not available to whites.
- Colleges need to have a minimum amount of black students to avoid being racist.
- You do not have to do as well academically to get into college
- You have more grants, scholarships, and reduced tuition possibilities than whites.
If you do well, you will probably end up 'stealing' jobs from whites.
The Road To Poverty - Signal 94