Reasons why my friends and I hate being poor

8/24/2016


Being poor is demoralising and the most vulnerable position to be in life. You just never catch a break! Everything is a challenge because you never have enough.  You never get to a point where you don't worry about money or how you are going to feed your family or even be able to pay your bills. It's a daily struggle. You struggles move from standing on a queue every month to get government's grant or waking up at 4am to walk to work because you don’t have money for the bus or taxis. And the full time job you have only covers rent money. 

Here are reasons why my friends and I hate being poor: 

No relationships 
Being poor is avoiding spending time with people you care about, because you don’t want to have to answer “how are you doing?” - Molly 

Bad Relationships

Staying with a man that you don't love because you don't have the means to take care of your children. Being with someone who doesn't make you happy and knowing you'll be happier elsewhere is emotionally draining - Tshepiso

Being a squatter

Learning to live with condemned-quality housing because coming up with the first and last month’s rent, plus utility deposits, you’d need to move is a pipe dream. And on top of that, not having enough space for everyone who lives with you. And to try and divide the space, you use sheets or curtains - Molly 

Ever cent counts

When you're poor, there is no amount of money that isn't accounted for, right down to the last cent. You don't have "about R70" in the bank. You have R68.17. You have to be able to figure on the spot how much you can spend versus how much you need to survive until the next payday, and even the numbers after the decimal point are important. The simplest miscalculation could mean the difference between a proper dinner or or noodles for the rest of month - Thati

No indulging

You buy exactly what you need, and no more. You never buy an outfit just because you liked it. You buy it because  the other ones no longer fit or just disengrated. And sometimes, even that requirement is overlooked for the sake of making sure the lights are "On" or something more important is taken care of. And yeah, you get really angry at your kids for asking for all the stuff they see on TV - Tshepiso and Molly

Liabilities

Unexpected costs are more than inconveniences – they’re liabilities.When your child gets sick in the middle of the week and you don’t even have a cent to your name, never mind money to take them to a doctor. You can’t afford even afford store-bought medicine. And when you do get help you have to wait for almost 2 hours at a public hospital room to get help - Molly

Kids struggles

From diapers to school clothes struggle, school supplies or birthday struggle. Sometimes you to really, really push your two-year old during potty training, because diapers are really, really expensive - Christy

The health struggle

You are always trying to figure out how you can make that little you have buy food for the month. No name Noodles forever!  Forget about fresh produce or fresh baked goods or fresh anything. Starchy carbs, canned vegetables and fruit are your staple. Who cares about health?  You pick the cheapest option on almost everything because they'll get you through the month. And always having to think of ways to make the kids understand that the box has to last. And if a cockroach skitters over the food, you just remove it and serve it as if it nothing happened - Christy

Make the most of what you have

Since you don't have many "luxurious" and you want to smell nice, you use soap as your deodarant! And it's not even the best of soaps. You must do with what you have. Sometimes you've run our of toothpaste so you have to use the same soap to wash your teeth.  This is probably the most degrading of all the struggles. If it's that time of the month, you use a newspapers or an old clothing rag to get through you through this period. And ignoring your morality sometimes to steal toilet paper in public toilets - Thati, Christy and Molly

Bills are stressful

Which final notice should you pay first? Water or electricity? Paying the bills becomes a work of algebraic artistry as you find out how much they'll take in order to not shut your electricity and water - Tumi

I've been there and so has my friends who shared their stories with me. It sucks and it's the most humiliating place anyone can ever be in. This is why I have this blog exists, to help women move from poverty to wealth. Money is important and we must quickly learn how to make it. 

What do you hate about being poor? 

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