Saturday, January 31, 2009

Living Well Above the Poverty Line

We've had a great time living below the poverty line this month. If you joined me in this challenge, I'm sure you learned some unexpected things as well.

Here's what we learned:

1. Be prepared. It's not good to live at the very edge of your income whether you're rich or porr. You've got to have wiggle room to pay for those unexpected things. Even if you're making plenty of money, save some and keep it for a rainy day. If you're living below the poverty line, every dollar really does make a difference. Save what you can for emergencies.

2. Once the dollar is spent it can't be retrieved. While living under the poverty line I had to think about every little purchase. If I spent the money without thinking, the money was gone.

3. Solve the income crisis. Even after just one month of living under the poverty line, I was thinking of ways to save and earn more money. As Dave Ramsey says, "You have an income crisis." We could certainly feed our kids, buy clothes, and pay the mortgage--but we weren't getting anywhere financially. We would need to either gain more education or get a better job (or an additional job.)

4. Poverty in great for the environment. Our big green trash can was able to go three weeks on the garbage we produced. It was amazing--we spent less, consumed less and (wadyaknow?) we had less garbage. We also didn't go shopping for recreation, so we used less gas.

5. Get creative. I made homemade yogurt, bread, , snacks and presents. We saved a lot by making stuff that we normally would have purchased. We signed the kids up for group piano lessons at the library. We checked out movies and books. We ate out tons less. We got creative with our free time and played games that we bought at the thrift store for a couple dollars. I think I lost a little weight!

6. We have more that we thought. We budgeted money for clothes, fun, food, gas, car repairs, and other stuff. We were still able to live under the poverty line and money left over. Even the trip to ER yesterday will come out of our Health Savings Account, so we're not going to be burdened with massive hospital bills. We have money left over to maybe save or maybe spend next month. Americans are blessed to have truly abundant lives

So, now we make the transition from living well below the poverty line to living well above the poverty line.

What did you learn during your time living for one month under the poverty line?


  1. Hi! I just found this blog. It's very helpful and full of good info and ideas. Will you be adding any new posts? I am looking forward to reading more!

  2. I do live below poverty level and am very blessed to meet the needs of my family of six. In the past my husband made a very nice income and we were in serious debt. Money is a funny thing. it can run like water, or be used thoughfully and with purpose. I have found great freedom from the love of money and things and feel I have more now than I did when we were well off.
    Your blog is wonderful.

  3. Fuck all this dumb shit. I'm poor as fuck and I'm mad. I'm pissed off because I can't can't can't afford my favourite drug and yes I'm not a college "graduate" like you can even get through that. Go through okay. I'm pissed as fuck that drugs are not in my body system ok ok yeah that's what I'm pissed about