Should poor people who receive donations from others have ‘luxurious’ things?
What constitutes ‘luxury’?
To what extent should the poor be able to enjoy valuable things?
Let’s talk about this statement:
From viewpoint of donators (the rich), receivers (the poor) are seemingly not allowed to have something donators (the rich) have.
Here’s some excerpts from an article written by a guy in America who has been very poor his whole life, describing how he makes decisions about money as a poor person, and why these decisions are reasonable. I wonder how many of these are just specific to being poor in America?
Because the article is a comedy website, the article is written in a sarcastic way, so there are a lot of swearwords, just FYI.
The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor
#5. You Develop a Taste for Shitty Food
Shockingly, when you're buying food based entirely on 1) how long it keeps and 2) how cheap it is, you wind up with shitty food. When I was growing up, we knew that the first of each month was grocery day. That's the day that our food stamps came in. … So when our food money arrived, to avoid multiple trips to the grocery store and burning shitloads of gas that we couldn't afford, we bought our entire month's worth of groceries all at once and stored it like fucking squirrels. When you do that, you need shit that won't spoil.
…you grow up thinking that this is the way it's supposed to taste. It's not that you grow to like it, necessarily, but you do grow to expect it.
#4. Extra Money Has to Be Spent Right Goddamn Now!
When you live in poverty, you're used to your bank account revolving very tightly around a balance of zero. Your work money comes in and goes right back out to bills, leaving you breaking even each month (if you're lucky). That's the life you've gotten used to. It's normal for you.
When a windfall check is dropped in your lap, you don't know how to handle it. Instead of thinking, "This will cover our rent and bills for half a year," you immediately jump to all the things you've been meaning to get, but couldn't afford on your regular income. If you don't buy it right now, you know that the money will slowly bleed away to everyday life over the course of the next few months, leaving you with nothing to show for it. Don't misunderstand me here, it's never a "greed" thing. It's a panic thing. "We have to spend this before it disappears."
#3. You Want to Go Overboard on Gift-Giving
What a lot of parents don't realize is that when they're openly worrying about bills within earshot of their children, the kids worry, too. When they hit a certain age, they start to make sacrifices on the family's behalf, and they feel guilt for the rare small luxuries they're allowed. I remember going shopping toward the end of our poverty streak, and I told my kids to pick out new bedspreads so we could get rid of their old, ugly ones. My oldest son looked around for a second and then said, "Thanks, dad, but I don't really need one."
So, for the last two years, we've gone overboard on gifts on the holidays. I remember all the years that we couldn't afford to give them even a quarter of the things they asked for, and I swore I would make that right. So we spent about double what a normal person would consider reasonable. And then went back to buy more.
We overcompensated so much in the other direction that we damn near drove ourselves back into the poorhouse. I think pretty much anyone who escapes poverty goes through this for a short time. If not with gifts, then with other showy forms of spending -- fancy clothes or new furniture or a car you can't afford. It's like you're trying to rub it in the face of your past self. "Eat shit, poverty!"
#2. You Become an Obsessive Bean-Counter
You think in exact numbers because, at any given point, you have to know if swiping the debit card for gas will put you into overdraft territory. 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 an actual dinner or a bowl of McDonald's ketchup packets at the end of the week.
Paying the bills becomes a work of algebraic artistry as you find out how much they'll take in order to not shut off your gas. Then calculate on the fly the smallest amount of money you need to survive for the next four days, then subtract that from your current bank account, then make adjustments where necessary and eventually arrive at X ... where X equals how much today's bill is going to fuck you for the next three weeks.
#1. You Only Spend with the Short Term in Mind, (which costs you more long term)
You buy exactly what you need, and no more. That six-pack of toilet paper is only three bucks. But there's a sale on the 12-pack for only two dollars more? Fuck that. That's an extra two bucks that I'll need before the week is done.
This is a problem, because that's actually a very shitty way to manage a budget. You skip over the great 2-for-1 deal on laundry detergent because you're not out of laundry detergent yet. It's kind of opposite of the way we bought food when I was a kid -- where you should be stocking up because buying in bulk is cheaper and the stuff is on sale, you wait until you're scraping the residue off the lid. Then you have to take whatever goddamned price the store gives you that day, because you can't wash your clothes otherwise.
If you think that's a minor thing, realize that you're applying this to everything you buy. You're not buying the dryer because Sears is having their once a year "Get these fucking dryers out of our warehouse 50 percent off sale," but because the dryer that's been making that funny noise for a year and a half finally broke. You have to take the first one you see, at whatever price, because your wet clothes are sitting there getting moldy. That "wait until you're desperate" mindset means your money just doesn't go as far.