Yesterday Cliff and I heard someone make this statement: "I've been poor, and I don't EVER want to be poor again!"
Later on I asked Cliff, "Do you ever have thoughts like that? Because I have never had a fear of being poor."
"Well," he answered, "we are poor."
"You mean by other people's standards, right?"
Poor, my friends, is a state of mind. As long as I have food and a place to live, I have everything I need.
We were living in in the switchboard house in north Missouri when I was nine or ten years old. I asked Mother, "Are we rich?"
She started laughing so hard she couldn't answer for awhile, but you know what? I don't think she used the word "poor" when she finally responded. Believe me, when my parents were living and working at the switchboard, anyone would have classified us as poor. I know that now, but I didn't then.
I didn't feel poor.
When our children were growing up, we didn't have health insurance half the time. We've haven't had nice furniture. We've never even done proper upkeep on our homes, because that stuff isn't a priority.
It's all about the choices we've made.
Since Cliff retired, our clothing budget is $40 a month, and the money in the clothing envelope piles up because we seldom buy clothes. The only reason I haven't reduced the allotted monthly amount is that sometimes one of us needs a pair of shoes.
Now we are living on Social Security. When inflation takes a big enough bite out of that income, we will give up this place and rent a place somewhere. We're running a race with inflation: Maybe we'll die before we have to move! We've always lived on the edge, just making it from one payday to the next. I'm not saying it's a smart way to live, but it has worked for us.
Afraid of being poor? Not me. Bring it on!