lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society.
We hate being poor. We frown upon being poor. We loathe it. We want expensive things. After all, who wants to be the only person in a room without a smart phone?
What we’ve lost sight of is that it’s… Okay to be poor, a good thing even.
Why? It’s a learning opportunity. A character building opportunity. For most of us, whether or not we’re poor is highly dependent upon our attitude.
If we believe that we can’t afford to live below our means, we probably won’t even try to find a way to make it happen. That’s a good way to make sure you never get ahead.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Instead, why not take the view that you really do have enough? A simple change in your point of view can make all the difference. It allows you to look for ways to use your resources more efficiently, so that you can not only live within your budget, but under it. After all, it doesn’t matter how much money you have, if you don’t live beneath your means, you can’t save/invest for the future. (Incidentally, the average millionaire starts off with little, and focuses on wealth accumulation/creating a financially secure future, rather than possession accumulation. The Millionaire Next Door provides some really good information on this subject.)
So, in conclusion, here are some important things I think we need to learn from being poor.
- Stewardship. If we aren’t wise stewards of few resources, why would we be given many?
- Contentment. It’s clichè, by its true; if we’re not content with little, there’s not a chance that we’ll be content with much.
- Humility. It’s oh, so easy to be conceited in our wealth. Being the person without a smart phone (or whatever), keeps ya humble. A trait which will hopefully be carried over into wealthier times.
- Adaptability. Being able to adapt to your financial situation can be an invaluable skill that will carry over into other areas of life.
Money is not the be all, end all.