You think you know what being poor means?


I am so sick of people thinking that they know exactly what it means to be poor. Guess what? Not everyone who is poor is homeless. And not everyone who is poor doesn’t have a computer/internet access. And some of us DO have domains.

My family has very little money, a cheap (almost paid off) house, generic foods (not brand names), and I’m wearing the same clothes that I’ve been wearing for 6 years (that are getting too big thanks to my surgery) and I have shoes that are practically falling apart. Our insurance costs $1000 a MONTH and the ONLY money we’ve gotten in is the $300-$400 a month that my mom gets from DISABILITY. (That’s a debt of $600 a month JUST for INSURANCE (not including food, house payments, utilities, etc.).) My dad ran out of unemployment a long time
ago. He’s gone through almost all of the stocks we used to have (which we had more of before the downturn of the market), sold those so we could get the money from that. He’s raided his retirement account, and he’s even gotten loans against his life insurance policy. He JUST got a part-time job so maybe we’ll be able to keep our house, food, etc.

Yes, I have internet access, a computer, etc. I have to have the internet access and computer for school. My computer was paid off by a STUDENT LOAN. My education is paid for by 2 grants (a Pell Grant and a SEO Grant) and a STUDENT LOAN. I’m 19 and by January, I will owe $5200 for school. I’m only 19 and I already am in debt. This debt will only increase as I continue my education. If I didn’t have the financial aid (including the loan), though, I wouldn’t be able to go to school. Without school, I wouldn’t get to keep my insurance, which would cause me to lose all of my health care and my medication coverage.

I also have a domain…it costs $20 a month. This is paid for using credit, which basically means its basically being put in the ever-growing bucket-o-debt that we have. My domain is something that I need to have in order to express myself in non-self-destructive ways. Without my domain, I’ll probably go back to the nuthouse.

So let’s recap…no internet access/computer = no me going to school & no me having a domain = no insurance, medication, etc and me turning back into a self-destructive girl = me going into a nuthouse without any kind of insurance = even worse situation. Yeah, I’m poor, but the things I have are pretty much necessities for me to have a “normal” life.

Also, I have no cell phone, beeper, etc. The only designer things I have are my glasses (which were paid for by insurance about 3 years ago), 2 CK shirts (one which was given to me, the other that I got for $10 about 5 years ago), 1 pair of Tommy Hilfiger shoes (they had a defect so they were like $5), and a Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirt I got for Christmas. I also have no PlayStation, Game Cube, etc.

I had a job last year, but that didn’t work out…and its better for me not to work while I’m in school.


About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.