It’s no secret that I’ve been poor. My money has always gone on my passions rather than my desires. As a designer, any spare change went on materials, as a publisher extra cash went into production and as a brand manager a lot of money went on the commute to work.
Being poor is something you can think of and fear but not really know the feeling until it hits. Poverty is mean, it causes you to think and feel down, every breath seems to cost money. Sometimes all you can do is hope for depression as at least in those dark moments, you cease to need the fuel of food - with hunger eliminated as a side effect. In the process dark moods end up saving you money on a day or twos meals, without having to suffer hunger pain.
You think you can calculate the costs of the meager money you have, but it’s just not that easy,
Things happen that can’t be accounted for. Take for example flatmates inviting you to dinner and your pride not allowing you to say no. At dinner you cut corners but still end up spending €10, afterward you end up annoyed, knowing that it could have gone on a week worth of food and not just one dinner. Either way, you shrug and try not to feel guilty. Other times it’s your friends who buy you drinks at bars, even though you insist they don’t and after three rounds on them, you scramble to the bar to at least buy one round, even though you know that it will hurt your pockets in the long run.
The main pain of poverty for those newly imprisoned is the loss of freedom. If you’ve lost a job you suddenly inherit life’s most precious asset - time. But now you have time but no money. Instantly you’re robbed of being able to do what others do/ what you did before. You can no longer go where you like, eat what you want or buy the little luxuries/ bare necessities which you did before. Everything is considered, measured and debated. If you spend here can you thrift there? It’s mentally exhausting to think so much and physically draining to eat so little.