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I am interested in hearing how other VBers may have turned their lives around in terms of getting out of the poor, worthless, alienated trap & into the more financially comfortable, self-assured & socially comfortable stratum.<br><br>
It doesn't seem to be an issue of working hard, because the hardest working people in Western society are among the poorest & most disrespected.<br><br>
My bf is middle-class & I would like to be more his equal, less a drain & someone to be embarrassed about.<br><br>
I work 7 days a week most weeks, between radio announcing & working in a hfs.<br><br>
I live in a slummy apt.<br><br>
I feel like scum when I'm around people with a good income/class, & I am very ashamed of myself almost constantly.<br><br>
Any help?
 

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It sounds like it is more a problem of your perception and self esteem than of actual facts, except for the slummy apartment, LOL. Working 7 days a week is not particularly low-class and I know from your previous posts that you don't do it because of your social class but because of other reasons.<br><br><br><br>
Is there any way you can discuss this with your BF ? There must be reasons he can give you why he prefers you over opportunities he may have had in his own social strata ?<br><br><br><br>
I can't advise you about rising in social status because I myself am rather coming down or staying stuck... bwahahaha... but I would suggest moving to a better area if you can afford it. It will probably make you feel better about yourself and your life. Then again, if the problem is in perception only, it might not change a thing...<br><br><br><br>
I can't remember if you have a degree. You sound educated enough to me, though. A good income these days is more a consequence of what kind of parents you were born to, what you have inherited or what you can embezzle. There's a lucky few who make it without these elements, mostly because they strike gold for having the right idea at exactly the right time (like the guy who just sold YouTube), but that about sums it up.<br><br><br><br>
Why do you say you are a drain ? What kind of drain ?<br><br><br><br>
What's a hfs ? (sorry I'm not from your part of the world so I don't recognize this). Is there any way you can work yourself into a better paying job ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It sounds like it is more a problem of your perception and self esteem than of actual facts, except for the slummy apartment, LOL. Working 7 days a week is not particularly low-class and I know from your previous posts that you don't do it because of your social class but because of other reasons.<br><br><br><br><span>Thanks for the quick reply. Yes, self-esteem has much to do with it. But I'm not how to disrupt the cycle: I feel bad about myself-others see it & assume they can treat me poorly & with disrespect- then I respect myself less & feel worse, which means others pity or abuse me more...</span><br><br><br><br>
Is there any way you can discuss this with your BF ? There must be reasons he can give you why he prefers you over opportunities he may have had in his own social strata ?<br><br><br><br><span>That's a good idea. I'll talk it over with him tonight. I have always been too ashamed to bring it up. His last gf was well-off, owned a car & condo, worse expensive clothing, etc. Classy. I'm always wearing old castoff clothes & look like h*ll. Most of my income goes to supplements for mental health, not things middle-to-upper-class folks consider basics.</span><br><br><br><br>
I can't remember if you have a degree. You sound educated enough to me, though. A good income these days is more a consequence of what kind of parents you were born to, what you have inherited or what you can embezzle. There's a lucky few who make it without these elements, mostly because they strike gold for having the right idea at exactly the right time (like the guy who just sold YouTube), but that about sums it up.<br><br><br><br><span>That sounds true, but I also feel it would be simply sour grapes on my part to adopt the attitude that the only way to get out of the poverty rut ($10 an hour is poor, right?) is to embezzle or be reincarnated with different parents. I am thinking I may need to return to school AGAIN & retrain in something else. Radio is a dead end I think. And people tell me they feel sorry for me when I tell them it's my job</span><br><br><br><br>
Why do you say you are a drain ? What kind of drain ?<br><br><br><br><span>I'm a financial & emotional drain, because my bank account & self-respect are usually both around zero.</span><br><br><br><br>
What's a hfs ? (sorry I'm not from your part of the world so I don't recognize this). Is there any way you can work yourself into a better paying job<br><br><br><br>
[hfs= health food store<br><br>
I think I ned to retrain, the more I think about it during this chat with you. I have no money to retrain & feel too stupid to retrain, so I'll need to investigate further how to make this happen./COLOR]<br><br><br><br>
h
 

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Well the first step is never living above your means. This is something you refuse to do, so you're always going to be stuck in the same rut. You can't buy expensive foods and products that you can't afford just because you really want them. You absolutely simply have to reduce your spending, clear your debts, and save money. There is no other quick solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>kpickell</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Well the first step is never living above your means. This is something you refuse to do, so you're always going to be stuck in the same rut. You can't buy expensive foods and products that you can't afford just because you really want them. You absolutely simply have to reduce your spending, clear your debts, and save money. There is no other quick solution.</div>
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<br><br><br><br><br><span>Thank you. You've mentioned this before. I guess i don't know how to stay healthy if I were to stop spending so much money on food & supplements, as my naturopath has told me to do. I agree with you in theory. But with fresh vegetables so expensive, & my naturopath explicitly telling me I need certain non-cheap supplements, I feel I'm up against a wall. I think moving up in class is all I can do, rather than going back to no-name Kraft dinner & grilled cheese sandwiches as my main source of sustenance.<br><br>
I'm not really arguing with what you say, but I'm just weighing what health consequences might follow, & how sh*tty I would feel to eat so badly & take no supplements again.<br><br></span>
 

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I'm a college drop-out. Really, I guess I could get my degree if I repaid the money I owe the university, but I haven't done that yet, so I am sans degree.<br><br><br><br>
I bumped around the food service industry for a number of years, and I also worked as an administrative assistant for a couple of companies before stumbling across the information technology field. Since I've entered this field 7 years ago, I've more than doubled my salary and now take home a comfortable income.<br><br><br><br>
Here are the lessons I've learned:<br><br><br><br>
1. Live within your means. My husband and I started out living way about our income potential, and it took a really long time to dig out of that debt. If you can live by a budget and put something aside every month, you will be way better off.<br><br><br><br>
2. Take the lessons you learned in past jobs into the new job. Don't assume that you your past experiences are less valuable because they are in a different field.<br><br><br><br>
3. Work hard. People who whine and make excuses don't get ahead. People who do more than is expected of them do get ahead. I supervise people who have been with my company much longer than me, and, believe me, there is a reason they report to me and not visa versa. Sure, you will run into injustice and bad supervisors in the work arena. Overcome those problems, don't let those problems overcome you.<br><br><br><br>
4. Find a job with some upward mobility and stick with it. My income went up when I finally stopped messing around and found a company to be loyal to. It doesn't happen overnight, and if you don't stick around, it won't happen at all.<br><br><br><br>
Finally, I agree that being comfortable with someone who is from a different economic strata is about self-confidence. If you believe that your worth is measured by your bank account, you will continue to have problems fitting in. Even when I was dirt poor and living in a spider infested basement, I could carry on an intelligent conversation about art, literature, pop culture or current events.
 

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I say eat better. The more raw, fresh food, the better. If you're eating well, you shouldn't need supplements, or at least not as many.<br><br>
$10 is not poverty. There are plenty of people who earn half that, and are (although they are JUST getting by,) getting by. Minimum wage here is $5-something. Actually it was just kicked up to $6 something the first of this month, I believe.<br><br><br><br>
There's a difference between people who complain and don't do anything to remedy their situations, and people who complain WHILE attempting to change things. Which are you?<br><br><br><br>
I hate hearing people whine about their jobs while not even trying to find better work.<br><br><br><br>
I've worked plenty of crap jobs, up to 3 at a time. All while <i>looking for <b>better</b> work</i>. You can't just envy those who have things. Most of them have worked to get to where they're at. I wasn't just handed the things I have. I've gone from crap job to crap job, moving up to get to where I'm at, and being able to afford the things I can. I went from making $7 to $6 to $7 to $7.50 to $9 to $14.50 to $17 to what I make now, which is more than double that. I've worked doing data-entry for a fortune 500 company ($7,) I've worked for temp services, I've worked at: daycares (wiping more ass and puke than you can imagine for $6 an hour), in the office of a furniture store, at a school as a teacher's aide...<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Being envious isn't going to get you what you want. Working towards it will.
 

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I think it might help if you tried to stop seeing yourself and your boyfriend as being labelled by your classes. There are awful, obnoxious, evil people in all classes, just like there are good, wonderful, fun, witty people in all classes. He's obviously with you because he likes you, regardless of your situation.<br><br><br><br>
And don't knock your jobs! If you like being a radio announcer, then that's great.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>organica</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
It doesn't seem to be an issue of working hard, because the hardest working people in Western society are among the poorest & most disrespected.<br></div>
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This is where you are going wrong. Working 2-3 easy jobs means you work a lot, it does not mean that you work hard. Most of the upper middle class work 50+ hours a week doing much more difficult work than most people do. If you think that work can't be hard without being physically hard, then you don't get it and you'll never get anywhere.
 

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Class isn't about money.<br><br>
It is about how you present yourself.<br><br><br><br>
I know low-class millionaires, and I know some folks in the lower middle class who exude true class.<br><br><br><br>
(And Remilard is right about what constitutes hard work.)
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>organica</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
But I'm not how to disrupt the cycle:</div>
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Can you explain this? You do not mean to say that you are not the person who can break the cycle do you?<br><br><br><br>
For the record, I know plenty of people not born into rich families and with no connections who now have very nice jobs and great educations. It required sacrifice. An attitude. It required telling themselves that they had a goal and would do whatever they could to get it. I know someone who grew up in the ghetto, went to crap public schools but got into a good college and medical school and is now medical faculty and his wife just bought a BMW. And he works <i>very hard</i>. He worked very hard to get there, and he will continue to work very hard to keep his job. He works a level 1 trauma center in a very poor area and has to deal with all kinds of messed up, shot, burned, stabbed, insane, weirdo, drugged out, dying, and crazy people who often give him a very hard time. If he hears people whining that the reason they are poor is because life is so unfair and that rich people all sit around in their pools all day, yadda, yadda, he probably tells them to STFU. If he had a pool (he purposely lives in a working class community in a small house) he probably wouldn't have much free time to float around.<br><br><br><br>
It can be very hard to get ahead when you are poor, sick, have no education, and kids. But if you are childless, can get a steady job, and have at least some basic education to be able to benefit from community college, or whatever, it is much easier. Many people dream of being childless, ablebodied and with a basic education.<br><br><br><br>
It may be slow, but doable. Plus. it may not even take a college education. I know plenty of people who worked their way up in an industry based solely on their hard work and talent. Took them time, but they did it.<br><br><br><br>
I'm not really sure what you are asking for in this thread. If you are looking for a solution that will not require that you make major changes, I fear you will be disappointed.
 

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Thalia: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:"> My mother was born and grew up in the Detroit projects. While growing up, my grandma beat the hell out of my mom. She had my brother at 18. My brother's dad beat the hell out of my mom.<br><br><br><br>
My mom has never once whined about the hand she was dealt. She chose to get out of her situation by working her way up and out.<br><br><br><br>
She takes and has taken responsibility for all the choices she's made in her lifetime, and she's worked to get to the comfortable life she's at now.<br><br><br><br>
I know a LOT of people who've been through the same type of situations.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>remilard</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
This is where you are going wrong. Working 2-3 easy jobs means you work a lot, it does not mean that you work hard. Most of the upper middle class work 50+ hours a week doing much more difficult work than most people do. If you think that work can't be hard without being physically hard, then you don't get it and you'll never get anywhere.</div>
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Excellent point. I don't feel my job now is a very stressful compared to the higher ups at my work. I used to be a waitress. At one point I worked two jobs- blockbuster and the cafe. The waitress job was very stressful while I was their and very phyically demanding. The blockbuster/cafe jobs screwed up my schedule and kept me up late nights and was tiring and sometimes required cleaning toilets and puke and rotten dairy, etc. But when I punched out, I was free. And if I worked overtime, I got compensated.<br><br><br><br>
However, my job now is salaried. They can make me work 60 hours a week and I don't make any more. No overtime, zilch. I think about my job while I am on my off time at home. I sometimes do work at home.<br><br><br><br>
For many people in high paying jobs, if they make an oversight, they could go to jail, or someone could die. Or the whole place could go bankrupt and everyone loses their job. They can't just punch out and go home and stop thinking about it. It's 24/7.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>remilard</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Working 2-3 easy jobs means you work a lot, it does not mean that you work hard.</div>
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People working 2-3 jobs are working a lot <i>and</i> they're working hard.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Most of the upper middle class work 50+ hours a week doing much more difficult work than most people do.</div>
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That's just dross IMO and it smacks of elitism.<br><br><br><br>
Both the working class and upper middle class have difficult jobs...difficult in different ways and it's arguable whether one is more difficult than another.<br><br><br><br>
Some working class jobs are extremely difficult...it's just in a different way to a job like yours that may take more training and brain power. If you had to work in a factory for 40 hours a week enduring poor pay, crappy conditions and trying to cope with the drudgery of doing repetative and mundane tasks year after year, you'd probably end up with a slightly different outlook on what constitutes difficult work. People who do jobs like that, producing a lot of the goods you use in your everday life, quite often end up with mental and physical health problems in the long term. I'd certainly call that hard and difficult work.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Thalia</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
For many people in high paying jobs, if they make an oversight, they could go to jail, or someone could die.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
What about construction workers, boilermakers, welders, steelworkers? When these people make oversights sometimes they or someone else dies. Industrial accidents happen all the time.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">At one point I worked two jobs- blockbuster and the cafe. The waitress job was very stressful while I was their and very phyically demanding. The blockbuster/cafe jobs screwed up my schedule and kept me up late nights and was tiring and sometimes required cleaning toilets and puke and rotten dairy, etc. But when I punched out, I was free. And if I worked overtime, I got compensated.</div>
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I bet you wouldn't give up the job you've got now and go back to that though would you? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Aw, everyone and their brother has a story about someone they know who had a hard life but picked themselves up by their bootstraps...and so if others did it, you should just stop whining and do the same.<br><br><br><br>
But I think you've had a very hard life, organica, not just because of poverty and severe abuse as a child, but because of chronic mental illness. The last one adds the worst burden, I think.<br><br><br><br>
It sounds to me like you're doing very well, given all that you've been through. I think putting yourself in a different financial strata means looking at the jobs that you can do, get trained for, or grow into that will earn you more money. If you haven't done so already, consider going to a career counseling center at a community college to get some guidance. But I think working on self-esteem is important too. You don't need to have money or a "good job" to be a worthwhile person regardless.
 

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Good idea about the career counselling. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:"> They can help you to formulate a long-term plan.<br><br><br><br>
It's been mentioned already, but maybe it's time to think about ditching the bf too. He's not helping your self esteem at all.
 

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I agree, Irizary. And I wish that you wouldn't feel ashamed about being poor, organica. After all, it's the rich people who are doing the most damage to the earth.<br><br><br><br>
But if you'd like to become one of those rich [email protected], education, not hard work, it the key.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway you could reduce your expenses while going to school? Maybe move in with that bf of yours? You could save a lot of money that way.<br><br><br><br>
I wish you the best of luck <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I know this has already been said about 100 times but I have to agree with not living above your means. My husband and I sat down and did a budget and figured out where our money is going every week/month. We live on our budget and update it as needed. After looking at it we got rid of stuff like tv, phone (we just have a basic home phone $10/month), going out to eat.<br><br><br><br>
We also suffer from some mental health problems. (I do not know your background and am not comparing our issues to yours in any way of course) I do know that one thing that can make us even worse is when we were in financial strain. It was like a snowball effect really. We were poor so we felt terrible, then we would spend money to feel better, then we felt worse because we felt guilty for making ourselves even more poor, and so on and so forth.<br><br><br><br>
Again, I do not know your exact situation but putting things down on paper helps a lot. Sometimes it is hard to figure out where your money is going. Maybe you could find a roomate to move in with or have move in with you? It is great to have someone to split house expenses up with.<br><br><br><br>
As far as food goes, meal planning will help. Figure out what you'll need for the week and take a shopping list with you to the grocery. Only buy what is on the list and write down prices as you go. We always do this at the grocery and it helps us to know how our money is being spent.<br><br><br><br>
Do a budge evaluation and find out where you stand. Find out where you can "cut the fat" and live more reasonably within your means.<br><br><br><br>
I hope this helps! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 
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