Stop Feeling Poor

Three Ways to Stop Feeling Poor

It’s no secret that Americans are in debt up to their eyeballs. To what can we attribute this colossal “living beyond our means” phenomenon? I don’t think it’s because we’ve had too many “emergencies.” It’s because we don’t want to feel poor.

I’ll bet you’ve felt poor from time to time. It’s a sad, sorry feeling of inferiority. It’s that feeling you get when you receive an invitation to join all of your rich co-workers for lunch and you’ve got $6.27 to last until payday. It’s that feeling you get when you see a commercial for the coolest car on earth and all you have is a 10-year-old clunker.

The worst thing you can do when you feel poor is spend money. Sure, that might make the feeling go away temporarily, but as soon as you realize you’ve just plunged yourself deeper into debt and made your situation worse, you’ll feel even poorer. It’s a vicious cycle that comes to no good end.

I have a better idea. Stop feeling poor in the first place. Here are three surprising steps to follow.

1. COMMIT TO A CLEAN CAR. No matter how old, scratched or ugly your car is, if you keep it sparkling clean inside and out, you won’t feel poor. Remove every coffee cup, every scrap of trash and every item except the emergency equipment in the trunk every time you leave the car. Wash it weekly. Make sure the windows are always spotless, the tires scrubbed and the chrome shiny. You’ll feel like a million bucks.

2. CURB THE CLUTTER. I don’t care how clean your house may be. If you have clutter, it’s pulling you down. Clear your closets, drawers, cupboards, garage and counters of everything that you do not need unless it brings beauty to your life. Clean open spaces, tranquility and simplicity chase away feelings of poverty. Clutter invites chaos which leads to depression and feelings of deprivation.

3. TUCK A C-NOTE. A “C-note” is a one-hundred dollar bill. I want you to get one, fold it neatly and tuck it into a secret place in your wallet. Do not tell anyone about this. Suddenly, you won’t feel poor. In fact, that C-note is going to make you feel prosperous and smart. Here’s the curious thing: You are not likely to spend it on a whim. You might not spend it at all. Breaking a Hundred Dollar Bill is a big deal. You wouldn’t do that for a hamburger and fries, and you sure wouldn’t do it to impress the co-workers when you go out to eat sushi with them instead of the bagged lunch you brought to work. That would be ridiculous.

If you can’t do a hundred, start with a twenty. Soon, trade it for a fifty. Before you know it, you’ll have Benjamin in your pocket, hidden away where only you know.

Feeling poor is not a financial condition. It is a state of mind. That’s something you can change, starting right now.

©Copyright 2010 Mary Hunt
Everyday Cheapskate is a Registered Trademark

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