Poor Me?

Let me give you a sense of how I view articles on poor college students. I was poor and with the added burden of being without family attending an elite private college - Stanford University. While I had scholarships and loans they didn't cover all the costs of attending college.  I literally had zero family support, so that meant that I had to take care of everything - a lot of things that are not covered by scholarships.  Things like transportation, clothes, medical care (campus clinics are accessible but they still cost), phone, etc.  You get the picture.

So money was very tight.  So tight that even though I was working several jobs at the same time to make ends meet, there were several occasions where I could only afford a snicker bar for food.  But did my classmates know that?  Not a chance.

I was not the first to go through this and today's students, unfortunately, will not be the last. Some of us have to work harder to get where we want to go and to stay there, but that doesn't mean others don't have to work hard in their own right. They just have to work harder for other things. Like feeling self-respect. I knew a lot of trust fund babies who felt dis-empowered because they never had to earn a thing in their life - it made them question their abilities. I've never had that problem.

I've also met folks who had everything covered for them from the get go, only to lose their money or their family to lose its money later in life and then have to learn how to budget in their 30s. It's not pretty.

I've also met people who never had to worry about money and still don't have to and likely never will.

I've gone from poor to expensive vacations to a monthly budget because I want the freedom to pursue my ideas and not have to make money to support a certain lifestyle. It's a never-ending relationship with money.

What matters is how you frame that relationship.  Are you ashamed or do you recognize your financial state as just that - a state - one that will change over time?  Guess which frame is easier to live with.