Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.
Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.
Being poor is having to live with choices you didn't know you made when you were 14 years old.
The entire post is a sobering reminder of living for 8 years in a house with no heat except for an electric oil heater and not enough money to take advantage of sales or use coupons. I remember feeling so resentful of a wonderful, but clueless, boss who complained during a relentless heat wave that the air conditioning wasn't working in his house - upstairs. I had never lived with air conditioning before, and was into my second week without real sleep.
To this day I am careful with money. I always will be. I don't think I could ever have enough money not to worry any more.
I will not feel guilty about posting about my success in paying off my debt. I didn't do it with a windfall. I did it by taking my lunch every day to work, and not buying new clothes, and doing without new [fill in the blank]. I reused and scrimped and made do, and I shall continue to do so, until the other debts are paid... and then I'll start saving.
I think we who are comfortable forget what makes poverty "grinding": the utter inability to save any money. Capital is what makes capitalism work; once you've got a bit of it, it begins to get some momentum, and you can make some progress. But how hopeless it can seem to ever get ahead. God bless those who are frightened tonight for money reasons. May they make good choices and have the strength they need to keep going.