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I'm So Tired Of Struggling

 I have been poor my whole life. In a nation as wealthy as America, i often feel like i don't fit in. My friends will say things like, "i'm so broke," while they have $4,000 in their savings account and parents who will hand them cash whenever they want it. Everything i see, read, or hear about is geared towards the middle or upper classes. The working poor are simply ignored.

I moved out on my own at 16 years old due to a bad family situation. I had to drop out of school to do it. I have been working full-time pretty much ever since. At 25, i went back to school, as i felt it was my only way out. I'm still there, at 28, entirely on loans and very small grants. Although i go the most inexpensive school in my area, I worry constantly about the debt i'm accumulating (it will be around $30,000 when all's said and done). 

I have, at times, resorting to selling my possessions to buy food, and even once, to buy Christmas gifts for my niece. I resorted to much, much worse when i was between 16 and 18, and couldn't legally work without a work permit, which my mother refused to sign.

Being so broke often compromises my ideals. Any clothes that i can afford are made in sweatshops. I want to buy organic and ethically produced foods, but i have to buy whatever is on sale, generic, or i have a coupon for. There's no room for ideals in my checkbook.

My husband and i both work and go to school full-time. I have the happiest marriage you could ever hope for, and the only thing we ever fight about is money. I had to switch to part-time work this year in order to stay in school. I make about $100 a week. This doesn't even cover groceries for myself, my husband, and our pets.

We live paycheck to paycheck. My teeth are rotting out of my head but i can't afford dental care. I have not had health insurance for 12 years. We just had to go on government health care. I never thought i would be here, at 28, on welfare. I'm doing all the right things, but it never gets better. My husband and i are waiting to have kids until we are financially ready, and who knows if that will ever happen. In order to be responsible, and stay on birth control, i have to have annual gyno exams. My last one cost $775. When the clinic worker told me that if i paid up front i could get a discount, making my exam around $425. When I told her i didn't have $400 in my bank account, she said, "Can't you use mom's credit card?" like it was the most normal question in the world. 

I'm tired. I'm tired of taking the bus. I'm tired of fighting over $30 purchases. I'm tired of worrying. 

I'm tired of struggling just to get by. 

Update: 11/8/13
Thanks to everyone who commented. I appreciate your kind words and shared stories. It's important that these kinds of stories are shared. People need to realize the severity of the problem we as country are facing. 

Well, it's been 4 years since I posted this story and a lot has changed. I'm still happily married and still have my pets (and we're fostering a baby stray right now, too!). I graduated college at the top of my class (4.0 GPA!) after working, doing an unpaid internship, and volunteering while attending school. It was a very hard time but I got through it. 

We moved out of state and I'm working at a non-profit and making $38,000 a year, which is a lot of money to me. The job is stressful and tough, but it pays the bills. The cost of living is very high here, so that salary doesn't go far. Our rent is $1,100 a month (not a great place or neighborhood, either) and my student loan payments are $360 a month. I won't even get into utilities! BUT, things are still better. I have health insurance! I had my teeth fixed! And my furbabies eat the best quality food. I am happy. I don't have much expendable income, but I also don't have to constantly balance the checkbook down to the penny anymore, which is a GIANT weight off my shoulders. 

Things sometimes get better, but they also sometimes get worse, despite doing all the right things. I realize that everything is temporary, and I'm not getting too used to comfort. I do think the US does a terrible job of looking after our poor and working class. The assumption that these people are just lazy and have all the latest high-tech gadgets and just prioritize badly is flat out WRONG. Calling things like doctor visits "frivolous expenses" is just as wrong. Working class people in this country need job security, a living wage, and the ability to retire with dignity. That is not asking much.

At one point in time in this country, you could support a family of 4 with a factory job. That is not the case anymore. It's time we look at what has caused this change and reverse it. Working people should not have to resort to welfare. Not here. Not ever. 

Sending positive thoughts to all those who commented and those who are also fighting to keep your head above water. I hope the winds change in your favor and you don't have to struggle anymore. Hang in there <3 


Mistletoe10 Mistletoe10 26-30, F 117 Responses Nov 17, 2009

Your Response


Omg, i feel for your story. Ever since I graduated I have been struggling financially. Even when I had my first job I had it r ough , barely got through. I was so depressed at the job I had to quit. I was unemployed for almost 1,5 year til I got my another job wich sadly only lasted last year til Summer, I t was more paid than my other job now im on square one again :( on unemployment and so freakin tired of it. I want to travel , I want to earn money like anyone else!!! I apply job after job...not even a single interview. I hope its gonna turn around. This is no way of living. I want the best for my furbabies and me ^^

Thats a great article,helped alot

Thank you for your story. I needed to read this. I'm also struggling as a wife and mother to one child. I was recently laid off. I have a Master's Degree and far from lazy but had to apply for government assistance. The humility I faced while putting the pen to the paper when applying. You're treated differently and looked down upon. Something is wrong with our economy. We pay athletes and celebrities too much $. Who's helping the working class? I'm a believer things will change because I'm tired of the sleepless nights and tears.

Positive thinker,

I'm poor too
But also a founder & CEO of a company
I never earned anything from my Company.
I fight with my parents, I fight with my girlfriend.
I live a low life with big hopes.
I see big people and cry on bed.
Sometimes I feel like committing suicidethen I remember the face of my mom
I don't wannahurt my family
I tried to earn some on fiverr but I just earned 40$ in 6 months
My life is waste I'm 24 yr old guy

I don't have a single friend and I'm always sitting at home and gaining weight. I hardly get a call on my iPhone.

I need help with my teeth and I don't have the money to get them work on please help me.

I completely understand what your going through. Even though honestly I'm not sure your going to even see my post because this post was up years ago you put up. I moved in September with my boyfriend at the time now fiancé to North Carolina we were staying with my friend and her mother at there place. I moved out of my parents place in new york so did my fiancé. In new York I worked in a department store for 9 years. I applied to a few in North Carolina. A lot of them just plain told me I'm not the right fit which I don't understand. My fiancé worked in an animal hospital in New York and the one here told him they would consider him but didn't need the help. My fiancé and I were out a lot looking for jobs and my friend didn't luke that so she basically just kicked us out one day. We slept in the car one night but my fiancé got a hold of his parents who offered us to western union is money to find a place to stay since I had an interview the following day and wanted to shower and not sleep in the car. We had stayed at a motel for a few weeks and I found a job. Unfortunately at my job I got harassed and constantly made fun of and when I spoke to management about it they seemed to listen but not care much. So I ended up leaving that job my fiancé and I were looking for other work my fiancé got some money from his disability check so we got an apartment. We also have food stamps but they run out pretty fast. My fiancé recently found a landscaping job which pays pretty well but until we get his paycheck or the disability check comes in we really don't have much. I feel bad for my fiancé he's working lots of hours and there are times when he comes in the door and he's hungry for dinner and we don't have much. We tried making hamburgers the other night but because of our money situation we had to use pans that weren't that great and the burgers messed up. We rely a lot on his paycheck and the disability check and if we need help sometimes his parents will help us otherwise my family doesnt help because they don't like the decision I made when I moved. I hope things will get better. Right now we have not much silverware only a few plates. We have an air mattress we sleep on but no furniture. My fiancé and I both need contact lenses but don't have the money now for them. I am way over due for a doctors appointment and need one. My fiancé needs a doctor also because he takes medication he needs. It's just a mess I hope things get better. I pray everyday and some days I feel it's hopeless. I feel horrible seeing my fiancé upset and saying he failed me. Because I love him so much. So I understand the hard times people are facing believe me!

I feel the same way. I was so poor and frustrated I moved out at 15.. I'm now 25 I've had some ups in my life.. I went to college and did well but have nothing to show for.(had to stop because it was too expensive). All in all I have no way of supporting myself financially. I can't even afford to work right now. (No bus route and my car blew its engine) I'm glad you've found a way out of this hell and I hope to some day be able to look back at all of this. I struggle with thoughts of suicide daily because its the only thing I can do to better my situation. If there is a god he's surely not on my side. I just wish people who have support from their family would appreciate it. Just my experience.

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Hello Mistletoe:), don't know if you will see this, as your post is from years ago, but I just wanted to say that I can relate. I currently live in South Florida (Miami) which has grown to be divided between the "haves" and "have nots"; foreign investment has taken over many areas and subsequently forced many apartment rental prices to skyrocket. Months ago, I lived in a one bedroom, that had no microwave or dishwasher and a cockroach issue (that I did not cause) and I was paying $1000 per month, not including groceries or utilities. Thats just one example. Its quite difficult to find a substantial, safe and nice apartment here for less than a $1000 per month, which is currently out of my budget:(. As yourself, I had recently decided to go back to school, pursuing first an AA, then my BA and possibly an MBA later. While I know that this will no doubt accrue loans and take a few years to complete, Im hoping that I can apply the skills learned to finding a higher paying job, as well as help grow my indie business. In the meantime, I am working for a non profit but the salary is not enough to warrant me living on my own. You're right, it is hard and im doing this without the support of a husband or family for the most part. I also agree that the "minimal wage" or salaries that many earn are not in direct correlation with the costs of living in many cities. Rent is not supposed to be more than about 30% of salary but in Miami, on average, the costs of rent takes up about 43% of incomes! that is ridiculous. The concept of "Middle Class" has grown to such an extent that those who were considered middle class years ago are now on the verge of being considered poor or lower class, just based upon salary. I also can relate to what you mentioned about health/dental/vision insurance. My job offers no benefits (argh!) and so I went plenty of years without proper checkups or dental cleanings etc. Recently, I signed up for dental and vision, while my health insurance is covered by a relative but copays and such are still expensive. Im actually considering moving away once my studies are complete. Its just a tad too stressful living here. Im glad to hear that you successfully completed your studies and with a 4.0!! that is quite an accomplishment, considering all that you were dealing with. I am currently trying to fight against the urge to be depressed, Im living in a 1 bedroom apartment with a relative so its not the most comfortable situation and Im a person that thrives in solitude. Wishing you the best!


I signed up to repost this link: Someone posted it earlier as a way to make more disposable income.

I tried it, and it worked for me (quite well, actually). So I thought it would be good idea to reshare it. I definitely understand the struggle.

Good luck, everyone :)

I have also found it's best not to send the naked pictures of your bottom to them until they actually send you the check. Just saying.

Whoa!!!!! I am literally sitting her crying out of frustration and I google out of desperation and stumbled upon this pretty amazing!
Literally, my story, only we have 4 kids (blended family). The struggle feels unbearable at times. Every time it seems like it's gonna get better, something else happens. Not a stitch of saving, can hardly (well, we really can't make it from one week to the next) it's who can we get an advance from, who is still willing to loan us $ (nobody) my husband is a teacher, can't support your family in a very modest lifestyle on that anymore.all 5 of us are in a 2 bedroom part , sharing 1 car. I'm crying and feeling very helpless and hopeless. I'm worried about the future of my children with our American government today...

Well: I came from a POOR family. I borrowed and put myself through university. It took seven years of education, bartending while attending school full time, and massive debt to pay off afterwards, but now I'M doing fine , thank you very much. Me; I got tired of being poor and helpless. and feeling sorry for myself. Boo hoo, life handed me lemons. I decided It would not be easy, but if I didn't do something for myself nobody else would.






im poor too i wear the same clothes everyday and at the same time i live with 5 people in 1 house plus my babygirl i recently had on the 11th of june and i tried applying for jobs all over my local city but noone wants to hire me and theyr are times that my babygirl has to go without and my fiance doesnt know what to do we tried even selling stuff online but nobody wants to buy what we have so we struggle alot also like everyday we wake up with no food to eat and we also worry about what were going to have for dinner everyday and then we also have problems with money cause we have to pay for other peoples bills and food too and im tired of it .''

I know EXACTLY how you feel! :( First of all, I want to say congratulations on your success. I know how hard school is and for you to have struggled with all that and still get a 4.0 is just an incredible feat you should always be so proud of yourself for!!! Seriously! Anyways, I can so relate to your story because I happened to be born into a welfare family with a single parent mother (she was hit by a semi-truck when I was only seven years old and ever since she has been on welfare). Even though I never expected to be able to afford college, I was able to graduate with my AA (with honors) and I just graduated from a State school with my BA (not 4.0 but 3.5 GPA!!) I was fortunate enough to have some emotional (but not financial) support from my fiance, my grandparents and my fiance's parents. However, now I have $15K in debt. Where I live in California, I just calculated that you would need over 5x the minimum wage to afford a decent apartment (outside the extremely dangerous areas). My fiance has a job in San Francisco and we tried moving out on that salary but we were unable to find a safe place to live even just renting out a single room (most people refuse to rent to couples too fyi) so we were forced to move back in with my grandparents. I'm extremely thankful that they let us move back in but I feel extremely guilty that we had to ask them to do it because I feel at 25 I should be able to afford a decent place to live after graduating University. I am still looking for a job but I haven't been hired yet and the added stress isn't helping. Reading your post really helped me (more than you could ever know) because I am living everyday day to day because I am so ashamed of myself, and I really do think a lot of it boils down to the economy and no cap on rent prices that are at the true root of the problem, but I don't want to be someone who makes excuses for myself. I feel like we are trying to do everything we can (doing everything right) and we are still so behind what was expected of us by now. We are even putting off getting married because we want to be able to get married and have a place to go other than my grandparents house, plus we will have to pay for the entire wedding as neither of our families plan on contributing at all to any wedding expenses. This had made me not even want to look at wedding plans because we can barely afford food. I also have two younger sisters who are doing even worse off because they haven't even gotten through any sort of upper education and are either living at home with my mother (on welfare) or in a half-way house because they have mental illness issues (which runs in my family). I feel so sad and as the oldest sibling I feel a need to look after and nurture my sisters too, so I end up spending more time/energy/money on them than I can honestly afford too. My fiance has been amazing throughout all of this and is my only true best friend, but obviously even he is stressed. He is trying to emotionally AND financially support me while I am still struggling to find a job and I feel bad that its the first time since I left my mom's house that I can't even support myself with basic things like food. We only ever fight about money, and we are living paycheck to paycheck just to pay for basic expenses like food, toiletries, cellphone bills and some rent to my grandparents, but we have no savings to speak of. My personal bank account has less than $100. I say this only because I need to say it to anyone who will listen, because I am so desperately at the end of my rope I am starting to lose hope. I have dreamed for so long to have my own place to call my own (growing up my parents would always taunt me with "when you are 18 you can do anything that you want" only to grow up to 25 and everyday have it ingrained that that was such a lie). I have barely enjoyed a minute of my life because I've spend so much time longing after something that seems to just be a thing of the past - having a car, a house, a family, and a stable job all by the time you are 25. I know from reading online that I'm not the only one who is struggling with these things it just makes me so sad the pain is almost paralyzing. Like you said, I'm just so tired of struggling. I'm so sick and tired of trying to do all the right things and it never being good enough. It has effected my self esteem so much that it is taking every muscle in my body right now not to just give up and do something horrible and irreversible to myself. I've struggled with depression (for which I cannot afford any sort of therapy or medication) and I've often had suicidal thoughts. I have never gotten to the point of acting on these (thank God!) but the sad reality is that they are there. They creep in and are determined to defeat me. I'm trying so hard not to let them win. :'(

Yeah I know how you feel. I have been broke all of my life, too. I started college over ten years ago online because my work schedule wouldn't allow me to take classes on campus. I only need six classes to get my bachelors degree, but I don't have the money to finish it because I have maxed out my financial aid. So i'm still working in the same factory with dramatic co workers. I owe everybody and their grandma. My student loans with interest have accumulated to nearly $80,000 over the past 7 years since I stopped going to school. I have had to put my loans in forbearance, get income based payment plans and everything. I live paycheck to paycheck.

It just sucks being broke. I tried to use my education and money from my income tax refund to start an online business. That was a flop, a waste of time, and a serious waste of my money. It is so discouraging, especially when you really put forth an effort to do the right thing to earn a living, and all you end up doing is just scraping the bottom of the barrel.

To make matters worse, we just got a raise at work, just to find out that our insurance premiums have almost doubled per week. It just seems like we just can not get ahead no matter what.

I know your pain. I have a husband and three kids of my own. Hopefully one day things will get better.

Wow . I know what you mean. Im 57. I work in a factory. I make 40,0000 a year. divorce . single income . Even at 40,000 Im still classified as part of the poor . Im also tired of struggling. I want to retire in 9 years. But most likely won't happened.

Glad things worked out for yall. Im only 21 and been living on my own since 16 also, my mom acts like im not her child just cause i look like my dad and her husband doesn't like me and all my dad does is date girls my age and party. It really sucks not having anyone to go to when things get bad. I cry everyday an pray to god to send me some type of miracle but sometimes i feel like hes not listening at all cause things just seem to get harder and harder by the day. I had a baby at 18 which was the most uncosiderent choice of my life cause now she has to sit here with me and suffer this thing i call life. I hate it cause she doesn't deserve this. I just wish things would change or i can just die. I dont know what to do anymore and it sucks.

I really hateto hear the stories about people doing all the "right" things (go to school, get an education, get a job) and still they're living week to week. If there was a way to have financial freedom or at the very least bring in some extra money, would you be open? There is another way!!!

Sounds exactly like my life, except college never happened. From high school to working, working, working to get by. College was never quite within reach, so....
We send so much aid to other countries & ignore our own who sure could use a boost to get on the road to "middle class," but don't, keeping many of us stuck in the proverbial poor house. How about helping our own first & send what's left to other countries? Seems to me we (US) do too much opposite of what we should be doing.

I am very happy things worked out for you, and I too needed to read your great turn around story. I am also broke, I am married to a beautiful woman and we have four perfect little boys, their ages are 7, 6, 3 and 1, I got injured at work three years ago and I didn't kno at the time that I could file for workmans comp so I just went with the flow, we'll three months after my injury, I developed serious back pain and sciatica. I had to be rushed to the hospital for an emergency surgery. After my surgery I called my boss about workmans comp and he said it was to late. Well he was lying and I never got it, a few months later I had to have another surgery and it didn't work either so I filed for disability and got turned down my first time and didn't know I could reapply till about a year and a half ago so I did and got turned down again even though their doctor said I couldn't work ever again so now I have a lawyer and I am hoping it works out because my wife has to wor and she is only making about 900$ a month and for a family of 6 that isn't near enough wit school and everything else, needless to say me and my wife have been very depressed with all that has happened and I don't like seeing her that way because she is the most beautiful and perfect soulmate a man can ask for. I would appreciate all the prayers I could get right now in this trying time. Thank you for listening .

i can relate to your story im married and have kids to support and yet im not eligible for help . i live paycheck to paycheck , sometimes i feel that im bad luck walking . I would like to go back to school yet i cant afford to . between bills, food, school uniform, and lots of car problems it seems like i get no where. i dont know how people do it , they can help when they dont need it and the people that do seems to be the ones that are not help worthy. I have no credit and cant even get help with that to even build up. no matter what i try it seems to me that when something good happens i take a few weeks step back .

I am so glad that it is working out for you. You are a very strong person.Most people in your shoes would have learned to accept failure or start doing drugs and get into that dark black hole. I am 25 now with a bachelors in business and feel lost and broke, but I am thankful that the internet allows for people like me to read stories like yours and get motivated by them. Be strong and positive always and at the very least you would have said that you tried. Life is never what we expect it to be unless we draw our own path that makes us happy by way of action.

I really hateto hear the stories about people doing all the "right" things (going to school to get an education and a job) and still they're living week to week. If there was a way to have financial freedom or at the very least bring in some extra money, would you be open? There is another way!!!

I will feel it and response

I love that you updated this story. It is nice to hear things turned around for you! I am struggling right now as a single mom of a teenager and I feel like all I do is work to pay the bills and sleep so I can get up the next day and do it all over again! Yippee!

I really hate to hear the stories about people doing all the "right" things (go to school, get an education, get a job) and still living week to week. If there was a way to have financial freedom or at the very least bring in some extra money, would you be open? There is another way!!!

Right now I'm sipping a nice glass of Gin,
And you're so poor you haven't got a pot to **** in!

Is that meant to help?

Yes, you see if you imagine just how rich I am, perhaps you can be one day as well, you rapscallion.

I didn't think I'd meet people like you on here. You're a total A$$hole.

I agree fully with what u said lol what a jerk

You sir, or madam are the real jerk. I wager my horses are more well bred than your lot. Oh! That was a verbal rebuke! Yes Oh! I'm, I'm writing that one down.

Agree! We're all just thrilled to hear how speshul you are. Keep sipping that gin,Karma will take care of you.

You Ms. Cat Jenny should watch your ill-mannered responses and get a job, like most commoners as yourself tend to do. Perhaps something in gardening.


No, I'm sorry sir, you need...oh you're a madam need to watch your manners and behave like a lady. Perhaps if you spent your time investing in the market instead of typing random responses on here you could make something of yourself some day. Stiff upper lip.

You are indeed the real anus, and may I say your language and attitude is not very lady like if that is indeed what you are.

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