Being poor is always feeling as if you don't have enough. And when you get a windfall – a tax refund, a side venture that pays well, or some random act of generosity that removes the load for a moment – it feels like a roller coaster. Everything is fine for the time being. The hunger is at least subdued for a few moments. But then it comes back with a vengeance and nothing can stop it this time.
The lack of security makes you do things against your better judgment. If you have kids, you probably work when you could be resting or taking care of yourself. If something goes wrong at your job, you're not going to have any protection. You're going to need to keep working even though you may be sick or injured.
It's also what drives people into debt. If you don't have any money, why would anyone give you more of their own? As soon as you start getting checks from somewhere, you need to spend them immediately or else they'll go down in value. There's no way to save up for anything important.
At some point, if you don't fix your finances, you're going to end up broke. Maybe you will get a small inheritance here and there, but eventually everything will be gone. At that point, you'll need to start all over again.
There are good times and bad times to be poor.
Being impoverished feels like being hungry, and hunger is what motivates some individuals. It motivates people to do whatever it takes to satisfy their hunger. They work harder, pursuing what they (believe) they need to do to never feel that rumbly in their tumbly again. For others, it causes them to act out, to drink too much, to use drugs—anything they think will make them feel better about their situation.
There are also those who become poor suddenly. Sometimes this happens because of a job loss or other financial hardship, but sometimes it's because one has done something wrong, such as stolen money or sold drugs. In either case, being impoverished means having nothing left over at the end of each day to pay for food and shelter. It means living in constant fear of the police coming to take you away.
Some families have more than one member living in poverty. Many times, there are several children who live in poverty because there aren't enough resources available to meet everyone's needs.
It is hard to explain to someone who has never been poor. Most rich people have no idea how it feels to lack certain things—such as money, food, a place to sleep—and so they cannot understand why anyone would want to be poor. As far as they're concerned, being poor is a choice you make when you decide not to work hard enough or try enough opportunities that come your way.
Being impoverished makes you hungry, and hunger drives certain individuals. It develops an attitude that is difficult to shake (even if you are no longer officially impoverished.) Poverty is a state of perpetual insecurity. Poverty is having to choose between food and energy. Having nothing left over means you were successful at spending your every last penny until it was gone.
Poverty can destroy your will to live. When you lack even the most basic necessities of life, there are times when you may want to give up hope. But poverty doesn't have to beat you down; there are ways out. All it takes is someone to help.
The feelings of poverty are similar across countries with different levels of income. They know how it feels to be without money for food or heat.
However, these feelings are experienced differently depending on where you live. In some countries people suffer from poverty by being unable to afford sufficient food, while in others this problem might be solved by having enough wealth to buy luxury goods. For example, in America poor people often turn to fast food because they cannot afford healthier options. Here health problems related to poverty are not only common but also very serious; one in five Americans lives in poverty or near poverty.
In Europe, on the other hand, poverty tends to be more of an issue for families than individuals.