Today’s guest post comes from Brianna over at The Rookie Wife.
My husband and I met when we were 19-years-old. By the time we were 20, we were engaged, and at 21 we were newlyweds. Shortly before my husband’s 23rd birthday I gave birth to our first child, a little girl named Penelope. We were both 22, and in 3 short years, we’d come very far.
By Canadian standards, we’re poor. So poor in fact, that we’re living below the poverty line. We’re both university graduates, but while my husband completes a ministry internship and I stay at home to raise Penelope, our income is limited.
What does the life of a poor Canadian family look like? I can only speak for our family, but here’s a quick picture.
1. We have a home. Right now we’re living with my mom to build our savings, but in 6-weeks we’ll be moving to a 2-bedroom basement apartment in a nice neighborhood.
2. We have food. In order to pay for our groceries, we’ll have to eat a lot healthier than the average North American family. We’ll be turning semi-vegetarian since we can’t afford meat 7-nights a week. We’ll be forgoing packaged and processed foods for whole and home-made alternatives.
3. We have a car. We were pretty blessed at our wedding, and used the money received as gifts to purchase a family sedan. We don’t have a car payment, but much of our income does go towards insuring and running this little luxury. We know that if we ever get stuck financially we can sell it and cut this huge expense.
4. We have clothes. We have clothes, and lots of them. My husband’s clothing collection is significantly larger than mine, but I still have enough. Even when I was pregnant I had some great maternity outfits. We have some great second hand shops nearby, and I can make some quick cash by selling old clothes and buying some new (used) ones.
5. We have other luxuries too. Like a cell phone (but not a home phone, and just one cell), a TV (but no cable), a laptop, plenty of furniture, plus we have access to some amazing libraries nearby where we borrow lots of books and movies for free!
Perhaps compared to other Canadians we’re poor. We don’t have cable. We don’t have the fanciest car. We don’t have brand-new electronics. We can’t afford to buy whatever we want at the grocery store. But, who cares? I forgot to mention one other thing that we do have though:
6. We have each other. At the end of the day when I’m sick of wearing the same old pants because they’re the only pants that fit me, and I can’t buy new ones, I remember this little fact. I remember that I met my husband at 19 and I married him and we live in this house and we love each other. I remember that we made this little girl and she’s sleeping in the room next to us and she has my mouth and my husband’s nose. I remember this all, and I smile and remind myself that I’m not poor at all. Then, I take off my only pants and walk around in my underwear.
It’s better that way anyway.