We’re Poor, But Not Really. {A Guest Post}

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.




  1. WOW !!! What an awesome post, a reminder that just because we are not rich according to the world’s standards, doesn’t mean we are poor. Thanks, I needed this reminder today.

  2. It really blessed my heart right now since I AM DOING OUR FINANCES RIGHT NOW and my prayer is “never ending oil, Lord, never ending oil” as I give my anxiety over and over to Him again and again every. minute..
    We have 3 little ones and I hope they never feel “poor”, but content.
    Like you, we have a not fancy but nice 3 bedroom home with a TV and laptop but no cable, one cell phone (the no frills kind), and no one has any personal game device of any kind – but we did save up and get an Xbox for them.
    We own (without car payments) one car that hubby fixes and fixes and fixes, used and donated clothes that we are grateful for and food, it may not be our favorite stuff, but I found a site called recipematcher.com that takes what I have at a given time and gives me recipes for it, since I’ll get donated food too and you never know what that will be.
    And if the clothes don’t fit then that’s less laundry, right?
    Thank you for reminding me to look at all we do have, and be glad for how we’ve been able to cut corners so that we can stay home with or kids – cause that really is the richest blessing.
    Michelle Pf recently posted..In the name of education.My Profile

  3. well, I live in a country where apparently you are considered poor if you don’t own a color tv and go on vacation at least once a year!!
    I remember reading this in the media at some point and just thinking “seriously? they have GOT to be kidding?!”
    Are those really our standards, are we really arrogant enough to speak about being poor if you can’t go on a yearly vacation?

    People are even able to complain about beeing poor when they are on welfare – when the average welfare is well over 1500 dollars/month!! But obviously, in any case where the money is short, you’ll have to cut a lot of expenses and when people don’t do that as a conscious choice, naturally it is perceived as poverty…

    We are also on one income most of the time, and we probably live on about half of what the average family does. But call ourselves poor? Not by a long shot…

  4. Love this! We are in the “poor but not really” camp too – we’re paying off a BUNCH of credit-card debt, so we’re going without in as many ways as we can to hit that hard, but our “going without” is just like you describe. There’s clothing. There’s food. There’s heat. There are warm blankets and small “just for fun” splurges like a movie. And it blows me away how blessed we are!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts so well.
    Joan recently posted..Screen learning: Some of our recent movie findsMy Profile

  5. okay, i don’t know you, but i have to say this~i love you! thank you soooo much for writing this and being honest about your true thought process. sometimes i feel like the only one and i am more thankful than i can say to know i am not alone and i am also not dumb! haha! thanks <3

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