This Is Why Poor People's Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense | Linda Tirado:

I make a lot of poor financial decisions. None of them matter, in the long term. I will never not be poor, so what does it matter if I don't pay a thing and a half this week instead of just one thing? It's not like the sacrifice will result in improved circumstances; the thing holding me back isn't that I blow five bucks at Wendy's. It's that now that I have proven that I am a Poor Person that is all that I am or ever will be. It is not worth it to me to live a bleak life devoid of small pleasures so that one day I can make a single large purchase. I will never have large pleasures to hold on to. There's a certain pull to live what bits of life you can while there's money in your pocket, because no matter how responsible you are you will be broke in three days anyway. When you never have enough money it ceases to have meaning. I imagine having a lot of it is the same thing.

Reminds me of Ice-T's "Escape from the Killing Fields".  You don't have to think she's talking great sense, but I think it's only fair to assume she's talking from experience.  Even if it's ostensibly smarter to be careful with your cash, how many times does it have to seem like saving doesn't work out before you start believing it's not worth the trouble?  Her explanation for tobacco as the best way to self-medicate also seems, if not particularly smart, at least arguable.

Being poor fosters (not creates; fosters) specific mindsets that, like hunger, you have to experience to understand.

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