How to Navigate Away From Poverty Trauma

Navigate Away from Poverty Trauma BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of latinamoneymoms.com

The United States began keeping track of poverty numbers in 1960. The US Department of Health and Human services dictates the federal poverty line, which stands at $26,200 for a family of 4 people. 

In December 2020, a Washington Post article reported that 8,000,000 Americans had been struck by financial hardship. 

The impact of Coronavirus has slaughtered the labor market, and despite businesses slowly opening, the poverty rate has skyrocketed to 11.7% across the country. The numbers are staggering and scary, particularly when we consider the children of families living in scarcity. 

Millions are behind in rent and rely on food pantries while children are home, needing more meals. It is a perfect storm for a new generation of children growing up with poverty trauma.

Deficiency creates stress and a general feeling of unhealthiness. Families across the country struggle to eat, stay clothed, pay bills and buy bare essentials that help keep a roof over their head. 

The long-lasting effects of the hardship of this type trickle into adulthood, creating extensive financial insecurities throughout people’s lives. Limited or no healthcare, constant moving due to evictions, living in high crime areas for lack of resources are all consequences of deprivation that lead to overwhelming distress. 

These factors can produce a perfect storm. It leaves victims feeling like either will never have anything, not enough, or worse, live with the perception, they themselves are not worthy of abundance.

Like other types of trauma, it is challenging to get out of your own way, but people can learn to shift their mindset and overcome poverty trauma. Changing perspective is a matter of thinking about money differently. The ability to deal with adverse effects such as the anxieties from scarcity, fear of an inability to provide in the future is key to finding a healthy resolution to thoughts about money.

Insecurity of any kind can overwhelm us to the point of taking away our power, but we have control. There are a few steps to navigate away from poverty trauma and begin manifesting financial security.

Financial literacy to overcome poverty trauma

Basic financial literacy is critical to economic stability. Growing up, I did not receive any classes to help me learn about money. My mother talked to me about savings, paying bills, debt, credit scores, and the importance of earnings. Reading and learning from others about finances is essential if you want to do better. Don’t be afraid of picking up books, classes, and resources that empower you. Once you acquire financial literacy, it can be passed on to your children and will never go to waste.

Understanding the Art of Budgeting

How you manage money, from how you earn to spend, directly impacts your life. This is where the value of money, setting goals, and developing a plan for reaching the desired stability comes into play. Learn about how to go about saving for a rainy day.  Do the numbers. You would be surprised what saving $20 per week can do over time.

Create Your Own Vision for the Future

The past doesn’t determine your future. However, what you do now will make a difference. You have to believe that you have a right to a decent life filled with dignity. It is also necessary to envision the life you want to create and do the work required. Be consistent with your actions, beliefs, and thoughts because it drives your objectives. A positive perspective encourages good mental health, which is a necessary part of creating a vision.

The attitudes about money and how people relate to it play a role in how they think about it.  Power, freedom, or security are all connected to money.  The different relationships with money affect the way we approach finances. It can be a difficult topic of conversation. If you add poverty trauma, it becomes much more intimidating. 

We fear that which we do not understand. Learning to understand the many aspects of finances helps you build a healthier relationship with money. Knowledge is power; it can eliminate the mystery behind it all and give you the confidence to shape your own financial security.

There are simple things to start doing today in order to gain financial independence and overcome poverty trauma. Debt holds people back with its ballooning interest rates. One of the best actions to take is to bring down credit card balances then eliminate overspending. 

Living within means and saving dollars are additional tools that will improve the future economic outlook. Manifesting financial security begins with you. It is achievable by doing your due diligence and accepting that you play a major part in your financial success.