Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The One With Blog Action Day

I'm taking a break from my normal mutterings today. You won't hear me whining about lack of sleep, gushing over my pretty new pictures, or stressing over the separation from my husband.

Today is Blog Action Day and I'm joining thousands of bloggers to discuss one unified topic: poverty. Last year I blogged on Blog Action Day as well, and we talked about the environment...going green! Today we're talking about the lack of having green.

The angle I'm going to write about poverty from is personal. Have you ever lived below the poverty level?

I'm not living below the poverty level now but I'm not wallpapering my bathroom with money either. I did live below the poverty line, and even recently. In 2006, I was in my first year of marriage to David. I was pregnant with Naomi and very and out of the hospital. I was finishing up my Bachelor's degree which I completed in August of that year. David has a high school diploma but no higher education and he was working at a job...the best one he could Wal-Mart. We barely survived that year under the poverty level. Making 14,000 that year for a family of 3/4 (Naomi, of course, after October, and prior to that just me, David, and Nathan) was a tough feat.

That was a tough year and that was with an apartment that was only costing us $400 a month and NO car payments!

David found a better job after Naomi was born. But I think often of all of the people still trying to support their families on a retail, fast food, or factory income. Yes, it stresses the importance of higher education but that can't be solved overnight. Now that David has the GI Bill he can further his education and have a better job one day.

I think the responsibility lies many places.

We as parents should stress higher education so that our children have a stronger footing to start out on (ever heard the expression, "Insist on University" ?

Young adults should understand the importance of learning a trade or getting a degree so that they will make enough once they have a family to support.

These large companies, like Wal-Mart, should pay their employees fairly. Statistics indicate that about 46% of Wal-Mart employees are on Medicaid. That is a shame. I'm not picking on our nation's largest retailer, either. They simply should be setting the bar higher, that's all.

This is what I have to say to you, bloggers. Please live below your means if you can! People driving around in cars with car payments they can't afford and living in houses that are beautiful to live in but the payments are's so easy to teeter on that line. Predatory lending by way of mortgages that never should have happened, 29% interest on cars and credit cards, and payday loan scam places; that's where our working poor lives. And the only way to rise above is to make more or spend less.

If making more isn't an option, then it's time to buckle down. For so many of us, the effort to eliminate poverty starts at home.




Bev said...

You are so right! I have never lived below poverty level and I can't even imagine. My husband and I are trying to get our debts in order so we do not have to squeek by! I also believe we should take care of our own first before we look elsewhere because there are so many families here that need help!

Ellie said...

I totally agree with you. We've recently come close to a money meltdown but caught it just in time. I wish everyone would read your post!

JanMary said...

Great post.

With today's current economic crisis, no-one really knows if they might suddenly find themselves in this situation.

Jennifer said...

Awesome post. :) Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Great post Lena. Thank you for letting us know about this.

BaKsKaF said...

I had never heard of blog action day.. interesting. TY for posting about it.

Vanessa said...

Great post Lena.

Onescrappymom said...

Wonderful eye opening post Lena!! It's so true!! We've made so many cuts and continue too just to make sure that we are not living "above" our means.

Angie (mighty-nice) said...

Very insightful post - thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience.

Visiting via the DST blog train - you can visit me here: htpp://

Kresta said...

Great advice to live below your means. Our pastor encourages living on 80% of your means - with 10% going to tithe (church or some other ministry or charity) and 10% going into savings.