The Poverty Cycle: Why It’s So Hard to Break Out

Saving is not easy, but avoiding or escaping financial hardship is necessary. There are a lot of different opinions about how to succeed. Is saving a viable option to move out of poverty to the middle class? Recently, people weighed in about whether saving is the key or if other factors come into play.

It’s A Losing Game

Saving out of poverty is more complex and challenging than many realize. A user, who we’ll call Stephanie, shared her experience climbing out of poverty. At sixteen, she lived off government assistance while managing school, a part-time job, and struggling with depression.

In her opinion, there is no possible way to escape poverty through saving. Though she tried to save five dollars a week, all it took was her heater breaking. Then that money she saved went to repairs.

Financial problems she did not foresee inevitably ate what little funds she put aside. She broke down how she made $500 every two weeks, then later on disability $870, and how fast that money disappeared.

Rent, gas, utilities, internet, car insurance, food, and so on devour income. What little remains for saving vanishes when an unseen expense crops up. This is also someone who rarely bought clothes and never socialized in a manner that would require money.

To Save Money, You Need A Surplus

Fortunately, Stephanie expressed “getting lucky” with a job with a better salary, and that’s when she could save. In her opinion, that is the only way to climb out of poverty. It’s not people overspending or laziness, but an impossible task because you have “less money than it costs to live.”

With two children, Stephanie focuses on cutting extra expenses rather than earning more. She also wisely teaches her children how to manage finances. But she remembers saving when you lack money to survive is futile.

The consensus for a few commenters is the same. It’s just logical. You remain destitute if you do not have enough to cover basic living costs. They agree that a job with a higher salary is “the best route.” Frugality and budgeting only come into play after you can meet necessities and have funds left over.

Ignoring Societal Issues

Debates around savings ties into another claim, as one commenter points out. Minimum wage and blaming the poor for being poor. Rather than addressing how a society with a surplus of wealthy people still has others below the poverty line, they blame poor people for any frivolous purchase.

They blame wasteful spending on “unnecessary things” like “daily lattes and avocado toast.” As another user states, it’s “easier to blame the victim.” Then there’s no work needed from society as a whole.

The effort rests with the poor. It’s the “bootstrap” argument that implies hard work equals success. So if you’re unsuccessful, you are at fault. Unfortunately, some people still believe this.

Choosing to Be Poor

It is a strange claim that people living on government aid avoid jobs that pay well so they do not lose assistance. One user claimed Stephanie chose to work just enough for this specific purpose.

Military to the Rescue

Regarding jobs, some users opted for the military as their ticket out of poverty. After all, as a military member, you receive the necessities from medical coverage to housing to food, even covering the costs of a college education.

One such individual even calls the military a “powerful social equalizer.” Though, as another pointed out, it’s sad if joining the military is the only option. Overall the consensus is you avoid poverty by saving. Income above living expenses is essential.