Conversation with a Poor Person

Poor:  I have $78.  I get paid Wednesday.  I get $1300.  I’m gonna buy a window.  $150 and I can get a $15 discount.

Me:  Do you have any savings?  Don’t you need savings?  That windows been broken for a while.

Poor:  You don’t understand – I’m bored.  It gives me something to do.  The county inspector is going to give me trouble if I don’t fix it. [long ramble]

Me: But some bullshit always comes up.  The program I taught said to save a thousand dollars.

Poor:  I know you’ve read something in a book.  I have a credit card with a $5000 limit.  If something happens, like if the transmission on my sports car goes out, I can use the credit card.  The problem is, I don’t make any money. [long ramble]

Me: [Gives up]

Telling somebody to save $1000 when their life is boring and they make no money… it’s an uphill battle.  He would first have to believe that he had something to learn about managing money, but he doesn’t believe that.  It’s very dangerous for a person to believe that they are competent, because it closes you off from positive change.

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