In the immortal words of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, “It’s no great shame to be poor. But it’s no great honor, either!”
It can, however, come in handy.
Before I go any further, here’s the obligatory disclaimer: I know some will quibble with any American calling himself poor. Our family never goes hungry, and we have a roof over our heads and shoes on our feet, plus all sorts of luxuries (two vehicles, internet, Netflix, and the occasional emotional health-related trip to the liquor store). So, no: compared to a huge percentage of the world’s population, we Fishers are not poor. At all.
However, we have to think about money constantly, and probably always will. Sometimes we have a little extra, and then we have to think think think: should we use it to pay down debt? Take the kids to the zoo (and maybe even bring them home again, heh heh heh)? Sock it away in case the tailpipe falls off again? Send it to India? Replace the couch with one that doesn’t make guests cringe when we say, “Have a seat?” These would all be valid expenditures—but, just like the Highlander says, there can be only one.
Read more here.