One of the great advantages to being financially impoverished is that you really can't get sucked up in a time-honored American spending orgy: Black Friday. Today millions of Americans got up at the crack of dawn to race to various stores to take advantage of big sales and massive discounts. Some of these purchases will be for items truly needed -- most of them won't. No, most purchases will be for worthless crap that will be forgotten about or tossed aside a few weeks after Christmas.
When we were still moderately poor, it was hard not to be pulled into the vortex of consumerism. We all are bombarded by imagery that suggests in the strongest terms possible that it is purchased things which define us to others and even ourselves. You can't be happy UNLESS you own one or more of the current "must have" products.
Yes, we continue to be peppered with this same vulgar message, but a certain level of poverty provides needed refuge from the "infection". Simply put, even if we wanted in on the feeding frenzy, we just don't have the money AND we refuse to buy on credit. While others are out wading their way through crowds of discount-mad fellow shoppers, we aren't going anywhere. Aside from dodging the occasional harried motorist, today will be a typical Friday.