Poverty makes you stupid

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Have you ever worried about money? And by worried, I mean been consumed by the thoughts of how you’re going to get food on the table?

It’s all consuming isn’t it? It’s exhausting and you cannot think about anything else, because your survival instinct has taken over and won’t let you think about anything else.

It all made sense then when I read a Princeton study released this week about poverty and how worrying about money fries your the parts of your brain needed to make smart decisions to get out of the shit you might be in.

You actually lose mental bandwidth when you’re financially challenged and cannot think clearly.

On average, a person preoccupied with money problems exhibited a drop in cognitive function similar to a 13-point dip in IQ, or the loss of an entire night’s sleep.

Yeah.

I know.

Anguishing about money nearly killed me once.  Not being able to take care of your children is the worst thing in the world and I feel for anyone who finds themselves in this dire situation. Trust me, it can happen to anyone; never assume you’re immune.

The thing is, when I was in the worst part of my financial shit fight, I made some of the stupidest decisions. I wasn’t smart. At least now I know why. My brain was frying.

I was thinking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If you work from the bottom to the top, one thing leads to another but if the physiological isn’t met then you ain’t got nothing in life.

It’s difficult to dream when you can’t imagine where your next meal will come from.

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I don’t have any answers to this problems. I think that if you’re facing financial challenges, try and access to any support you can. For example; putting reminders on your calendar so you don’t forget things, because worry makes you forgetful.

Ask friends or family for help, not just financially but perhaps time in which to try and better your existence, or even meals can help. 🙂

And don’t worry what people think of you. If they judge you,  then they’re arseholes and not worthy of your friendship.

Look at your life and realise it’s not working. Change it. Move somewhere smaller, sell your house, cut costs, sell things, do whatever you need to do to survive but most of all, ask for advice. Don’t make big decisions without advice, because chances are, you might be making the wrong one, because your brain is pickled.

And remember, this too will pass.

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