The study’s authors concluded that being poor is far more than a money problem; it’s a mental function issue. Living in poverty is stressful, hard work, and to many, embarrassing. All of this together drains the person of mental bandwidth and causes decreases in function. In other words, they’re so mentally tired from living in poverty, they don’t have the energy to do anything else—like go to school, be more involved in their children’s’ lives, or even remember to pay their bills on time.
“When your bandwidth is loaded, in the case of the poor,” [study author] Shafir says, “you’re just more likely to not notice things, you’re more likely to not resist things you ought to resist, you’re more likely to forget things, you’re going to have less patience, less attention to devote to your children when they come back from school.”
How often have you heard that the poor just need to work harder? How often have you secretly thought of them as lazy or don’t take pride in themselves?
This Applies to Everybody
Think of yourself for a minute. Are you still in debt because you can’t seem to break the spending habits that you know are destructive? Are you not earning more because you don’t have the energy to take those college classes you know will result in a higher salary? Are you down on yourself because if you’re honest you just don’t care enough to try harder?
This study sheds some light on why. Maybe you need to free up some bandwidth.
And let’s remember that giving back to those that need help is always a central theme of building your financial kingdom. Let’s not see those less fortunate as lazy. Let’s figure out ways to free up some of their bandwidth and help them better themselves.
Have a question about something going on with your money? Click below to ask me. I respond to all questions.