An eye-opening aspect of poverty is one becomes directly attuned to the need for security and the lack of need for unnecessary items (those beyond food, shelter, and basic clothing).
Last month I was able to pay back a dear friend who helped me financially and emotionally during those dark, jobless times of the past two years. This month, I paid the final tuition bill due from my grad program (which I finished in 2015!). Yay! I've been able to sock away a large amount of my paycheck, simply because I refuse to spend money on things that are not a necessity. Of course, I've always been good at saving ---and then spending my savings LOL! I keep my monthly expenditures low so that I can save 25-50% of my paycheck. Yes, I've always done this. No, I do not have a massive savings, though.
Anyway, that's TMI. I am good at saving because I have the ability to be parsimonious with my income.
The point is, when it comes down to it, do I really need that $400 poofy chair I want, or can I find one for on Craigslist for less than one-quarter of that amount? Same for desk and bookcases. I have discovered the attraction of garage sales!
My income is considered "low income" (What do you expect? I am a teacher and the majority of Americans do not value quality education for their children, or the median income of an educator would be $75k!). It's even worse when compared to others my age with similar education and experience. However, let me restate emphatically how grateful I am for my current teaching post and how much I enjoy what I do, so that -- while the dollars DO matter A LOT! -- I am grateful for the salary base I receive! It is ENOUGH and I HAVE WHAT I NEED.
Yup, I am sooooo grateful for financial prosperity! I will find the bed frame and chair I want, when it comes along, and in the meantime, will sock away copious amounts of money. I certainly can't carry that chair on a thru-hike in the Ozarks, and I can't sleep in that bed when I vaca in Hawaii!!
What's important? Gratitude for what I have, knowing it is enough.