Saturday, March 21, 2009

Perpetual Poverty

Is Poverty a Disease?
Is poverty a disease without a cure?
The same people coming to see what it’s all about on a field trip tour
Is poverty something that infects the whole body and soul?
Is it one big black burning coal?
Is it generational?
Or invitational?
Poverty to me has several definitions
Similar to someone with many different dispositions
Poverty is generational and invitational
Constantly pulling you from experiencing something sensational
It’s a state of mind and being
Bars on your mind and blinders on your eyes keeping you from seeing
Is poverty a Disease?
Poverty is not just those who don’t have a job
Or sit around a dirty house like a slob
Poverty doesn’t define who you are or where you are going
Unless you enlist and are easygoing
Poverty is not just the children who go hungry and without proper shoes
Or those who stand on the corner with a sign seemingly a little confused
Poverty is those who work and never have money
Those who spend frivolously and chuckle because it’s funny
Poverty is equal to ignorance and lack of esteem
Thinking some things are harder than they seem
Poverty is the income cap the government lays out
Turning of the heads in clout
Poverty is not just those who stand in the welfare line
But also those who work hard and still don’t have food all the time
Poverty is those who sleep under the bridge
Even those who have nothing in the fridge
Poverty is not just a physical condition
It simply infiltrates a person’s mind and how they make a decision
Poverty is not something you desire or pursue
Although that’s believed and very taboo
Poverty is not a disease, because it can be altered and changed
Your life being completely rearranged
Generational poverty can be broken
But with more than a few words spoken
It’s a transition from ignorance to understanding Goals setting and planning
Becoming literate on many levels
Defeating so many devils
Poverty could have been your start, but shouldn’t be your end
There’s another purpose you must seek to comprehend
Poverty can be overcome through determination
And the building of a solid foundation
Is poverty a disease? Or is there a larger purpose in life you need to appease?

© 2009 By Ilana Diallo

Friday, May 11, 2007

'Working Poor'

Ever feel like you work to come home everyday and still be poor? That’s what many Americans feel day in and day out. This class of people is hanging in an invisible place in society. The ‘working poor’ are seen everyday taking your phone calls and servicing you across this nation.

I strongly believe that this class has the potential to be seen in an incredible way if they could somehow be pulled from their financial ‘rut’. This ‘rut’ is harder than many on the outside can see. These people work hard everyday and come home to various basic needs in their families that still need more from them. It’s said for them to get a better a job, work another job, or just save money. If this were as easy as it seems we wouldn’t be considered the ‘working poor class’.

Here are some strategies I found to work for many individuals and may assist you as well:

Evaluate your complete financial status
Evaluate your skills
Identify strengths and weaknesses
Set goals
Find support
Set action plans
Achieve what seemed to be unattainable

Evaluate your complete financial status

Doing an evaluation can seem somewhat complicated and that is because it truly is. There are usually so many components involved in making an appropriate estimation of your finances. Typically you will gather all your current and past due bills, all your assets, calculating all liquid assets, reviewing current incomes and current living expenses. Then as you calculate them all you get a debt to income ratio that allows you to see exactly where you are financially.

Evaluate your skills

This may or may not be simple depending on how in depth you want to go with it. This can simply be done through a skills assessment tool or just simply identifying skills by writing or listing them out. Then you can see what type of abilities you truly have and generally it’s more than what you initially expect.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses

This is based on your skill ability and also your lack of certain skill ability

Set goals

Setting goals helps you to define purpose in your life and can feel very rewarding. This is where you set personal, family, career, and financial goals.

Set action plans

Action planning allows you to strategize how you will go about accomplishing your goals. It usually entails simple and complex steps to carrying out the goals set.

Achieve what seemed to be unattainable

This last step is watching yourself grow and succeed in your goals. Celebration happens here!

Though I made this appear to be very simple I know it is not. I am a financial consultant and these are all steps I walk my clients through personal consultations as well as the classes and seminars where I speak. If you would like further information on obtaining this type of assistance please feel free to contact me at or visit me at .

Rambling on Finances and society

When observing people and society in general around me I see so much financial devastation in families and homes across the US. As I ponder more extensively on this issue it makes me want to understand this dilemma even more.

Researching where this all begins seems so very simple but yet its is so perpetual you wonder if it will ever stop. Young people are encouraged to succeed and attend college and further their careers and yet funding for college is decreasing and student loans increasing in the last few years. There is a rise in the instant gratification in this generation causing then to lean towards obtaining things including money the fastest way possible. With no universal financial responsibility being bred into them they quickly find themselves in substantial amount of debt upon graduation. Due to this it creates the need to obtain more credit to keep the image of success. Consequently we have new families dealing with debt!

There are many programs out there that were once developed to assist the moderate to low income families in maintaining goals, but these programs have been misused and abused causing them to cut funding and some programs altogether. Now you see a population of people swamped in debt or leaving far beyond their means.

I have seen so many families that have cable, internet, cell phones for everyone in the family, fancy cars, new clothes constantly, rent beautiful furniture and entertainment items and yet are still in financial crisis. These families are filling up the food bank lines, rental assistance programs, and high electricity bills. The priorities are not in alignment.

There is an overall perception that if you have these things you must be doing well, but this is a misperception. Many individuals are such in a rush to obtain things NOW that they fail to prepare for the future or set goals.

For example, you have a single mother of 2 children who is on section 8, receives a little food stamps, works a low wage full time job, receives childcare assistance and never has anything for emergencies and thus constantly broke. Immediately hearing that you feel a little sympathetic towards her, but she has $70 cable bill, house phone for $30, cell phone for $60, internet bill for $50, rental furniture for $140, car payment of $250, and spends at least $75 on clothes every month. This alone costs her $675 which is one paycheck. Then she has $350 rent, $50 electric, $ 150 gas for car, $75 additional in food, and $50 childcare bill. This puts her negative $25 and we haven’t touched her credit card bills yet. This is the type of juggling act that most do. If even two luxury items were taken away she would live with enough money to cover items and have some small savings.

I am not attempting to be harsh in anyway as I was a single mother of 2 children for 8 years. I understand the challenges of living on one income and taking care of all the needs in the home with no support. This is sometimes not an avoidable situation and thus the person may feel hopeless.

I believe that there are strategies for every household that are achievable if they are willing to make the changes that are needed to attain to the financial and life goals.