A Personal Story About Surviving Poverty

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

Author of Be Ready for Anything and Build a Better Pantry on a Budget online course

I wrote a new book.

If you’ve read my articles or books before, you know that I like to take a personable approach to the advice that I give. Reviews often say that reading my books is like sitting down for a chat with a friend.

Lifestyles of the Flat Broke and Resilient is NOT that kind of book.

Well, not unless you’re looking for a friend who will provide you with sometimes-unpleasant advice based on personal experiences. If you’re looking for a no-holds-barred guide to surviving poverty, this is it. If you are interested in my personal story – the underbelly of it that I don’t normally write about – you may want to read this book.

When I set out to write about this new situation of widespread poverty that many are experiencing for the first time, a friend of mine suggested that I tap into the emotions of my experiences and not just share the facts. He suggested that I share the ugly, dark truth because there are so many people living in that darkness right now. It’s a change for me, because I tend to err on the side of optimism when I write.

But the topic of surviving poverty is different.

Anyway, I took his advice. Because this situation is different. There’s an emotional aspect that is often overlooked.

I wrote about my own dirty little secrets, about the desperation and the shame that goes hand in hand with losing everything.

I wrote about some dark, difficult times I experienced over the years during which I had to make terrible decisions. I’m going to share some memories that are not ones I treasure. In fact, they’re things I pushed to the back of my mind because they were humiliating or painful.

I hope that it helps you realize you aren’t alone. I hope that it demonstrates that this time you may be going through, as hard as it is, will not last forever and that things will one day get better. I hope that it offers suggestions that help you see through the haze of final notices, bill collector harassment, and wondering how you’re going to keep your family from becoming homeless.

This book isn’t for everyone.

This isn’t advice for folks who are just down a few hundred bucks a month. It’s for people who are truly desperate. It’s for those who are trying their best to keep the lights on, some food in their bellies, and a roof over their heads.

This advice is not neatly packaged in a cheerful format.about

It’s not a gentle entry into frugal living. It’s about what to do when you are afraid you and your family will be homeless within a short period of time. It’s about what to do when you literally have no food – not just no food that you like – no food.

It’s pure survival.

Some people will read this book and disapprove. They’ll say my suggestions are unethical or immoral. I submit to you that those people have never been at the level of poverty that the people who need this advice are experiencing. I’m not suggesting anything that is illegal. You are the only one who can determine what is necessary in your situation.

Here’s what you’ll find in Lifestyles of the Flat Broke and Resilient.

Please keep in mind that I’m neither a lawyer nor a financial advisor. This book is about my personal experiences and should not be used in place of professional advice.

  • Part One of the book focuses on the painful stuff: taking responsibility for your situation, figuring out where you’re at, talking with your family about your situation, and handling your emotions.
  • Part Two is about what to do. Consider it a toolbox. Each job does not require every tool in the box. Pick and choose the tools you need.
  • Part Three is about the details – specific information about specific financial categories with which you must deal.
  • Part Four is about putting all this information together. I wanted to share my story and tell you where I’ve been and where it took me.

This wasn’t the easiest book to write. I revisited some dark places. I told you the ugly, embarrassing truth about some terrible times. I relived that despair. It was hard to write. It was scary. The whole time I was writing about these experiences, I wondered what you, the readers would think of me when you learned that I fed my kid from a garbage dumpster or watched my car get towed away by the repo man in the middle of the night or any of a number of horribly embarrassing things that happened during those times. Would you think, wow, I no longer want to read anything she has to say if she let herself get into that position?

But I did it anyway.

I did it for a reason.

If you are going through this, i want you to hold out hope.  I want you to know that I really, truly, understand what you are going through. I want you to know that I had these dreadful experiences, but I got through it. I got through it by doing what I needed to do. I got through it, and you can too.

You can do this.

You can learn more about it and get your copy of the PDF here. I’m not sure yet if there will be a hard copy of this book – it really depends on whether or not it seems to resonate with people. I’m offering it for $6.49 as an introductory price which will go up on Sept. 2. Your purchase of this book helps to support The Organic Prepper website and is greatly appreciated.

As always, if you cannot afford this book, please drop us an email and we will provide it to you at no charge, no questions asked. Use the subject line “Free Book” and email us at books @ theorganicprepper.com  (remove the spaces).  We’ll get that book out to you within 48 hours. Trust me – I know what it’s like not to have a spare $6 to spend and if you think this will help, I want you to have it.

If you get the book, please let me know in the comments what you think of it. Your feedback helps me improve.

Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • Too many books on frugal living and/or FIRE (I am not a promoter nor member of the movement) have a lot of recycled material “cut out your daily lattes”, “pack your own lunch” etc. Few authors are willing to lay out the stark realities of being/living on the edge and except for Nickeland Dimed to Death” , I can’t name one book where the author experienced (albeit for the aforementioned author) came close to being/living on the edge. Kudos to you and it your offer of a free copy to those who don’t have the means to purchase.

  • I truly hope you publish a book form of this! It sounds great, unlike any “I’m Broke” book that I have seen. I don’t have a Kindle or laptop and would love to hold a real book. Also, an EMP event won’t erase it 🙂 I love your blog and have learned a ton of information that I never expected I would need!

  • I purchased the book and cried as I read about some of your experiences during those difficult days. I admire your spirit and conviction to never give up or give in. Thank you for sharing that we may find compassion, strength and guidance. May God bless you and your family!

  • I so understand where your coming from. After my divorce I did everything I could to keep a roof over our heads & food on the table.
    The day came where I just couldn’t do it any more because I lost my job. Then I lost everything.
    But the most hardest & best choice I had to make was to give my child to my sister to care for. They had troubles & hard times of their own & had just enough to take care for her. I had to live on the streets .
    I didn’t tell them that, they were doing all they could to help &
    knowing that my child was safe, fed & loved helped me survive.
    I’m thankful to say today that life is wonderful & we both have happy homes & are healthy.
    With Gods help I was able to find a good job & regain my child.
    He sent good people to help me out of that mess & protected me in the most darkest part of my life, I thank Him for that
    If your having a hard time & doing all you can take hope. Hold your head up. Have no shame because of what you have to do to keep everything together.
    Things will get better,
    God wil never forsake you even though it may feel like it at times but He is working for you & loves you so much

    • Oh Jen. That’s heartbreaking. And I’m so glad you found God’s grace. We had a rough two year patch without a job and three little kids in the economic downturn of the early 80s with Affirmative Action closing doors in my man’s white face. If it weren’t for family, we would’ve been sunk. We moved in with my in-laws. Both of us took turns doing odd jobs: cleaning, yardwork, etc. to pay them back for groceries and get clothing at the thrift stores for growing kiddos. Tried hard to keep it easy on our benefactors. We at least had a 20 year old car that was paid for.

      I got depressed like I’d never been and never will be again. But the upside was keeping a good, stable relationship with the in-laws. When the job finally came and we moved to LA (big ICK for this country girl) we breathed the air that more financial freedom can bring. My dh found out that he could stand up in the inner city classroom and deliver without any teacher training! It was still tight for a new teacher for a couple of years spreading 9 paychecks to cover 12 months. I have to say that it was God’s Grace that gave us dignity when we didn’t feel any on our own. (Other family members saying, “What’s the matter with you?” blah, blah)

      Grace is where we found our satisfaction which enabled us to do the same for our own’s son’s family when they were in a tough spot. More grace than I ever thought I had or could draw on . . . !!!

  • God Bless, Daisy. Been there, done that-survival is sometimes cruel and punishing. The saving grace is knowing that God doesn’t abandon you. My parents went through some hard boom and bust times. My dad was always flush with cash or dead broke. My mom brought financial stability to the family after my dad’s death. It was some hard lessons, but I try to always pay bills on time, stay out of debt, and plan for multiple incomes. That way, I am never dead broke. Parents do their children a terrible disservice by not teaching financial responsibility. Always give your children the gift of loving exercise and staying fit. The same with money fitness. Gifts like that bring peace of mind and stability.

  • I was struck by the honesty and true emotion in this post. It must have come from a place of incredible vulnerability and strength, to be able to write these words.

    I grew up in a poor household- not impoverished- but poor, and I remember my mother having to budget to the literally her last dime to put food on the table. My father worked two, and sometimes three, jobs to keep us fed so that my mother could stay home with us.

    As I grew older and moved out, I tried to keep her lessons on frugality in the forefront of my mind, but as is often the case, I had frequent failures. I’ve maxed out my credit cards so many times on both necessary and silly things (mostly more silly things). Now I’ve gotten out from under credit card debt, and am happy to say that true resiliency and focused debt planning makes all the difference.

    Thank you for sharing your words, and I look forward to reading your book.

  • I have been in some of the same dark places you mention in your post, Daisy, and that’s why I’m buying this book. I may not need the advice right now but who knows what the future may bring? At the least maybe I could help someone else with it. I’ve lost my house in the past, been homeless, and at times my folks did the dumpster diving thing because they needed to. There’s no shame in it but at the same time it’s good to know how to give yourself hope. I also love your cover art. LOVELY.

    • Thank you so much, Redbranch! I really appreciate it. I have a wonderful graphic artist who made that gorgeous cover!

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