Poverty is a difficult trap from which to escape, as those mired in it often work multiple jobs and are saddled with crippling debt that they cannot begin to imagine being able to pay off.
Despite these difficulties though, the Prophet TB Joshua of Nigeria rose from the most unimaginably dire circumstances to become a highly successful preacher known by evangelical Christians worldwide.
If he can do it, so can you. How will you free yourself from poverty in 2017? By following some of the suggestions below, a life filled with abundance will be within your grasp.
1) Get into a rent-controlled apartment
In the United States and in other areas of the world, rents are out of control due to a variety of factors. Sometimes, these prices are caused by a high concentration of workers that are employed in a high-wage industry, while service industry jobs pay little more than the minimum wage, which is far too low to afford anything on the market.
In other cases, unchecked foreign investment in the local real estate market has inflated prices well above the earning potential of most workers.
Whatever the reason, you shouldn’t have to live out of a closet, or have to choose between eating and paying the bills.
Contact your local social services agency and investigate whether there is a rent control program in your area.
By having your rent limited to a set percentage of your income, you will be able to eat healthfully, afford a car, and save up enough of your paycheck so you can begin digging yourself out of poverty.
2) Enroll in a food stamp program or visit your local food bank
Even with rent control in place, you may not have a lot of money to work with when it comes to the basic expenses of your life.
If you going to lift yourself out of poverty in 2017, you need to start by laying a foundation for your success by eating healthfully.
Depending on where you live, there are social programs that will allow you to obtain certain things at the grocery store through a food stamp program.
In addition to this, many communities have organized food banks to help less fortunate feed themselves.
Although some of the choices available may not be the best from a health-centered perspective, those that persevere should be able to find items that will allow them to nourish themselves properly.
3) Pay yourself first
Building up a buffer in your bank account is one of the cornerstones of wealth, yet it seems like a distant dream to those in poverty, as all of the money they earn goes towards fulfilling their basic needs.
However, now that we have saved money by limiting our rent and sourcing our groceries through food stamps or a food bank, we will have freed up the necessary cash to begin saving up a set amount of money per month in our bank account.
Even if this percentage is embarrassingly small at first, any amount put aside matters. If you can only muster up $50, that is $50 more than $0. Over time, make it your goal to save at least 5% of your income per month, and ideally, 10%.
4) Chip away at your debt
Once you have built up at least $1,000 worth of savings in your bank account (if you can, try to have at least three months worth of expenses stockpiled in your savings), you can begin the process of chipping away at your debt load.
Start with the highest interest debt and work your way down. However, some swear by the snowball method, which starts with paying off the smallest debt, and then progressing to the bigger ones.
Go with whatever method you feel the most comfortable with, as beginning the process of paying your bills down is the most important thing.
5) Upgrade your skills / find a better job
Finally, any financial challenge is easier to tackle if you can find a way to increase your income. This can be as simple as applying to positions that pay more than what you are making presently.
If you are working multiple jobs already, you may want to quit some of them to create the time to go in for job interviews.
Once you have built up a safety buffer in your bank account, this previously unthinkable action will become a realistic possibility.
The same is true for taking courses to improve your skills; once you have the money saved up to pay for your schooling as well as the time to go to class, a better life will be within easier reach for you and your family.