Growing up in a lower-middle-class family exposes you to many life lessons. Many of the lessons are learned the hard way. It is then your responsibility to pick lessons that are most suitable for your course of life. While most of the lessons are learned the hard way, growing up in a middle-class family is not always about hardships and inability to afford comfort.
Here are things you will only understand if you grew up in a lower-middle-class family.
1. A family vacation means visiting another family
Most lower-middle-class families are unable to afford luxurious vacations. During holidays, and only when necessary, the family may decide to go on vacation. The vacation, in this case, is solely to visit another family. The visit may range from a single day to several days or even weeks. The more costly or expensive road trips and tours cannot be afforded.
2. Everything is rationed
Due to financial constraints, every paid-for commodity in a lower-middle-class family is rationed. The food available in the home is only enough for a day or two. Leftovers are never common because the food is rationed to be just enough for everyone available in the homestead. It is very rare to have food being emptied into the pit on consecutive days. Unlike homesteads on the highest ends of the society, the food remains can be served again as long as it is not rotten or laden with bacteria.
In most lower-middle-class families, all purchases are bargains. If the family decides to purchase electronics or furniture, for example, they will always try to get the best deal. Lower-middle-class families are usually very careful about spending. Price comes before quality.
4. You don’t eat what you want
The kind of meal served at lower-middle-class family tables is only that which is available. You do not eat what you want because it cannot be afforded. In this sense, you have to settle for a uniform meal across the board and try to get used to that. The rationing of meals also makes it hard to have several preferences on the table at the end of the day.
5. Average utensils
The utensils available also present another unique characteristic. In most cases, the utensils conform to certain patterns. If the home decided to use plastics, the majority of the utensils will be plastics. This may be cups, plates, and even water containers. Aluminium may come in to supplement the collection but the majority will take that form. If the family affordability is on aluminium, then the cupboard will be dominated by aluminium. The most outstanding characteristic, though, is that a huge percentage of the utensils and cupboard collection range from average to below average or slightly above average.
Loans are also very synonymous with members of the lower-middle-class. Most households in this category cannot afford most commodities or services. As such most of them resort to borrowing to settle their bills. The needs range from healthcare to education and from food to emergencies. Most of the families are unable to afford school fees for their children. It could be that they are earning less than the required amount to pay off the tuition fee of one child alone in high school. They, therefore, have to work extra hard and supplement it with loans.
7. Rich enough to just afford, but not buy
Most lower-middle-class families live at the edges of comfort and desire. Everything they dream of having is just under their noses. But the money is never enough. That small piece of land can be afforded, the problem is that it will involve emptying all the money from the bank or your pocket. It is enough but it cannot quite get you over the line. That is how people live in a lower-middle-class family.
Reuben Wanjala is a Content Developer who is passionate about sharing information. He specializes in Public Relations and is a strong believer in the need for African development through the dissemination of useful information and positive journalism. He trusts in the power of positive thinking.