Three Documentaries on Poverty in America to Change Your Perspective

documentaries on povertyHave you ever had one of those days…

When you feel a little down about your money situation?

When you feel less positive about reaching big financial goals?

Or envious of the career or income of someone around you?

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been there at least once – felt that sense of self-doubt that everyone else is doing well and you’re just getting by. After all, cues of wealth and success come at us from all angles on tv, advertisements, and social media.

I can admit that sometimes I feel like I’m not measuring up. And I have a whiny baby moment.

But here’s the reality.

Although there will always be someone with a better job or more money than you, there are far more people that are less fortunate. And I’m talking underprivileged people right in our own backyard.

As a documentary buff, I stumbled upon some really amazing films on poverty in the Western world that knock me right back into reality.

They flat-out humble me. No more whining over here!

As a personal finance junky, it can be easy to fall into money tunnel vision without smelling the roses. Sometimes you just have to put things into perspective and be thankful for what you have right now – especially when the going gets tough.

So when you face a money speed bump, a career roadblock, or just want to understand the trials of others check out these three documentaries on poverty.

Documentaries to Bring You Down to Earth

Paycheck to Paycheck

A documentary about a single mother raising 3 children and surviving on a minimum wage income of $9.49 per hour. The strength, positivity, and determination of the mother through financial hardship is truly inspiring.

This doc has gotten a lot of positive publicity and will really open your eyes to the immobility that many face living close to the poverty line.

Homeless: Motel Kids of Orange County

A story about the lives of homeless families that call tiny motel rooms of Orange County, California their home. And the effect that motel life has on children –  most terrifyingly the influences of violence and gang activity.

The film documents the dire financial situations that resulted in their current living arrangements and the families attempts to claw their way out.

American Winter

A documentary that shares the struggles of families trying to keep up with basic needs for survival like food, heat, electricity, water, and shelter. And how they come to terms with needing an women, infants and children food program and asking their parents for help.

One of the stories affected me the most – a mother and child spend their first night living in a homeless shelter and must go without a hot meal. And I’m here crying about not being able to make my ROTH IRA deposit this month. Really made missing one payment a lot less earth shattering.

What’s your take? Have you seen any of these documentaries? Do you have any more to add to the list? What do you do when you’re feeling down about money?

Posted in: Money

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