I came across this and had to share it as I relate so well to it: I came across some comments after President Obama's speech last night that got me thinking. I heard complaints ranging from "how can you raise taxes and then give out money to help Americans through this time?" to a cute bumper sticker about "honk if I am paying your mortgage". I thought maybe it would be appropriate to put a face to the new poor. I say "new poor" because I consider us "newly poor". After reading wiki , I guess you can't define the classes by mere income. But overall, I guess I would say that my household was considered lower middle class. This was just a couple of years ago. But we WERE lower middle class or some would say the working class. With the down turn of the economy we slipped from that class and are now considered lower class or poor. Our livelihood comes from our business. At our height, in recent years, we employed 3 people not including my husbands participation and my part time participation. Now I guess you would say that my husband "owns his own job" and it seems to be a part time job at best. We were purchasing our home (I won't say own, the bank really owned it) and it was well above the median home prices in the area. According to city-data.com the median home price in my city was approximately $123,000. Our house was worth almost twice that. We lived pretty well. We made huge mistakes, I will admit that. But the only thing that would have helped now would have been a HUGE nest egg. We are the face of the new poor. We are living in a home that the government is paying the mortgage on. (At least for the next few months until we have to move.) We have applied for food assistance (also known as food stamps), as it is all we qualify for as we don't get unemployement being self employed. We struggle. We don't know when more work will come in. I have to worry that when I buy food (because the food assistance program is so backlogged that it has been almost 2 months since I finally broke down and applied) that I won't be able to put gas in my car the next week. I never know where the next dollar is coming from. I never know how my utility bills will be paid. So far it has all worked out. I can't plan more than a week at a time. I remember the good old days when it didn't hurt too much to save $250 a week (even if it was only to make an estimated tax payment). When I thought I couldn't get by without spending at least $150 a week on groceries and household items. When I had the extra money to go out with friends or even a date night with my husband. One year we even got away for a vacation. Even better, for a few years we actually had health insurance! The good news is that my family is closer than ever! My husband and my children, we are very close. It has been a very reassuring time for our marriage as we are still strong even with all that is going on around us. So look around...you probably don't even know which ones of your friends are the new poor.