Most everyone on earth goes through some kind of bad spot in their life. I have a friend who was very poor as a child, not enough to eat, no heat in the house. He credits this to his ability to survive, especially when it comes to finding free stuff.
Now, he lives in a big house with a fireplace. So when he needs wood he just drives around in his car looking for trees that are down. When the workers arrive to cut it all up, he asks can he have it, he'll help cut it. Wholah! Free firewood.
I had my own period of poverty but it was after I'd grown up. It was in the nineties when I was in my thirties. My way of surviving it was to walk on down to the National Archives to their newspaper section and take a look at microfilms of depression era papers.
I found that they were stock-full of tips and ways to save money, egg substitutes and how to make things last. It really showed me where to save and ways to cut corners. I still had to do without for a lot of things, but there was lots of good advice in these papers.
Now, I know this is an entirely different time period and maybe most people wouldn't be able to find much to help them with their mortgage or gasoline price but with the way the economy is now, I find myself wondering if a lot of middle-class people couldn't benefit from reading those old papers.
It's just a thought and it would just be for a time. This economic crisis that we're having in North America is not as bad as the depression but all the same, people need to eat every day and they need to feed their kids.
So next time you pass an archive or library where they keep these old copies, maybe have a look, there might be something that you can use coming from the times of extreme poverty for all. There just might be some good come out of that time.