Post your "Rags to Riches" experience here

I would like to hear from “dopers” that at some point in their life for at least 2 years have been very poor but now you are living comfortably.
Include how poor you were, for example what kinds of things you couldn’t afford and how you made it out of poverty or near poverty, for example; getting an education, winning money, inventing something, starting a business, etc.

I consider you to be comfortable if you can pay all your bills every month and have money left over to play with and take care of unexpected emergencies as well as be able to miss atleast one paycheck and still be able to take care of business.
Thanx in advance for your uplifting true life experiences.

Later I will post a link that tells of a man that was homeless and now is in showbiz and lives in a million dollar house in Atlanta…the guy’s name is Tyler Perry. He is one of many great “Rags to Riches” tales.

I wonder if there’s anyone who’s ever gotten rich off of rags? They do sell that box-of-rags at Pep boys. I wonder.

Me, I’m broke as I was ten years ago, I just have more stuff.

Hmmm. Both the rags and the riches in this story are pretty modest; I was only “poor” for four months, and sort of by my own choice. Nonetheless, here goes…

I was a fortunate lad. Born last of five children, I was the spoiled one, the child of my parents’ middle age, reaping the benefit of years of mellowing, as well as the fruition of my father’s hard-fought career. My parents were able to finance my education – true, Berkeley was not very expensive in the '80s, but they paid my rent, you see – and I never had to work while in college.

I graduated, though, and my parents had their limits. They would continue to send some money while I looked for a job, but only for two months – after that, I could look for a jobback home. Those two months came and went, and I still had no job. Worse, I was forced out of my shared apartment (female roommate wanted my room for her boyfriend – I had been sleeping with her, and the boyfriend was my friend whom I had introduced to her – but that story of betrayal can wait for another day) and I had to start paying twice as much for a studio apartment in Oakland.

I found a job in a pizza place to make rent; small withdrawals from my parental funds, plus one free slice of pizza each work day, were nearly enough to keep body and soul together. Nearly. I’m 5’11" – 180cm, for you furrners – and by the end of September I weighed 137 lbs – 62 kg. I weighed 147 lbs when I graduated from college, and while 10 lbs may not be a gross weight loss, it was all lean muscle mass – the result of a diet of bananas, potatoes, and a single slice of pizza four days a week (ah, but you could have gone home, 'Tag – home, to free room and board; home, to good advice from Mom and Dad; home, to get offers from family friends to do jobs that have nothing to do with my education – nah. I’d throw myself under a bus first).

And it was in September that I interviewed with a small company in Berkeley; a small company that made cosmetics and toiletries, some OTC drugs, and some cleaning products; a family-owned company that needed a lab technician who’d work for $10/hr. The interview went well, I thought, and I was pleased with the company, and ecstatic at the thought of regular meals. And the company was very polite in informing me that I didn’t get the job.

I cried. I looked at my tiny apartment, with the garage-sale furniture and the empty refrigerator, and I thought about the nearly-empty bank account, and I thought about the soul-deadening work at the pizza place, and I thought about moving back to my nameless home town in San Diego county, and I cried. I started looking longingly at buses.

But the despair passed, a bit, and I wrote some whining poetry, and a whining letter or two, and I scraped together October’s rent, and I stuck it out for another few weeks.

And they called back.

My unseen rival had, unknowingly – yet with almost scientific precision – set about alienating all the women in the workplace, including his entire chain of command and all of the other lab workers. He also kinda pissed off the founder. So they exercised their prerogative and canned him during the thirty-day probation period. First person they ever fired.

I haven’t been hungry since.

I have a story but I’m much too busy right now to type it out, this is just a reminder so I’ll put my story up when I have a bit of spare time.

I was born and raised Middle Class. I paid for both colleges I attended. During that time I was the quintessential poor college Student. I worked for what I had. I was not handed much on a silver platter.
My wife was the same. Quite literally. Middle class woorked for what she had etc…etc…

I graduated Magna Cum Laude from undergrad at 21. Entered grad school across the country immediately and finished my Phd in four years. Mostly poor grad student the entire time. I had a healthy stipend my last year in grad school and was living with my then girlfriend - now wife. It’s been nearly ten years since that time in my life, and I will say my wife and I are doing just fine. We made the right decisions at the right times. Invested when we could, and both made career choices that worked out in our favor. Now I am 34, no children, I own two homes ( CT and AZ) and a tree house. We have a nice boat and like to live relatively modestly. Our CT home is large, but we are expecting a family.
I was raised in a home where if I needed money it was there, but there was always something that needed to be done to earn it. [example->]
[Dad] - …"Oh your transmission fell out of your car and you need money?? - Ok, no problem…but the house needs painting and you are the right person to do it.

Yes, I live comfortably with my illustrious wife. But we worked out butts off for what we have and know the value of a buck. In my book, thats wealth…when you know the value of what you make.

I guess not many “dopers” are rich or not many have been poor…but thanx for you people that did post.

Does it count if you went from riches to rags to riches, and back to rags?

I quit my $70k/year corporate job at age 25 to start my own business. Within two months I was netting $10k/month. “WooHoo! I’m rich! Fast cars and fast women, every night, with cash! Oops forgot to work.” Move back home with parents. New business, within six months, netting $25k/month. “WooHoo! I’m rich! Fast cars and fast women, every night, with cash! Oops forgot to work again.” :frowning:
I’m gonna read up on Hershey’s many bankruptcies again, and try it again. Remind me to WORK.

grew up barely in the middle class and was an extremely poor student. Had some real rough spots. I’ll just recount one. Got my MBA from a good school at the end of 1990. Big time recession and no job prospects. Fuck this for a joke, I’m moving to Japan but I had no money. Spent about 4 months in SF mooching off of various friends for places to stay, spent the days as a temp typist making not much. I had a rotten tooth I couldn;t get fixed for about 9 months. Couldn’t eat with the right side of my mouth.

Moved to tokyo, which is about the most expensive place in the world. Lived on bowls of noodles for about two months. Crashed in the living room of a buddy, along with two other equally destitute guys. The one with a real job had the bedroom. Ended up getting hired by a securities company and made 100k my first year. (btw, that wasn’t riches in Tokyo).

Lessee, that was about 8 months of living on the edge in two countries with a rotten tooth. Now I’m the corporate expat slave. Not complaining but still paying a price.