The opportunity cost of individual poverty and alleviating it

Thanks to the thousands of statistics released yearly, it’s been made clear that poverty rates are at all time highs in most developing countries.


It’s a little bit weird because you’d naturally think “developing” countries would signify the growth of the majority in such countries but otherwise seems to be the case. So, WHY is poverty on the rise?


While trying to find an answer to this question, you find that hundreds of published research will be able to successfully give hundreds of reasons why these situations happen to be so. Proper articles and research would include solutions to eradicating poverty, but at the end of the day… Very few or none of these explanations can point out solutions needed for the actual individuals that are trying to avoid or get out of the situation.

Most of the information around is fixated on government insufficiencies and institutional inadequacies but addressing those factors is just as important as addressing the individual factors that are also at play.


For this reason, more focus will be placed on some of these individual factors.


  • Individual costs and causes of Poverty
  • Easy to Implement Tips to preventing Poverty
  • Preserving Mental health

Individual Costs and Causes of Poverty

Firstly, it will not be unnecessary to say that most people avoid talking about poverty and how it might relate to them. In the same breath, it’s fair to say people are quick to tag others as poor or poorer by their standards.


“No fingers pointed”


But if we are to address this issue correctly, much energy would need to be targeted at an adequate amount of self-assessment.


If you are wealthy and thriving… you should know what you are doing right to stay on your path. Multiply your efforts.


If you are broke and struggling… you should know what you are not doing right and change it.


The opportunity cost of being poor include:

  • Decreased productivity
  • Restricted freedom
  • Reduced control over emergencies


On the other hand, these are some individual causes of poverty.

Lack of Education

Lack of education is one of the most significant causes of high rates of poverty in our society. It can also be referred to as a lack of information to enable growth, this eventually results in stagnation.


This situation is bad for people who have had little or no form of education but even worse for people with significant education but zero willingness to move further.


“As a human, you can do whatever suits you but stagnation suits no one.”


Educational growth typically sets you up for a better life financially and in other aspects too. Education is obtained not only from schools but all works of life ranging from workplace experience to personal life.

Population explosion

This is a somewhat tricky topic because it has to do with the population of households. While some families are built within the financial means of the adults in charge, there is a rather abnormally high rate of birthing in poorer neighborhoods.


It’s also hard to discover a reasonable rationale to support it. The situation, in this case, can be likened to people living above their means which in essence, creates insufficiency in household finances. Although this can be solved by increasing your household income, it would be wiser to plan, to avoid the damage sudden expenses can inflict.


Health emergencies

Health emergencies are not things people wish their worst enemies.


“I don’t think you would wish your enemy gets coronavirus or cancer, at least not normally”


But these things happen anyway, maybe not cancer but other mild illnesses. Anyway, hospital fees or even pharmaceutical expenses can be annoying since most people rarely prepared for such expenses.


The best thing to do would be to prevent such occurrences by eating healthy, exercising, and most importantly setting cash aside for emergencies. It is recommended to have about 3-6month’s expenses saved up to cushion the effect of these emergencies.


Easy to implement tips to prevent poverty

  • Health is Wealth

Ill health typically reduces productivity and depending on the duration of illnesses, it can result in fatal financial conditions.


  • Always seek Education(knowledge)


  • Maintain a positive workplace attitude. Too many people face complacency at work day in day out, waiting on paychecks after paycheck because that’s the only motivation for them.


Reasons for this range from but not limited to:

  • Lack of interest
  • Low pay
  • Bad working conditions


A good suggestion will be to picture where you want to be in 5 or 10 years, plan towards that. Always stay open to exploring new opportunities.


Know this, most employers will underpay you to overwork you. Remember, health is wealth but all most employers care about is your productivity and getting results.


At the same time… be social, build useful connections with senior and junior colleagues.



  • Only give what you can afford.


  • Always ask questions.


Preserving Mental health

This is by far where the most damage is done to most people. Be it being unsuccessful at job-hunting or failing at business, these all have a damaging impact on mental health. To combat this:


  • Have high expectations of yourself: See every shortcoming as a slight setback for restrategizing and placing higher bars to meet. You might not reach the new goal but you’ll be closer to your former goal.


  • Volunteering: Being open to helping and supporting people or organizations is a good way to learn and improve mental health.


  • Learn to compartmentalize: This goes for physical and mental things. Having things in order gives room to process situations more easily.


  • Have fun


  • Talk to close friends: A good support system remains undefeated in all scenarios, so talk to your guys from time to time.

I hope this helps you get the clarity you seek. The information contained in this article not only gives an idea into protecting against poverty but also gives insight on how to thrive.

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