19 votes

Would you consider yourself 'fortunate'?

I'll start by saying yes and no, but the reasons for my answer are personal and familial ,so if you don't like that skip my answer.

Yes, because... I am the only person in my family who speaks English (We're Brazilian) on not just on a basic level, but actually good enough to talk to actual native English speakers, listen to great, (unfortunately lacking alternatives on other languages) YouTube channels and even good enough to get an actual English certificate from Cambridge, along with actually being somewhat knowledgeable.

More detailed explanation

No, because... my parents are poor, and I'm probably weird to my classmates. My father has worked as a mechanic since he was 11 (which was actually quite common when he was a kid in 90s brazil) and makes somewhere between 1 and 1.5 times the minimum wage (estimations because he is self employed) and my mother wanted to be a seamstress but she ended up being a cashier in a fast food and then in a flower shop and she is now unemployed now she also wants to be self employed by selling painted embroidery via Instagram which is great but competition is stiff meaning that until she somehow gets a serious following to sell her stuff to my father is the sustaining the 3 of us on what he makes in the month.

On the 'I'm quite weird to my classmates' bit, It's essentially by watching English content, I am effectively on a different platform with a different audience and different creators than them. here are the 250 largest channels in Brazilian YouTube for context.
You know them as well as I do but it's incredibly annoying when you enjoy completely different content and vice versa. More on this also.

8 comments

  1. [3]
    Omnicrola
    Link
    I am extremely fortunate. I was born in the US, white, and male. I grew up in a rural area with conservative religious parents. I went to school out of state, and that's when my world opened up, I...

    I am extremely fortunate. I was born in the US, white, and male. I grew up in a rural area with conservative religious parents. I went to school out of state, and that's when my world opened up, I lost religion, and learned some hard lessons about how the world actually works. I stumbled from one job to another for about 10yrs, eventually becoming part owner of a small business by virtue of knowing someone who needed help. All the while making $20k or less a year. I eventually decided to leave that and move across the country. I worked a job building custom computers for about a year before landing a job doing software development where they weren't picky about your resume. This tripled my annual income. Learned an incredible amount, then landed a job at one of the large automakers, increasing my salary by 50% again.

    So I went from making <$20k to $115k in about 5 years. While part of that is because I have some skill, the larger part is due to being in the right place at the right time, and knowing people who connected me to other people. Which is to say, luck and coincidence.

    There's no way I could have predicted 10yrs ago this is where I'd end up. I don't even have a BA. Life is mostly random coincidences. All you can do is try to prepare for certain chance things, and try to recognize and take advantage of an opportunity when it shows up.

    12 votes
    1. [2]
      suspended
      Link Parent
      To piggyback off your comment here and to, potentially, help some folks in the United States. Personal finance is not taught in our public school systems nor in our universities. I was fortunate...

      To piggyback off your comment here and to, potentially, help some folks in the United States. Personal finance is not taught in our public school systems nor in our universities. I was fortunate enough to know someone in college who graciously shared his knowledge of personal finance.

      One of the best practices you could get in the habit of doing is saving money for retirement. In the world of finance sometimes this is known as "get rich slowly". To accomplish this, especially if you are young, is to place the maximum yearly amount into a Roth IRA ($6,000 as of this comment and it could rise in coming years). Tie up all of these funds in low cost index funds as opposed to highly managed funds.

      Two companies that I'd recommend for Roth IRA accounts are Fidelity Investments and Vanguard.

      6 votes
      1. Omnicrola
        Link Parent
        I was also fortunate enough to learn and understand personal finance at a young age. I am not rich, but I live well within my means, which is rule #1. It saddens me a lot to see some of my...

        I was also fortunate enough to learn and understand personal finance at a young age. I am not rich, but I live well within my means, which is rule #1. It saddens me a lot to see some of my coworkers deep in debt because they bought a new car, a large house, in addition to student loans. And on top of that, buy a bunch of stuff. Everyone is entitled to have nice things, and an occasional treat, but you can't have all the nice things.

        6 votes
  2. [2]
    Akir
    Link
    Perhaps in the grand scheme of things. But locally? Demographically? No. Hell no. My wages have barely managed to keep up with the state minimum. I have tried to get a new job for years but it's...

    Perhaps in the grand scheme of things. But locally? Demographically? No. Hell no.

    My wages have barely managed to keep up with the state minimum. I have tried to get a new job for years but it's just too damn demotivating. Even combining my income with my boyfriend's, we would not actually be able to afford where we live if it were not for his mother owning the house. I grew up poor, and am trying to stay somewhere in the lower middle class but do not have any retirement funds and all of my savings have been eaten by car breakdowns.

    And even before that, there are many other common life experiences that are supposed to be common that I didn't get a chance to experience because my childhood was hell. To this day, I find myself getting upset whenever people talk about how much their parents loved and supported them.

    But I try to not focus on the negatives. Because of everything I have much more understanding than most people are even capable of. And I have learned how to be happy even when really bad things happen and how to let go of anger.

    8 votes
    1. Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      My wife experienced something similar with her parents. They where/are extremely conservative and religious (7th Day Adventist). I have met her parents twice, and if I never met them again I will...

      , there are many other common life experiences that are supposed to be common that I didn't get a chance to experience because my childhood was hell. To this day, I find myself getting upset whenever people talk about how much their parents loved and supported them.

      My wife experienced something similar with her parents. They where/are extremely conservative and religious (7th Day Adventist). I have met her parents twice, and if I never met them again I will be perfectly fine with that. It angers me to think about just those few times we've interacted. It's mind blowing to have someone described as a terrible human being, and then have them actually be that toxic right in front of you.

      She has cut off all communication with them because they are so toxic. There are giant holes in her childhood and her definition of normalcy.

      :: Edit to say I'm glad you've learned how to be happy, that's a difficult journey

      6 votes
  3. teaearlgraycold
    Link
    Yes, absolutely. I live in America. I'm white, male, and have a degree that allows me to make $150k just a year after graduating. I do < 40 hours of work per week and work with a ton of amazing...

    Yes, absolutely. I live in America. I'm white, male, and have a degree that allows me to make $150k just a year after graduating. I do < 40 hours of work per week and work with a ton of amazing people. As long as I keep doing what I've been doing life should only get more prosperous.

    I've started exercising and feel physically great. I've started eating healthier too. Sometimes my mental health isn't 100%, but the better I treat my body the better it's been. At some point I should see a psychologist, though.

    Not everything in my life is perfect but there's very little that causes me trouble.

    8 votes
  4. mxuribe
    Link
    Yes, I do consider myself fortunate! While I'm currently unemployed (about 1 month now), I've actually had a really good - though modest - run of employment for so many years. I've never been good...

    Yes, I do consider myself fortunate! While I'm currently unemployed (about 1 month now), I've actually had a really good - though modest - run of employment for so many years. I've never been good at "selling myself" (for those bigger but riskier pay checks) nor earning tons of money, but I've always been able to get ok employment - certainly better than what my background should allow. I grew up in one of the numerous poor/blue collar sections of a poor/blue collar town - where kids mostly have at most one parent, and dream of getting a good-paying, steady factory job. Yet, I've had office jobs - in IT groups, marketing teams, etc. - with decent pay and benefits, and not needing to kill myself at a blue collar job (by this i mean a factory job, not a mechanic, plumber or electrician, which would actually pay fairly well). I know I'm focusing on work more than anything, but health-wise I've been ok too; not great but ok. I've been healthy enough to not go into medical debt, but I know i don't have the body to qualify for the Olympics, etc. Family-wise, its seems the last few years, many aspects of my core family are growing apart...yet, i recall fondly the good memories and experiences that the family did have years ago. So, while some aspects sound like a downer, I'm actually fortunate because, honestly, I feel like I'm in a much better place than some of the kids that i grew up with, and things could always be worse.

    7 votes
  5. vegai
    (edited )
    Link
    I grew up in Finland, which is half-jokingly referred to here as winning the lottery ticket. It's mostly true: the level of education and health-care is not too bad, and it's almost completely...

    I grew up in Finland, which is half-jokingly referred to here as winning the lottery ticket. It's mostly true: the level of education and health-care is not too bad, and it's almost completely free. My genes allowed me to be smart and nice enough to qualify for good jobs, but then again, I'm a bit lazy which made my academic achievements mediocre at best. Laziness at the workplace is kinda mixed bag -- sometimes it's a good thing and sometimes not. I am capable of laborous efforts as well if I'm motivated enough. This is starting to sound like a job application.

    Wealth-wise, I'm not able to get everything I want, but most things yes: if I wanna read a book, watch a movie, play a new game, I don't have to think about it. I just buy it. If I want a new computer or something more expensive than that, I'll have to think about it a bit more -- but it's usually possible in a month's time. It's been like this since my 30s, and most of my wealth is new money. I'm able to maintain this level with a moderate work week (~35 hours).

    I've had two relationships, both long term (~20 years for the first one and the second one on-going). There have been serious ups and downs. I won't go into details, but overall I would consider myself lucky in this way as well.

    I'm quite healthy, don't get fat even when eating too much and can easily muster the motivation to exercise.

    My only negative luck is that I'm somehow not capable (or interested perhaps) of acquiring friends.

    I have it better than >90% of other people on this planet, I believe. I attribute almost all of it to luck (place of birth, parents/genes/upbringing, people I've met), which I believe is true for every other successful people as well.

    3 votes