I just returned from a trip to Nicaragua to visit family, some of whom I met for the very first time ever. I visited my Aunt Teresa’s (my dad’s sister) house in Managua, Nicaragua and was shocked by the poverty she lived in. She is 77 and shared with me that she has been praying for me my whole life… and it totally BROKE ME!

Being in a Third World country, you see things very differently. One of the things I love about Nicaragua is that it’s a very “old world” kind of place. Just picture this: You’re leaving the airport and driving down the road in Managua and there are cars everywhere. You see a father with his 2 beautiful sons in a little makeshift carriage being pulled by a really skinny horse, that is sweating profusely. Then you’ll see a father and mother with 3 kids on a motorcycle. Then, a little way out of the city, you’ll see a little kid, maybe 5 years old, herding cows on the side of the road. When you drive, you have to watch out for cows and goats and chickens and all kinds of animals in the streets, as well as people!

After dark, you really have to be careful to watch for the men who’ve had a few too many Toñas (Nicaragua’s famous beer) staggering through the street. All of these things are very common here.

It’s obvious the people in Nicaragua made different amounts of money – there were people on foot, on a bike, on a bus, in a taxi, on a motorcycle or in a car. It was so interesting to see.

What’s so sad is those who are working and able to make a little bit of money, end up spending it on booze and sodas. Then there are those who make a little more money, and those are the ones who blow their money on booze and sodas and eating out. And then there’re the ones who blow it on taxi rides. Instead of living a simple life, they are living with a poverty mentality.

And that’s the same mentality I had when I was 17 years old and pregnant out-of-wedlock. My parents disowned me, my boyfriend deserted me, and I was going to have to take care of my baby on my own. I was working 2 jobs to pay for rent, food, car insurance and gas. I remember standing in the grocery store, and I reached for the Heinz brand of ketchup, but when I saw the price, I thought, “There’s no way I’m going to pay that much for ketchup!” It’s almost like I was embarrassed to buy the generic brand. I stood there and thought to myself, “Someday, I’m going to make enough money so I can buy all the name brands in the store.”

It’s the same here in Nicaragua. There is the idea that, “When I make more money, I’ll be able to buy a soda as often as I want to.” How sad! But that’s what we do. I don’t care what country you live in, that’s what human beings do. It’s sad and terrible, and it’s because of a lack of understanding and a lack of vision.

One night, we had dinner with some friends who manage the ranch where we stayed in Nicaragua. They have 300 employees, and they told us about a common mindset there. There is this mindset that there’s never going to be a tomorrow. You never plan for the future, but instead only live for today. And because there’s no tomorrow, you spend all your money on silly little things. That really is the mentality of most of the people inside of this very poor, yet very beautiful, country.

Look at what everyone else is doing with their money. Where do they blow it? On stupid little things, never thinking about the future. If they didn’t blow it on the little things – the candy, Starbucks, clothes, toys – then they could be paying cash for a car or a house or a vacation. But instead, they stay stuck!

This poverty culture is all over the world, and even in the U.S. – and it could be in you.

What happened to the last raise you got? Where did it go? What about your last bonus? You’re probably making more money today than you did when you first entered the workforce. You’ve probably gotten some bonuses and raises. So, where did all that money go? Convenient foods, sodas, coffee, eating out, partying, shopping, more stuff.

Come on, think bigger than that! Listen, your desire is to become financially independent. And if that’s the case, you cannot stay in an impoverished mindset and an impoverished lifestyle, always living paycheck-to-paycheck, and needing to borrow money when something happens with their home, their vehicle or their health. That is how Third World countries live… and you spend just like them!

Are you ready to drop your poverty mentality and work toward financial independence? Leave your comments below and make sure to Like and Share today’s message within your circle of influence.

Looking to end your week strong? Join us later today on The Dani Johnson Show at 12 pm ET/11 am CT. You can tune into the show on either your TV or radio and please remember you can always stream today’s show right on our website.

In great faith,

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Categories: Personal Finance   

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