In W. P. Kinsella's Shoeless Joe, we can find evidence of Ray's simple lifestyle in several places in the first chapter. He presents himself straightforwardly as a simple but passionate man. He is a farmer who loves the land and his family, a man uninterested in material wealth or the accumulation of fancy cars, houses, or gadgets.
Let's find the evidence: we're looking for indications of Ray's financial situation in chapter one. What, specifically, indicates his poverty, or his relative lack of wealth? Let's start here:
Our house is one of those massive old farm homes, square as a biscuit box with a sagging verandah on three sides. The floor of the verandah slopes so that marbles, baseballs, tennis balls, and ball bearings all accumulate in a corner like a herd of cattle clustered with their backs to a storm.
Above, notice that Ray's house isn't fancy, that it's a simple square, and that it could use some repairs: the porch sags, its floor sloping.
Next, Ray explains his work, indicating that he lives on a very modest budget:
Eventually I rented this farm, then bought it, operating it one inch from bankruptcy.
What he means is that, if he slips up and makes a mistake in the operation of his farm, he will be bankrupt: completely out of money. And yet money doesn't matter to him. Family does:
Annie stays very calm in emergencies. She Band-Aids bleeding fingers and toes, and patches the plumbing with gum and good wishes.
Above, we learn that Annie, Ray's wife, "patches the plumbing with gum." This means that, again, Ray's house could really use some repairs—but he can't afford to hire a plumber or even purchase the hardware he needs to make the repairs on his own. Instead, his wife improvises, using household items like gum to keep the house in working order.
Finally, let's notice this:
How I wish my father could be here with me. If he’d lasted just a few months longer, he could have watched our grainy black-and-white TV as Bill Mazeroski homered in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Yankees 10–9.
See how Ray doesn't mention his big-screen fancy television but rather his "grainy black-and-white TV"? It's probably the only kind he can afford.
But again, Ray doesn't seem to care about owning flashy things: he cares about his family, nurturing his relationships with them, and, of course, following his dreams.