In chapter 2, Scout elaborates to the audience on a past conversation she had with her father to explain Walter Cunningham Jr.'s background during her lunchtime interaction with Miss Caroline. Scout recalls having a conversation with Atticus when she asked him why Mr. Cunningham paid him in resources found on his farm instead of giving him money. Atticus responded by telling his daughter that Mr. Cunningham had no money. When Scout asked her father if they were poor, Atticus responded by saying, "We are indeed" (Lee, 21). Atticus went on to tell Scout that they were not exactly as poor as the Cunninghams, because the economic crash hit the farmers the hardest. Atticus also said,
"...professional people were poor because the farmers were poor. As Maycomb County was farm country, nickels and dimes were hard to come by for doctors and dentists and lawyers" (Lee, 21).
Essentially, Atticus and his family are relatively well-off compared to their other community members but would not consider themselves lucky. In the context of the story, the Depression negatively affects everyone's income, which includes educated professionals like Atticus, who make their money from doing business with local citizens. Atticus recognizes that his financial situation is as insecure as the poorer citizens in Maycomb, which is why he tells his daughter that they are also poor but not as poor as the Cunninghams.