This dataset consists of written biographies by Finnish people in paid employment who still experience poverty in their lives due to, for instance, low wages or temporary contracts. The data aimed to chart Finnish experiences of poverty and examine how the phenomenon presents itself in people's mental wellbeing, physical health, and quality of life. The data contain 135 written biographies with varying lengths. The biographies were collected as part of a project of the University of Jyväskylä funded by the Kone foundation. The biographies are personal descriptions of the everyday life of Finns living in poverty. They discuss, for instance, mental health, concerns of sufficiency of funds, and psychological and physical effects of poverty on life. The respondents describe their everyday life, work history, and quality of life. In the writing instructions, the participants were asked to share their experiences about, for instance, possibilities to combine temporary work and social security benefits, and to describe the effects of poverty on everyday life and family. They were also asked to describe physical effects, such as exhaustion, hunger or weight gain, as well as effects on mental wellbeing or life management. Background information included the author's gender, birth year, categorised location of residence, marital status, monthly income, educational level, number of employment contracts during the author's career, whether the author has children, and the author's primary activity during weekdays. The data were organised into an HTML index at FSD. The dataset is only available in Finnish.