Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
Poverty for gentry can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including debts or having many dependants to care for. It is a challenge as well as a heavy motivator to gain new forms of income, by for instance marrying a lady with a huge dowry. It is the opposite of the benefit Wealth. It is a modifier for your income. It may also mean that it is more difficult for you to marry.
Remember that those who are poor likely are not economizing but living outside their means and running up debt.
(This includes the previous challenge Debt/Bankrupt)