People Share The Best Examples Of 'It's Expensive To Be Poor'
It's actually really ridiculously expensive to be poor - an unfortunate truth that a lot of people are learning firsthand this year. There are even some among us who are too poor to be able to afford to work.
We know, it sounds like a complete contradiction; but it's a reality for a shockingly large number of people.
One Reddit user asked:
and yeah ... poverty is complicated.
Fees On Fees On Fees
Overdraft fees. Oh, you ran out of money? We'll just charge you more then!
My bank just switched our free checking to an account with a monthly fee. $7.00 a month if your account goes under $10. So if it goes under $10 they basically just help themselves to your remaining balance? It really chaps my behind.
While charging overdraft fees they also want to charge you fees for your debit payments failing - each one. But they failed cause the bank processed them started with the biggest payment instead of the order you spent and each fee lowers your balance till the last one also fails.
NSF fees too. Juggling bills becomes hazardous. If you guess wrong, or lose track, or have a sudden emergency, or someone cashes a check you thought they'd already done, or an automatic withdrawal (which got me the most frequently). The payment gets refused, which, sure, if the money's not there of course the bill isn't paid. But then the company charges you an NSF fee, and so does the bank, and the bill you already weren't able to pay just got 50-100$ more expensive.
In the past 10 years, I've gone from borderline poverty to being upper middle class. Here are some of the differences:
- An overdraft/late fee could be as much as 10% of my savings account. Now it's a drop in a bucket, and having white collar job, means I know how to effectively negotiate to have fees waived.
- When you're broke you can only afford cheap products that break easily, Now I buy quality products that are built to last for years.
- Expensive dinners are completely out of the question when you're broke. Now I frequently eat great (And healthy!) meals because my job pays for lunches and dinners.
- When I was broke I had to purchase expensive equipment to learn my craft so that I could get a job. Now I my job pays me to use my equipment.
- Broke people have to pay for an expensive education to get a good job. Many people with good jobs are encouraged to take classes at the expense of the employer.
- People with good paying jobs can be 10 minutes late for work without fear that they will lose their job. If I have a good excuse, like my car breaks down, I can literally not show up for work for the day, get paid, and receive a heartfelt message from colleges offering support.
- Things like expensive booze and other luxury items are something you want when you are poor. When you work a high paying job, these sort of things are frequently gifted to you from bosses/co-workers and sometimes it becomes a hassle of trying to get rid of nice things you don't need (I end up giving away, re-gifting or donating a lot of stuff).
- When you are broke, it's hard to find a good paying job. When you have a good paying job, you are seen as a valuable and you will receive multiple job offers.
A few things that are new to me that I find weird about having money:
- Expensive clothes fall apart so fast, like the fabric will start to dull after a 3rd wash. I had an Old Navy shirt that easily lasted 20 years and never faded.
- Expensive things take up so much time and can be such a hassle to care for. Like fountain pens, nice wooden kitchen utensils, Linen place settings, etc.
Better shoes last longer before they need to be replaced. But they cost to much for me to afford them, leaving me with sub-par shoes that need to be replaced more often.
It's not easy staying healthy on a tiny budget. I stay fat. Shoes wear out. It's expensive for my body.
Definitely true irl. I wear duty boots every shift I work. When I was new I couldn't afford anything other than a cheap pair of $80 boots. My feet froze in the winter, sweated in the summer, and they weren't really waterproof. That first pair lasted me about 10 months, and that was a stretch.
I managed to scrimp and save for a $300 pair of Danners and that pair lasted me nearly a decade, kept my feet warm in the winter, didn't make them sweat much in the summer, and kept my feet dry in standing water up to about 6" deep. When they wore out, I sent them back to Danner to be refurbished about about $120 and have gotten another 7 years and counting out of them.
Housing. The longer you commit to stay, the lower your monthly price. But poor people don't always know where they'll be in a few months time, especially these days.
Oh man, got a really good look at that recently. Me and my fiancee wanted to move to a new house, and we didn't know how long it would take to sell the old one and find one we liked, so we rented an apartment in the meantime.
They had really flexible leases, with durations from 6-15 months, different prices for the same apartment.
We calculated the cost of breaking the lease at different times together with the cost of each lease, and found that even if we moved at exactly 6 months, it would be cheaper to sign a 15 month lease and pay the penalty than to sign a 6 month lease.
Moving at pretty much any point would be cheapest to sign the 15 month lease and break it (I think at 10 months, it would be very slightly cheaper to have signed a 10 month lease). Funnily enough, we ended up moving after 6 months, but we still made the cheaper choice with the 15 month lease.
The Breakdowncar trouble vintage GIFGiphy
Not being able to afford routine car maintenance and then having to shell out thousands when it breaks down
Nothing like having to push your car off an intersection because it suddenly died and won't restart, never mind if you were on your way to school, work or similar. It's a great way to lose your job.
This. THIS! THIS THIS THIS. And having a flat tire every other week because you can't afford new ones. Spending ten bucks a pop to have your old tires patched when a new one (for your cheap little clunker car) costs $85 but you can't afford that because you've spent ten bucks a week for the last six months getting patches.
Coin laundry :(
I'm feeling this one.
My washing machine went kerplooey two weeks ago. I finally broke down and went to the only laundromat in my rural county.
$4.25 to wash each load, $1.75 to dry each load. I spent twenty bucks doing three loads of laundry.
That's $480 a year to load up my stuff and take it to a communal laundromat, during a pandemic. Holy f*ck I miss my washing machine.
And that's not counting the time spent there. At home you can multitask while the laundry's going.
Can't Afford Health
So I'm in the US and it's "Open Enrollment" I've been looking at health insurance plans for a few weeks now. Here's my best option, as a 36-year-old single white woman with no health problems.
$235 per month (discount because I'm low-income) premium. $85 co-pay for normal doctor's visit. $145 if the doctor treats something in-office. I pay any in-office supplies that were used out of pocket. $13,000 deductible. Insurance pays 40% of hospital visits and overnight stays. Separate $7000 deductible for prescriptions. Zero dental or vision care.
Guys, I make between $800 and $900 per month. That's a quarter of my income as a premium alone. Which would be great, except if I pay the premium, I don't have any money left over for the co-pay, so I literally can't afford to both buy the policy and use it.
When I absolutely have to see a doctor I drive a couple hours to a clinic that offers huge discounts for people who self-pay. They are actually a god-send for things like sinus infections and strep throat. I had pneumonia a couple of years ago and not only did they give me the "self pay discount," making my office visit just $35, but they also found "office samples" of an albuterol inhaler and steroids, meaning all I had to buy was an antibiotic from the walmart $4 list.
I also drive an hour and a half to a Planned Parenthood clinic for my annual exam and things like that. They charge on a "pay what you can" scale. I figure out how to get by, mostly. But if anything big ever goes wrong or I develop a chronic health problem in the future, I'm gonna be so screwed it's not even funny.
I really need an eye exam as my glasses are giving me headaches, which means my prescription has changed again. And forget getting my teeth fixed, which is actually my biggest problem right now. There's no help for things like that. The healthcare situation just sucks.
Freebies For The Rich?
An inverse example is all the things rich/well-paid people get for free:
paid vacation days, gym/pool in your building, company cell phone allowance, commute reimbursement, retirement match and investing advice, paid lunches and travel, education opportunities, ability to participate in investment opportunities, references to even more highly paid jobs, etc etc.
It is definitely frustrating when I hear about rich celebrities getting giftbags with tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise in them. That is just silly.
Everyone always argues "it's cheaper to eat healthy! Buy X, Y, Z in bulk, check A, B, and C specialty grocery stores, meal prep and freeze for the week, grow your own produce!" But these sorts of solutions really require a base level of wealth to begin with. Not a ton of wealth. If you're lower-middle class but still ending up in the red because you eat out too much, you can probably (probably) use these tips to cut your food budget enough to make a difference. But to do these things you need:
to live in a place with easy access to many different places to buy food (conventional groceries, discount groceries, big box stores, farmers markets, ethnic groceries, and bulk retailers)
When you live in a food desert, like many inner cities and rural areas, pick-and-choose grocery shopping is not an option. When you don't have a car or live a very short distance from the store, buying more than an armful of groceries is not an option. When you work multiple jobs to pay rent, spending many hours per week on shipping or food prep isn't an option. When you live in an efficiency apartment, complex cooking and infinite food storage isn't an option. When you don't have a surplus of money this very minute, buying in bulk isn't an option. When you live in an apartment, or a desert, or an urban house with a concrete backyard, or a place that is a snowy tundra 6 months out of the year, growing a garden isn't an option.
Plus, everyone gives this advice assuming a single adult or a two-adult, no kids household. But not everyone eating dollar menu and ramen noodles is a broke single college kid in a dorm blowing their allowance on beer then crying poverty. Children complicate all of this even further. So people end up buying dollar menu because it's Tuesday, payday is Friday, and they quite literally have $10 to their names to feed themselves and their kids. They could buy apples, but apples won't keep the the hunger pains away.
I used to think that Costco was good for bulk sales
My son founded a food charity and we started applying for business licenses. Guy mentioned a wholesaler to me.
My son and I went to the wholesaler and he had 200lb pallets of pork shoulder for pulled pork- which my son needs- for $140! 200 lbs of food, which my son uses to feed like 500 homeless people- for $140.
Or like 1000 chicken legs in cases for $0.29 per lb. something like $80 for 1000 chicken legs.
Can you imagine if you were dead broke and spent $80 on 1000 chicken legs- you could eat for 6 months. Working with real food wholesalers is so much crazier than anything I expected.
It's the set up for all of that - the ability to move pallets, have a huge deep freezer that all has to be there first. You're not going to have that if you're poor.
I remember there were these cabbages, like $20 for 40 cabbages. A guy was buying like 80 cabbages to make cole slaw for his restaurant. He could spin that into profit and make money.
I just felt like buying them and giving them to poor families. People have no idea how much more they're really paying than what food actually costs.
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I love money.
If I had an endless supply, I might throw it away with abandon.
But I am not blessed with that level of abundance.
Some people really take spending to an extreme.
To a point where maybe others should be in charge of their purse and wallet.
Redditor Shadowclook21 wanted to hear about the times we've seen people waste money on nonsense, so they asked:
"What is the dumbest thing you've seen someone spend their money on?"
I get we all like nice things, but we have to be smart with our coins.
Wake Up!Good Morning Time GIF by Berk's Beans CoffeeGiphy
"An alarm clock coffee machine. It was me."
When on FB
"My wife is in a lot of mom groups on Facebook. The amount of people who beg for help for their poor babies who won’t get any Christmas/birthday gifts who also show off brand new giant tattoos is amazing. She shows me every time she finds one of these people and it happens all the time. Usually multiple recent photos of them out drinking and partying as well."
"So yeah, there’s a lot of people out there who blow big money in tattoos and partying instead of setting aside a little bit of money for their kids."
"Knew a girl who would spend all her money on scratchers and drugs. She would constantly go on about how when she finally won big she was going to move and get clean.... He grandmother gave her a 20 - 30k inheritance. Nothing changed except how many scratchers she would buy. I saw her buy out whole rolls occasionally. She wised up with the last few thousand and put some advance rent on an apartment (was in a motel) and fixed her car. But that money was gone in less than 2 months."
"PSA: Accidental subscriptions. Remember, kids, if you sign up for a free trial, be prepared to cancel that s**t the second they allow you. Otherwise, they'll start charging automatically."
KaboomIm Ready Independence Day GIFGiphy
"My neighbors once spent all their money on a private firework show, then had to hide their cars from the repo man for months. No longer neighbors."
Neighbors are always going to neighbor.
Classicssia diplo GIF by LSDGiphy
"I bought a cassette tape two weeks ago. I don't even have a way to play cassettes but I still bought it."
"My Mum has spent $1000s on crystals and stones. She continues to, and gives them as gifts, I have no idea wtf to do with them so I put them in my plants pots then she gets upset for some reason. Send help please."
"Get her a rock tumbler and have her tumble her own and try to identify them. Cheaper in the long run. Makes for a more interesting hobby too, if she gets into it. It will get her out of the house and into nature. Crystals are everywhere, they literally litter the earth. A lot of ordinary-looking rocks turn out quite beautiful once they've been tumbled."
Just a Waste
"I dated a guy who would still use his debit card even when his account was over drafted because he didn’t realize he was charged overdraft fees for every transaction. I had to explain to him his single snickers bar or bag of chips or whatever from the vending machine was now costing him an extra $35. And he did this multiple times every single shift he worked."
5 More Minutes
"Gambling machines. I work in a bar room. People will play these machines for 12+ hours and never win. Then they Win $700 the next night and think they’re on top... it’s insane. They look like zombies sitting there in a trance. Once had to unplug the machine on a patron who would not leave for closing. Kept saying '5 more minutes.'"
"I worked with a guy who'd spend 200-300 bucks a week on OnlyFans. He'd brag about it, I guess he thought of he'd spent enough he might get lucky or something."
Why do some people spend with such abandon? It makes no sense to me, but it's not my money.
Have you ever witnessed someone blow a load of cash on something crazy? Let us know in the comments below.
What is wrong with people?
Have we lost all sense of decorum?
I get that people need to speak their minds, but there are some moments where silence is the better option.
When you're naked and intimate with someone, it's best to not be mean.
I would've thought that would be a given.
Unless they're mean or creepy than do what you must.
But when you're alone in bed with a partner, partners, whatever, can't we put our best foot forward?
Redditor bipolar_bear76765 wanted to hear about the worst things we've heard in an intimate situation, they asked:
"What’s the worst thing anyone has ever told you in bed?"
If I have nothing nice to say, I just leave.
Follow my lead.
Over ItStay Back Jimmy Fallon GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonGiphy
"I'm not attracted to you anymore. It wasn't during sex but it was still in bed."
"I don't think you're sexy but you're really good for a cuddle."
"I know the first and I love cuddling."
"Even though I can see how this could’ve been hurtful, especially if you might’ve wanted to be considered more than 'cuddle material,' were you at least able to cuddle your way into self-soothing? Lol."
"Best vibes and hope you have fared well."
"I got called a mistake immediately after. I had feelings for her and had had these feelings for her for years."
"I thought we would never actually be anything. She was the high school crush that ended up moving away and lost all contact. Through some crazy weird circumstances we ran into each other years later. We had been flirting like crazy for weeks. She immediately cut all contact. Pain."
That was quick...
"That she had sex with a friend of mine like 20 minutes earlier."
"I had sex with someone last year who right after we finished proclaimed that she had a boyfriend. Fast forward a year and indeed, they're engaged and sh*t like that.. HOW THE F**!!"
"I had sex a few times with my housemate’s girlfriend. He was completely ok with it as they had an open relationship. She suggested it to me while the three of us were drinking together. He was fully supportive of it, I even took him aside when she went to the bathroom to make sure he wasn’t just saying it for her. It was a bit odd, but we all knew it was a no strings attached deal and it worked out fine in the long run."
Pardon Me?Nbc Idk GIF by Good GirlsGiphy
"You can use one of my boyfriend's condoms. They're in the drawer, but they're probably too big."
"A lot of dudes who wear a magnum have no business wearing a magnum."
Lord, I need a bleach bath.
Stop!Oh My God Wow GIF by The Roku ChannelGiphy
"Just lost my hair due to heath concerns, was pretty embarrassed about it."
"He looks down and goes, 'Can you stop? You look like a man from this angle.' Oof."
“'You make me feel dirty when you touch me.' Happened over 40 years ago and it still crawls under my skin."
“'Just hurry and finish.' Two or three minutes in, she said it with a look of pure disgust."
"We have herpes, now."
"I could be wrong, but in some places it’s a crime to knowingly infect someone. At least, I do know of civil cases where people were able to sue for damages when someone knowingly had sex with them without disclosing their STD status."
Well people really are the worst at times. Be sure to pick your bedfellows accordingly.
Do you have any experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.
In the midst of our shopping, we've all seen those warning labels on product packaging that leave us absolutely rolling our eyes. Who could possibly need to be warned about that?
But since the warning exists, we have to assume that someone made that mistake at some point.
There's the added fun of unnecessary products that no one should believe would work.
But just like the directions, there seems to be a marketable need for every product and direction.
Redditor 98_percent_simian asked:
"What product is marketed pretty much exclusively to stupid people?"
"Over-the-counter 'man-boosting' products like Nugenix Total-T. Though the commercials are hilarious. 'She'll like it too!' Yeah, I bet she did, Big Frank."
"Foot detox pads. Detox anything, actually."
Trust Your Body
"It drives me crazy when people talk about how they are going to do a cleanse and detox their digestive system because they have built up sludge."
"It's insane because your digestive system works just fine. If it isn't working, you need to be in the hospital."
Paid Social Media Features
"Every social media’s paid badges. I just don’t get it. Why? Just why do we need to pay for a badge?"
"Megachurch donations that are advertised to bring you salvation or other holy benefits."
"My friend's mother had her house painted with 5g blocking paint inside and out. She then got s**tty about her mobile not getting a signal and her WiFi not working properly."
"What did she think the paint was blocking?! Honestly, I'm surprised it did anything."
"I've had people attempt to rope me in before. The trick is that they spent hours roping you into the idea of 'working for yourself,' 'being your own boss,' 'affording for your family,' and 'living wealthy.' Pain points that any common American would typically have."
"They make you go through meetings, 'interviews,' and continually feed you the mentality and never actually mention the name of the company or what the actual business is."
"Until finally, after forever, they drop the Amway, Herbalife, Mary Kay, or whatever name. By that point, they've already sold you on the 'dream' that you convince yourself to try and put in the work."
"I've looked up definitions and excerpts about what brainwashing is. It literally felt like the same thing."
"'HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead.'"
"The ad never even says what HeadOn is supposed to actually do. It's supposed to relieve headaches, but they couldn't claim that because they have absolutely no proof of it maybe working."
"Essential Oils, not for the aromas, that’s all well and good but for its 'healing properties.' It’s sad when people become vehemently ill and rely on lavender to heal them or their children."
"Bunch of sad stories of children dying due to moronic parents believing in the powers of some plant over modern medicine."
"Fat loss everything."
Got Fight Milk?
"Fight Milk. I drink it every morning so I can fight like a cow."
"I'm thinking Scientology."
"When I go to Eastern Europe on vacation, there are mini-casinos on every corner. Sports betting, slot machines, etc. The middle-aged men in these clubs, frantically smoking cigarettes, hopelessly staring at the screens, with not an ounce of life in their eyes."
"Not sure if it's stupidity or desperation. But it's a sad sight to see."
"Online free IQ tests."
"Vacation Club 'points' (worse than a timeshare because it's nothing tangible)."
"My FIL offered to 'use points' to book us a vacation years back. He bought the points as a flex in front of his BIL and thought they were the greatest thing since sliced bread."
"Fast forward about two months after purchase and he makes his offer to cover a trip for us with some of the points. What he failed to mention/realize is that the points were for the ROOM ONLY."
"So as we started looking into the 'trip' being offered we realized not only would we have to pay for our flights but we would have to pay the all-inclusive fee at over 100 dollars each/per day. When we mentioned this he told us we would have to cover it because 'they cost too many points.'"
"So I did the math and hopped on Expedia to show him I could get the same trip for over 1000 dollars less when I just booked it online without the points. He REFUSED to believe this was possible until he tried to book his own trips with the points and ended up getting hosed. The look on his face when he tried to 'sell the points' (which the salesperson assured him would go for more than he paid for them if he decided to sell) was priceless."
"I bet you already guessed that the only 'customers' for the points are the company that sold them in the first place and they buy them back for pennies on the dollar." - YKYB
Some of these products and ideas have been around for a long time and continue to interest new consumers. But as some here have pointed out, the products are more about putting on a good appearance than actually delivering results.
Most people can be very guarded because of their vulnerabilities, even if you think you know them really well.
These disconcerting memories or character traits are better left undisclosed, for they can be painful for individuals to revisit or acknowledge.
On the other hand, opening up about these disturbing facts can also be therapeutic as long as they are revealed anonymously.
And the opportunity for strangers online to unburden themselves arose when Redditor _Lord_Infamous asked:
"What is a scary, unsettling fact about you?"
Certain facts about these Redditors are perplexing.
"I do not actually remember a decent chunk of my life, whenever I talk about most of my childhood I use words that leave room for mistakes and am generally using memories and ideas I've compiled from hearing other people say things about me."
"There is actually a large chunks of facts about myself that I only think I know, and don't have personal confirmation of."
Dead Or Alive
"I’m convinced with no evidence that my father is still alive and that my whole family is lying to me. I logically know he is not. But every knock on the door I open half expecting my father. Could be something to work through … but it’s not really affecting me day to day. My grandfather died and I thought I would feel the same way. Nope. He is dead and I miss him but he is dead."
Warning: Self-Harm Trigger
"Growing up I had a recurring nightmare set in my grandparents backyard looking at the back of their house. There was just something 'off' about the house. Something mildly sinister. I dreamt this over and over, many times over the years."
"In 2018, my dad (who now owned the house) went into the backyard to that spot and killed himself."
"I haven’t had the backyard dream since."
Nightmares Come True
"I had a recurring super vivid intense dream at like 4.... my uncle was chasing us around a labyrinth with a large knife... trying to kill me and my grandmother. 25 or so years later the same uncle (complete paranoid delusional schizophrenic) murders my grandmother at her condo... with the very nice chef knife I bought her for Christmas the year before..."
"Less scary and more shocking, but when I was 9 years old I survived a home invasion where I was shot 6 times. I played dead on the floor until the man left and called 911 and in my adrenaline rush I thought they couldn't find my house so I crawled with my left are swinging the wrong way and my right leg limp from nerve damage, all the way to the front door when he broke in from the back of the house."
"I lived with only my mother who unfortunately didn't survive. I vividly remember picking out the guy in a photo line up while recovering in the ICU."
"I am very lucky to have kept my left arm, I have 32 pins and screws to make up for my shattered elbow. My left leg has permanent nerve damage and I now have 'drop foot'. Despite my physical injuries and PTSD, I am doing very well."
We are not all born the same.
"I'm one of the lucky few with the CCR5-delta-32 mutation. Why is that relevant? It makes me immune to HIV and a handful of other pathogens, most notably the Bubonic Plague."
"I have 2 lenses in my right eye, so it focuses like binoculars. My doctor wrote a paper about it. Mostly blinded as a baby in my left eye. Dr suspected my right lense split then healed as 2 distinct lenses. Better than 20/20 in my right eye."
"When I was born, I was so premature that my dad, who had quite dainty piano fingers, could slide his wedding ring up my arm to my shoulder. (I weighed 2 lbs, born at 27 weeks)."
"I had 6 toes on each foot at birth and got them cut off you can see the place they cut them at."
People live with the unfortunate risk that their lives can be cut short at any given moment.
Ticking Time Bomb
"I have an enlarged aortic root. It's very unlikely, but it could spontaneously rupture leading to the medical term adjusts glasses... 'instantaneous death'. I would pass out, bleed to death, and then fall over. Dead before hitting the ground. And it could happen at any time. My wife is very uncomfortable thinking about it lol."
For The Sake Of Survival
"my immune system backfired and tried to murder me and almost succeeded. I now have to take multiple injections every single day all day or i'll die a painful death within a week."
"Just trying to write diabetes in the most bad-a** way."
A friend of mine once told me that the name I've known him by was not his real name.
He had gone by an alias, which everyone at work assumed was his actual name, to protect himself and his identity after he had been violently hunted down, stalked and threatened for his life for witnessing a murder.
The suspects involved were eventually caught and locked away for good.
I don't remember all the other details about the traumatizing incident because I was completely stupefied.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/