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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Hollywood really has made a mess of entertainment and storytelling.
And it doesn't have to be that way.
There are so many people with new, fresh ideas, yet they choose to keep redoing the same old. concepts.
The people want more and better and it is possible
Nobody needs 167 sequels done poorly!
Redditor MainCrab1383 wanted the entertainment industry to listen up!!
"What do you wish Hollywood would stop doing?"
I wish they would give more chances unknowns. Every known starts an unknown, you know.
It was already great!Behind The Scenes GIF by BET AwardsGiphy
"Remakes of good movies, I don’t understand why they remake good movies, when there are tons of flops that have potential, that they could remake."
"Characters getting punched multiple times in the face in 1 scene and having no signs of the trauma in the next scene."
"Or shot, but they remove the bullet in a dirty motel and sew it up with freaking twine and knitting needles so now it doesn’t hurt anymore and they can go fight more bad guys unencumbered."
"This reminded me of characters getting absolutely wasted then either being relatively sober in the next scene, or have no hangover the day after."
"Stop making films and TV shows that we cannot see because they are too dark and cannot hear what TF people are saying. That would be a good start."
"I honestly think some vfx engineers stuffed up and others thought it was a trend and continued to underexpose. Series 8 of game of Thrones was about 8 slightly diffident blank pixels running about the screen."
Fill her up!
"EMPTY CUPS. I hate seeing people holding cups and pretending to take drinks from obviously empty cups. Their hands never move right, or if it’s an open cup, you can literally see that it’s empty."
"They move their hand way too fast! It's like they don't even know they're supposed to be pretending it has liquid inside."
Not a 10Interested Saturday Night Live GIF by HULUGiphy
"Casting attractive people in ‘ugly’ roles."'
"Like when the obviously gorgeous person gets a makeover."
Casting is subjective... so they say.
Save Them!Season 5 Nbc GIF by The OfficeGiphy
"Showing incorrect CPR."
"Just do what the AED tells you to do. No thinking required."
"Forcing a love story that makes no sense in a movie that has nothing to do with romance."
"Long kisses in the middle of a 'we're running out of time' scene. We gotta save the world, but let me take my time to say goodbye/goodluck first."
"Long kisses after a death defying scene. Sure, kissing is what they do next."
Makes no Sense
"Having a main character whose job/income level does not match their home or lifestyle at all."
"I was about to say that Charlie’s shi**y apartment in 'It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia' is the one exception to that rule I can think of. But oddly enough his roommate, Frank, is a millionaire."
"Supposedly when they started making Big Bang Theory they tried putting them in a realistic apartment, and it made it really depressing."
"Adapting stuff into live-action movies when they should really be animated. Examples include upcoming Mega Man, Pac-Man and Minecraft movies which are ALL set to be live-action."
"I had no idea that any of these movies were in the works. Pac-Man will be half CGI, NO doubt. Going the Sonic route. Unless they literally just have it as an inspiration, and it's just a guy in yellow running away from ghosts in a labyrinth."
"Minecraft? Well, everyone will watch it, so I'm sure they don't care if it's good. But it's clearly going to focus on Steve building a nether portal and trying to kill a f**king dragon. Mega-Man? Yeah, I can see that working live action. Oh wait, it's a Netflix Original? Yeah, no. That's going to be absolute trash."
ID please?Beverly Hills 90210 90S GIFGiphy
"Casting 35 year olds as high schoolers."
"Can we add casting 16-18 year olds to play 11 year olds?! Priah Ferguson was 16 when she played 11 year old Erica Sinclair in Stranger Things season 4. WTH!?"
Lord Hollywood has a lot of work to do!
What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments.
Time is not always a friend.
It can systematically destroy everything.
Or is that just humans abusing time?
Everything does degrade naturally...
"What has consistently been getting shi**ier?"
Life in general. Life has gotten worse. Not to be a downer. What happened?
Falling ApartSunny Day Help GIFGiphy
"My health as I get older. People aren’t kidding when they say 'I turned X age and started falling apart' it actually happens."
"Yeah it used to be all about sharing stuff with your friends. Now it’s all about trying to keep your eyes on it as long as possible so they can show you more ads. The social networks that are about sharing stuff and the actual content either get acquired or die."
"T-shirts. It used to be that you would get a t-shirt and it would last you literally decades. Almost more importantly in my opinion, the shirt also had some 'structure' and shape to it. Now t-shirts are thin, flimsy, and formless. I feel like I’m wearing an undershirt or a pajamas shirt."
"I should note that around the time t-shirts got sh*ttier, all the t-shirt brands started advertising 'THIS IS THE SOFTEST T-SHIRT EVER.'"
"I’m 99% sure the whole 'softness' marketing was to distract customers from the fact that the fabric got thinner and cheaper. Because although the flimsy fabric is legitimately very soft, 'this shirt is not soft enough' was never a complaint I had with old t-shirts."
"Advertisements. Not only the quality of advertisements, but frequency has skyrocketed. For example, when you watch a basketball game, these MFs put an ad in between free throw attempts. Everything is presented by Company XYZ, everything has some sort of advertisement connected to it, and it is infuriating."
Bad IdeaFast Food GIF by jjjjjohnGiphy
"Fast food. It was always bad for you, but now it doesn't taste as good either, and is more expensive, on top of being bad for you."
Remember when Burger King was only like a dollar? What happened?
DowngradeMoving Season 3 GIF by VidaGiphy
"The quality of furniture. Unless you want to spend $10k, you cant really get something that will last 50+ years."
"Halloween Decorations. Used to be able to buy metal gates, concrete/plaster tombstones, and many other creative decorations that would last you several years - maybe even decades. Now all you can get are flimsy styrofoam and plastic tombstones meant to last only one Halloween (looking at you, Spirit Halloween)."
Try to buy...
"It's ridiculous. Our rent keeps going up, so my husband just said 'Screw it, let's move in with my dad for a year or so to save.' Thankfully he was cool with it, because we seriously never have any extra to save! I don't know how people without help can do it. Rent is so expensive it's impossible to save the money needed to buy a house!"
“the old days”
"Life and perception. As i get older and learn more I consistently yearn for 'the old days' but I’m not actually yearning for old days… I’m merely wishing I could go back to when I didn’t know anything about how life and the world actually operates. Youthful perception is usually more optimistic."
Mainstream DownFound Footage Video GIF by Eternal FamilyGiphy
"Mainstream network television programing."
"I swear to God, at work, most of the crap on TV is either a mediocre drama show about a government organization or firefighters, cringe a** news stations like Inside Edition, game shows or generic 'talk' shows that feel more like advertisements."
Oh, the good ole days. What happened?
When it comes to naming children, there are all kinds of different approaches.
Some parents like to honor the legacy of a late relative, while there are those who prefer naming their baby after a revered fictional character–"Luke" (Skywalker) being one of them.
But let's be honest. Baby naming can get way out of hand, and it's the child who becomes a victim by having to live with a name they might get teased for...like "Blanket."
Curious to hear examples of what some of those might be, Redditor Sarah_Trekkie asked:
"What are some of the craziest baby names you’ve personally been witness to?"
Pity these children with these unfortunate names.
The Three Hs
"Well they weren't babies, but at the summer camp where I worked this summer. 3 brothers: Honor, Heritage, and believe it or not, Henceforth. I felt a little bad for those kids."
"The manager at a shop near me is named Goodenough."
In Case You Missed It A Second Time
"Coworker grew up with a girl named Kelly Kelly Kelly."
"Jam Metallica for a baby girl."
Drugs and babies just shouldn't mix.
"I work in child welfare and it’s actually more common than you would think for someone to name their child after a drug or strand of drug they were using at the time. So with that information, MF Pitbull and Knucklehead were the two that I saw that were pretty bad. Another sad fact is when a child is immediately removed from a family (they have already been proven not to be fit parents) they’ll give them the name Baby Boy/Girl or Infant until they’re adopted."
"Edit: at the time = time of conception"
"Edit edit: 'they' as in the nursing staff, the birth parents often aren’t coherent enough or don’t care to give a name."
Out With The Old In With The New
"I summer nannied for two kids, siblings who had been adopted by a wonderful woman who immediately changed their given names, which were Crystal and Rocky."
"Edited to add that both babies were born addicted to meth. Forgot that little nugget."
It gets worse.
Going By A Gender
"Boy. True story."
What A Pair
"Noodles and papoose."
"I heard these 2 magical names uttered in a single sentence by a woman. 'Noodles! Put papoose down!'"
"Thunderbird, Winter Star, Rainbow, Baby Girl."
"Culturally not that weird, but day to day life outside of the Rez, strong names to live with."
"I met a young man named Jor-El."
"Yes, as in Jor-El, father of Kal-El who became Superman on Earth."
"Were they a clone?"
"Nah, just a carbon copy."
The Pressure Is On
"I was at the park with my nephew last week and a woman started calling for her son to get off the swings. His name was Messiah. That seems like a lot to live up to!"
I would have to say one of the craziest names I've heard of was Otis Payne.
The names individually are actually pretty cool, but when you slap them together and say the full name, well, I can only imagine the amount of jokes this person had to endure.
He probably lost track of the number of times they saw someone doubling over in fake distress–clenching at a problematic part of their body–and saying his full name in jest.
We get it, we get it, "Oh this pain!"
With so many streaming platforms and too many recommendations to watch your friends' favorite shows, how do you prioritize what shows to watch?
Those who can afford to sit in front of the TV all day–because that is the commitment it takes to start making a dent in your viewing playlist–must choose wisely in determining which shows to start binging.
If a show fails to grab your attention from the get go, you might be prone to ditch it and go on to the next one on the list.
The risk of course is you might be missing out on something that is worth sitting through the slow-burn, exposition-y episodes of a show that is trying to establish itself at the beginning but becomes wildly rewarding towards the end.
But who has time for all that?
Apparently, there were many TV show viewers whose patience ran thin.
To find out what shows strangers online thought was not worth their time, Redditor itsamu asked:
"What TV series isn't worth finishing?"
You would think fantasy and action shows can sustain your attention, but they're not all created the same.
Not Having The Time For This One
"Once upon a time. It literally repeats the entire first season’s plot."
"I'm the fastest man alive. Except for the main villain of this season. And the random guy I'm chasing who escaped around the corner of the building, despite the fact I can search an entire square mile in under a minute. Nah, he's gone, no need to check."
One Strong Season
"Heroes. Watch the first season, and then stop."
Can't Kill What's Already Dead
"The walking dead, gave up a while ago. Don't even know if it has finished or not yet."
The Outlook Was Already...
"Grimm. Started off so good, just got worse and worse and worse."
Getting Straight To The Point
"Arrow. It ends at season 2, ya hear me? SEASON TWO!"
Many Redditors recommended cutting the length of a TV season by half.
Wrap It Up
"We really should have more limited series. Some shows have premises that are good for a season or two that get ruined by dragging it out for multiple seasons."
The Brits Get It
"Watch more British shows. Fewer episodes generally so they don’t as often run out of ideas or go off the rails. Fleabag for example, two perfect seasons and done."
Even people who enjoy the pacing of dramas found some in the genre quite tedious.
That Final Season
"House of cards. Just stop watching on the last episode of the penultimate season and pretend the last one is still in the works. The last season is insulting on so many levels."
You Gotta Be Toking
"Weeds. Good for the first three seasons or so. Really f'king comes off the rails after that."
They May Have A Case Here
"Suits. It becomes very repetitive after a while."
"Worst Finale Ever"
"The last couple seasons of Castle were garbage. The finale was the worst finale in the history of finales. Yes even worst than GoT and HIMYM. Such a disgrace for a show that used to be cute, fun and sharply written. I can’t even bring myself to watch marathons when they are on and it was one of my favorite shows when it first started."
I'm probably in the minority here but I had to give up on Game of Thrones by the end of its first season.
I think I was expecting more fantasy and dragons straight away, but as I waited for more action, I found myself losing interest in the characters and patience in keeping track of who was related to whom.
So I put a pin in it and started watching other shows.
When I heard about fans complaining about the letdown of an ending, that was enough for me to remove it from my list permanently.
Hey, to each their own.