The gap between rich and poor is so wide that the two classes might as well be living on different planets entirely. For every person who can purchase a takeaway meal without thinking about it or treat themselves to a nice vacation––and it doesn't have to be all the time––there are way more people who count their change before they head to the supermarket.
"Whats strange for rich people, but normal for poor people?" –– This was today's burning question from Redditor cv45fb, and it's an eye-opener.
Losing adult teeth and not getting them replaced.
Having your debit card decline when that forgotten bill hits.
"Lack of choice."
Lack of choice.
If you're poor it's no longer a question of will I go out tonight, you won't because you don't have the money. Shall I buy a take away? Nope, you'll eat what you have at home or go hungry. When you're poor your life is emptied of many, many choices because you simply don't have the money to buy yourself options in your life.
Being charged for not having enough money in your bank account.
"Grew up with a friend..."
Eating whatever you can afford, not whatever you want.
Grew up with a friend from school that just led a totally different lifestyle than my family. They were super rich. Dinner at their house, every night was like Christmas Eve dinner or a really special occasion in my family. How much was being spent wasn't even on the radar, it was just "what does everyone want?" If they didn't feel like cooking they would just take us out for a casual dinner at a restaurant I didn't even know existed in our town.
It was just a noticeable difference from my family where we'd try to make a dinner stretch for two or even three days before making something else. Then if we did well in school and were behaving well we'd get to go out for pizza on Friday.
"Having a small house..."
Having a small house and siblings sharing a room. I went to school with a girl whose family was super rich, and she heard me talking about how my sister and I always shared a room, and it blew her mind. She asked me if we also had to share a bed (we didn't), then proceeded to tell me how her house was so big that they used an intercom system and had a laundry chute. She had siblings too, but she just couldn't grasp the concept of sharing bedrooms.
Counting the money in your wallet before going into the supermarket. And mentally adding up how much you're spending as you shop. I round up to make sure I have enough money.
"It's a weird thing..."
Losing sleep over money. It's a weird thing, not a nightmare - just an uneasy state which wakes you up in the middle of the night. I had that really badly in my second degree. I was so badly in debt, and despite working two jobs I was barely staying afloat. I kept telling my self after my second degree was done it'd be better. It did get better, but waking up due to financial stress sucks.
"...instead of a minor inconvenience..."
A flat tire being a real disaster that takes months to recover from, instead of a minor inconvenience or setback.
Constantly knowing exactly how fragile your quality of life can be. Any financial emergency can totally screw the delicate balancing act you've managed so far.
"Having to walk everywhere..."
Having to walk everywhere because you can't afford driving lessons, never mind a car. Also being unable to get in public transit or get taxis/Uber's due to low funds. Imaging having to choose between groceries or being late to somewhere due to low money.
Leftovers, looking at the price of gas before stopping to pump, shopping at several stores to get the best prices on everything possible, sewing a hole in pants or shirts, deciding what you can't do if you go out to eat, getting vacation from work and not going anywhere on it.
"Penalty charges" and "late fees". Rich people don't often miss payments, but poor people do all the time.
"Knowing you have to keep up a cash flow..."
Knowing you have to keep up a cash flow or your life will be ruined. Although there are "rich" people who do it too, most well-off people do not know the anxiety of living paycheck to paycheck. Even the wealthier people who do it, can get away with it for much longer in a large house versus a minimum wage worker in a 1 bedroom apartment. I heard of a family in Chicago area that stayed in a 1.5 million dollar house for 8 months before being evicted without paying a single statement - imagine a unit renter being able to have an 8 months grace period on their first rent payment.
It's daunting to take on life and know that any mistake could result in you not having a place to lay your head. And even more so nowadays, I see children who have gotten the green light from their parents that their financials will be handled for the rest of their life and they kinda just do what they want to do now. it honestly makes me angry for some reason.
"Working six or seven day weeks..."
Working six or seven day weeks for years at a time. Never taking a vacation. Not pursuing your dreams/interests because doing what you have to do to pay the bills takes every ounce of energy out of you.
"The look on your friends' faces..."
The look on your friends' faces when you have to say again that you can't afford to go on that trip, camping, hell, even certain restaurants.
DQ: What's the lowest point you've ever been financially?