I love money, and I love to spend it. But I also love to be frugal and economic in my spending choices. I am always shocked to see how some people will just throw money about like it's water. (And we shouldn't be wasteful with that either!) Whether you have an abundance of it or not, you might want to rethink a couple of choices. Like ten grand for socks? Really?
Redditor u/Bxtweentheligxts wanted to hear about the most outrageous ways people throw around money by asking... What's the most overpriced item you seen someone actually buy?
In New York City there is a restaurant, I believe it's "Serendipity." It's a city must see and a lifestyle staple. They're famous for their desserts and a special hot cocoa but they also have what is said to be one of the world's "best" ice cream sundaes, that goes for a measly... $1000. Sounds like a steal. From your pocket! And anyone who buys it really should reflect on their life choices.
Chips Away...GIF by The Good PlaceGiphy
I once sold a classmate a bag of chips for $20. I was working a snack sale at school where we sold cups full of chips.
We figured we could get about 20 cups for $1 each out of a bag, so we charged $20 for the bag and she actually bought it. The bag of chips itself couldn't have been worth more than maybe $3 or $4 dollars.
Gencon is a big board gaming convention in Indianapolis every year. "The 4 best days in gaming!"
One of the booths sell mystery boxes. The most expensive one was like $200, so my friend bought it. It was filled with junk. A crappy Pikachu mug, a couple of anime pictures, a blanket, and a couple of other small decorative statues of characters that we didn't recognize.
Then, he had to carry that huge box all the way around the con for the next 4-5 hours until we went back to the car.
That's been 5-6 years ago and we still give him crap for that.
When I was in 8th grade, I needed a microphone to play with friends online and the school art show was coming up. Parents can bid on certain pieces they like but usually only the best of the best get bids. I put a crappy looking clay mug for a starting bid of $25. Turns out someone bought it... my mom did. Was nice microphone.
Pop!Feelin Myself Jennifer Lopez GIF by HustlersGiphy
A bottle of champagne at a strip club.
OMG Me Too!
A lady in front of me in line at Kohl's once paid full price for a shirt.
Last time I bought something at Kohl's they aggressively talked me into buying it on a store credit card for 15% off which I then had to go home and cancel. Now I'm too embarrassed to go back to kohl's because I'm scared they'll just make me get another one.
Yeah see, no. All of those things can be bought on sale or at a bargain store. And champagne at a strip club? How can be just be so willing to spend? It's like an addiction. Let's continue...
You mean Diapers?
Designer underwear for toddlers, i mean really they fit them what 4 weeks? Sure they need 60 bucks a piece panties why not.
Just keep an eye on local classifieds, or family and friends with older kids. My brother has two sons that are older than my kid and my sister-in-law always wanted her kids to have "the best", so my kid has more high-quality hand-me-down clothes than he knows what to do with.
I'll Take a Bud
A $15 Coors light at a festival.
I will raise your beer at the ball game with wine at the opera.
The cashier said $15. I was a little surprised it was that low. Because I am not a fool who would let some student take the fall for an honest mistake, I asked if he was sure. Yep, completely rang it up wrong. $46 dollars later I declare that this is properly inflated prices I was expecting.
Light CatcherHappy Joy GIF by The WeekndGiphy
A $15,000 triangular crystal, "sculpture," that would capture light and cast a rainbow on the room.
My own painting.
One foot square, made in 10 minutes with a palette knife. It started as simply a place to scrape leftover paint off my knife Then I squished a couple blobs of color on it and spread it around improv style. Seriously, 10 minutes tops. When I turned it upside down, it happened to resemble an object/scene.
Apparently it really struck a nerve with someone I know, a visceral response each time he views it. I tried to gift it to him twice, but he insisted on paying $500 for it. It's the highest per-hour income, and highest priced artwork, I've ever made.
It's all so random.
Hammersurprised hammer GIFGiphy
In fourth grade, while visiting the local museum, my friend paid $15 for a piece of sandstone with the word "hammer" written on it in marker. It was supposed to be a Native American hammer, but of course it'd just crumble if actually hit against anything.
What have we learned? No matter how much money you have... there is always ways to have more, through thrifty deal making. So much waste on this thread. And never NEVER buy drinks at entertainment venues. Unless you're gonna skip rent that month. LOL
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I understand capitalism and more often than not, I am a fan. I understand that nothing in life is free and you get what you pay for, also, everyone's time is worth something. And I fully comprehend that taxes are necessary to fund our cities and our basic ways of life. I am clear on a ton of that. However, there are just certain, basic, obvious things in life that shouldn't have a price tag. There is enough money to go around for a few free things. And I'm not alone in this opinion.Redditor u/starep wanted everyone to share about what things in life should be available to all without a monetary value attached by asking... What should be free?
Healthcare. Everyone is entitled to it. I'm always astonished by the callous nature of some when this topic comes up. Everyone deserves a fighting chance to live. And that chance should not send you into poverty. The price tag on any and all things health related is ludicrous. Did you know an aspirin, one, singular in a hospital can be $5? Not the bottle, just the pill. get out of here with that craziness.
Emergency Parkingemergency ambulance GIFGiphy
Hospital parking. Where I live, parking garages at public hospitals all seem to be run by private companies and the fees are unhinged. It's a huge amount of pressure to put on people who are already under stress.
IDs. I find it ridiculous that we have to pay so much for something we are required to have on us at all times.
Edit: Sorry should have mentioned that i am from Germany. We have "Ausweispflicht" which basically means everyone above the age of 16 is required by law to own an ID.
Here in the UK we are not required by law to carry ID. Yes it helps in situations with law enforcement, but most of the time a bank card, or work ID pass will suffice for an officer. As long as when he runs your details (and he will run your details) everything matches up you're good.
Beaches and public parks.
I'm from California where all of the beaches are free for everybody to use. It baffles me when I travel and find other beaches aren't free. WHAT?!
Not sure about public parks, I don't know of any that cost $, but not doubting some do.
The FirstVideo Games Nintendo GIFGiphy
The first Super Mario Bros. game. Just have it preloaded on every Nintendo console.
Rain water. In Germany, towns may charge you for a rain water tax. Mainly for the maintenance of the sewage system, but yes, you essentially pay for rain water.
In English it's called Stormwater fee
And it gets calculated in reference to the land that's built upon so that it "seals" the ground. If you have a garden, which feeds the rainwater back into the ecosystem, you don't pay the rain water tax. If you build a giant parking lot, you increase the strain on the sewage system with every rainfall.
See now, all of that sounds very reasonable. Nobody is asking for the world. Especially when it comes to water that falls from the sky. Like, nobody asked for it. It's just sent down. If anything we should be payed to deal with it. I digress, let's read on.
Food but with taste...
School lunch for all kids.
One time my dad forgot to put money on the books, and when I got to the register on this afternoon, the lady told me I had to put it back and get the cheese sandwich.
So I looked her dead in the eye, pulled the tray up to my face and gave the lunch a big ol' lick. I got to keep it LOL
A funny story, but it's a shame and a half that it took THAT for them to contemplate giving a kid a proper lunch.
Reading is Fundamental
Anyone who thinks 'Netflix for Books' is a viable business model that could possibly replace the numerous services your local library provides -- especially to those people who by definition couldn't afford a subscription model -- is exactly the kind of person who could probably benefit by spending more time in a library.
EDIT: For everyone who's asking whether libraries are free: yes, they (usually) are. However, it's recently become a Libertarian talking point about 'why my taxes should be going to fund things I don't use'.
The is nonsensical because a) you're still getting access to the service even if you choose not to use it; it's like asking why you pay towards a Fire Department even though your house didn't burn down, and b) 'F**k you, Jack, I've got mine' is a crappy worldview that we shouldn't be encouraging. Libraries should be free at the point of use. Thankfully, they mostly are -- but we need to make sure they stay that way, because there are people who don't want that to be so.
When you gotta go...Peeing In The Bathroom GIF by Film RiotGiphy
Using the toilet.
(Looking at you and your stupid pay toilets, Europe! As well as any convenience store/fast food joint that tries to refuse the restroom to non-customers, especially if there isn't a nearby public option).
One Way Ticket
If you ask me, a single ambulance ride shouldn't cost as much as a Lamborghini.
In 2018, I was being treated for cancer. One of the treatments made me extremely sick - I'll spare you the gross details. One evening, a family friend was over. I told my husband that I thought I needed to go to the hospital. The friend said he was going to call an ambulance.
In unison, my husband and I said "hell no!" I was pretty sure I wasn't dying, so I had my husband take me. It took forever because we had to pull over several times so I could barf outside the car.
I mean, cancer is one thing. But I don't want to drown in medical bills.
CREDIT CHECKS SHOULD NOT HURT YOUR FREAKING CREDIT. PAYING OFF CREDIT CARDS SHOULDN'T HURT YOUR CREDIT.
Not exactly the same as a typical cost but it's still a cost.
Medication, especially anything required for survival. No reason I should have to choose between paying for insulin or paying for food/shelter/education. My body cannot produce it on its own, and I have no choice but to buy it.
Winrar is like, the nicest program though. They don't force you to pay, and you can easily continue using it without paying. The just gently nudge you to pay with a non-annoying easily closeable pop-up.
BasicsCecily Strong Season 44 GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
Criminal record checks.
Water. F**k Nestle.
some of the key events listed in that post
Nestle taking more water than they are allowed to
Child Labor to harvest cocoa
Nestle convinced Third world mothers that their baby formula is as good as breastmilk. With no access to clean water, the formula mixed with water led to malnutrition
Nestles bottled water has highest micro plastic pollution (in general, please don't buy water in plastic bottles).
- Asthma Inhalers (good ones not cheap)
- Cryptic fibrosis jacket
Update: Wow this is the most upvotes I've ever gotten... then again... this just proves how necessary these should be free to all.
The air machines at gas stations. It's air for cryin' out loud. How you gonna refuse me some air for my tires just because I don't have any change on me?
This has never worked for me though, but that's anecdotal.
I'm a man, but imo feminine hygiene products should be free.
As a cashier full time, it feels wrong to tell a high school girl she's a dollar short so I can't let her leave with her hygiene products. For one, I'm a guy, and can't fathom that discomfort, and that's not even to mention the fact that it is probably extremely embarrassing for her, and a messy inconvenience, especially if that was her only option, in public.
For the record, I bought her tampons for her.
It's messed up that these aren't free for women.
Edit: I should have expected this to blow up, but I didn't. Please don't give anymore rewards, please donate the money to The National Suicide Hotline to help the ones fighting their demons.
The Eyes Have It
Glasses and lenses.
I'd settle for a place around here that doesn't get so pissy about giving out your prescription when you actually pay for an examination.
Yes, even when you're up front about it, and even if you buy a pair of glasses some of them still either won't do business with you again or they give you the bare minimum which means it's missing one or two things, that you can figure out on your own but you shouldn't need to.
How are these ideas not already implemented? I hope this thread is looked at as more of a list of demands and not suggestions. We're already being overworked, overcharged and overtaxed; with dwindling benefits. Something's gotta give.
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As much as I'd love to sit here and paint a picture of a world populated by 100% honest people who would never take advantage of others, I simply can't do that.
The unfortunate truth is that you need to have you head on a swivel out there.
Muggings, scams, crooked cops, and exploitation of the vulnerable are happening all over the place all the time. And if you prefer to stay out of the cross-hairs, you'll need to know how to protect yourself.
Lucky for us, some Redditors offered their best tips to help prevent yourself from becoming the victim.
[deleted] asked, "What are the best 'street smart' tips you can give?"
Mugging was a popular area of commentary in the thread. There are so many minute behaviors you can incorporate into your night walk home that could really save your butt someday.
Keep Those Eyes Moving
"Situational awareness. Look up the OODA loop and learn it. Notice who stands out, who looks out of place."
"If you get a bad feeling about a situation or person DO NOT ignore it. Know your exits. Even if you have a weapon yourself, getting out without having to fight is best."
A List of Tips
"Windows are mirrors, use them to see who's behind you. Act like you know where you're going. Swing wide around corners. Don't show off anything you're not willing to lose."
"The nicer you look, the bigger of a mark you become - look like you've got nothing and people will assume you've got nothing. Stay focused on the sound of your footsteps and you'll hear nearby footsteps too."
"I lived in an area where people get mugged regularly."
Eliminating one of Your Senses
"DO NOT WEAR HEADPHONES!!!"
"You make yourself an easy target by making it so even the most clod footed mugger can sneak up on you."
"Don't fumble through your pockets."
"If you think your being followed go into a store calmly and chat with the workers."
"Carry a loose dollar bill or two if your someone that likes to give money to people. Less likely to target the dude that handed a single dollar than the guy who pulled a dollar out of a wallet full of 20's"
Others offered tips regarding more communal environments than the lonely, defenseless walk home. These tips had a lot to do with nights out, bar behavior, and a general skepticism of other people's motivations.
The Bait and Switch
"Be weary of women who approach you at a bar and immediately try and get you to go to another bar."
"Those people are called 'pullers' and they are paid to do it."
All About Context
"Surround yourself with people who make you feel safe. There's a difference between feeling comfortable and feeling safe. You could be comfortable with strangers— maybe you just met them and they're nice."
"You might not be safe around those people, i.e. would those people help you if someone had a gun to your head, or run for their own safety? Find the people who you know would take a punch to keep you safe."
"Trust your gut. Your subconscious can notice details your conscious mind doesn't."
"Don't be afraid of making a scene to keep yourself safe."
Finally, some imparted wisdom that might be helpful if you find yourself brushing against law and order. The overarching theme? Don't shoot yourself in the foot.
"If you get arrested, shut the fu** up. Ask for a lawyer and then shut the fu** up. And when a lawyer shows up, shut the fu** up." -- inkseep1
"Listen to this guy here, he knows what he's doin." -- IAMAZNGI
Keep It Cool
"Cops will take the side of anyone that speaks calmly every time no matter the circumstances." -- NicNac_PattyMac
"Yes, officer. You see.. I am quite aware there is blood all over me and a knife in my hand. It may look like I murdered this young gentleman and my wife sleeping in our bed, but on the contrary, I very much just arrived to find them butchered by some stranger...it is quite the pickle we are in, but I assure you that I had nothing to do with this" -- seuche23
"Never break two laws at the same time."
"If you got illegal stuff on you in the car, don't speed. And so on."
Hopefully you'll note these tips--if you haven't already--and someday prevent a true calamity from ever striking.
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There are few things more satisfying than a crisp $20 bill. Well, maybe a crisp $100 bill.
But twenty big ones can get you pretty far nonetheless.
Whether it's tucked firmly in a birthday card, passing from hand to hand after a knee-jerk sports bet, or going toward a useful tool, the old twenty dollar bill has been used for countless purposes.
A recent Reddit thread asked folks to share their best uses of that timeless institution.
theotherhalfof2 asked, "What's the best $20 you ever spent?"
For many, it was all about the clothes.
With secondhand stores dotting every town and city there is, true gems lurk on racks just under our noses. And with a $20, those new threads are yours to keep forever.
"I got a jacket and a pair of jeans at goodwill for about $20. My first time wearing the jacket I found a tiny zipper inside a pocket."
"There was a secret inner pocket with a twenty in it."
"A pair of blue-light canceling reading glasses."
"I have to stare at a lot of different screens throughout the day for my job. It's been so nice to not fall asleep with a headache every night, although it may be a placebo."
Keeps On Giving
"23 Years ago I was in the US for some work and was not prepared for the cold of Chicago. Went to wal-mart and bought myself a cheap, warm jacket."
"I'm wearing that jacket right now - still looks fine, still keeps me warm."
As Good As They Come
"Wool pinstripe double breasted suit from Goodwill, fit perfectly and was brand new. Ended up wearing it to get married the next year." -- verminiusrex
"God I love Goodwill!!" -- Neverthelilacqueen
For others, the $20 bill facilitated a true act of kindness. They were glad to put their money towards such a worthy cause, celebrating human connection in the process.
The Socks She Needed
"I work at a thrift shop. A homeless lady came in and asked us where the socks were. We only sell new socks, so I directed her towards the new socks and she was... shocked and disappointed by the price tag, surely."
"I gave her a moment as she looked, and she moved to some kids' socks and picked them up, and I... just couldn't let that happen. I told her that I would help her, and told her to get herself some socks and a jacket."
"She kind of just... held out the children's socks, so I took them, put them back, and grabbed the extra fluffy socks that were hanging."
"She grabs a jacket and some pants, and I pay for it. My coworker looks the other way since we're not supposed to purchase anything while on the clock. The lady is in tears as she walks out."
"I notice that she's still outside a minute later putting them on, and ask her if they fit her or if she needed something else; and she told me they were perfect and proceeded to cry. I cried in return."
"It was a good day."
"A guy came into my work when I managed a mom and pop Pizza Place. He said he was stranded with no phone, and no money, but that the people at the Verizon store next door to us said they could get him a cheap phone with some minutes on it for 20 bucks."
"He offered to do dishes for a few hours to make some money so he could get this phone. I told him not to worry about it and gave him a 20 from my wallet. He thanked me, asked me for my name, and then he left and I never saw him again."
"Skip forward about 5 months, and when I get into work the owner was there and said she had gotten a letter addressed to me. 'Weird,' I thought."
"But when I opened it there was a 50 dollar bill and a short note from the guy I gave 20 dollars to thanking me for my kindness and for not turning him away."
"Turns out he was in a bad way (addicted to hard drugs and homeless) and really was stranded there. He was trying to get a phone so he could contact his parents (who lived in another state) for help."
"From what it sounded like, he seemed to really turn his life around. He was clean and working a stable job while still living with his parents."
"I paid for a truck drivers meal at a truck stop. His credit card wouldn't work and he looked really distraught about what to do."
"He wasn't trying to rip off anyone but he didn't have any cash. I quietly told the cashier I'd pay for it and did without him ever knowing who it was. It just felt good to do it."
The Best Finale
"It was the day before payday. My wife came to see me at work. My break was in an hour, so I asked for her to wait a bit, so we could enjoy it together. She did."
"I bought her some lunch, because it was what I could afford. I bought her a ham and cheese sub sandwich and two iced teas. These were her favorite. I bought gas with the rest of the twenty so she could get home. She dropped me back off at work."
"That night, she passed away. It brings me comfort to know that I bought her favorite sandwich and drink for her that afternoon. It was likely the last thing she ate, since it was near dinner. I'll never forget it. Best $20 I ever spent, because it was for her."
A handful of people recalled a memory that was made possible by $20. There's no two ways about it: money motivates people and makes things happen.
Leaning Into the Nerdery
"It was my ninth or tenth birthday. My grandparents gave me $20. The first $20 bill I ever held in my hand! I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it."
"A week later, we went into the city and Toys R Us. I went straight to the Transformers aisle. And there he was. My favourite Transformer. The one I always wanted...Soundwave."
"He's the one who turned into a Walkman and he could eject cassettes that turned into robot animals. The price tag said $19.99. It was meant to be."
"I took Soundwave to the clerk and gave her my $20 bill. "And here's your change!" she said, as she gave me a single penny."
"Ah, Soundwave. The best friend a lonely little nerd could have."
"I went to a Rush concert in 1982. The ticket was $9.50 and the t-shirt was $10." -- PaulsRedditUsername
"My then six year old niece had a loose tooth she loved to show off and had resisted pulling out for two weeks. We were all at my parents and I was getting ready to leave, I pulled out a $20 and said 'I'll give you this right now if you pull out your tooth.' "
"She was already crying because her little sister had did something so when she ran into the bathroom none of us had no idea in what she was about to do."
"So she comes out crying still, but a little bit of blood I'm her mouth because of course, she pulled out her tooth. But the now removed tooth fell down the drain to the sink and she was crying because she lost her proof!"
"After she calmed down she was happy as a clam with a brand new $20 and everyone was quite proud of her. My sister told me she spent it on candy and shared with her little sister."
For the Story
"It was actually to a scammer in Rome. There was this guy right outside of Colosseum who started tying strings around my wrist and told me to make a wish. I knew it was going to cost but I thought what the hell, last day in Rome so might as well go with it.
"My wish was to find love."
"I spent rest of the day getting lost in the city and stumbled across two weddings and one baptism ceremony. So I did find love, just not for myself."
"Paid about $20 in airline fees to cash in my air miles for a ticket across the country. Was recently laid off and had time on my hands so flew across the country to meet a girl I had been talking to that I had met in a chat room online."
"Stayed 2 weeks with a family friend getting to know her. Later that year she came and visited me then moved in with me. 18 years later we are married with 3 wonderful kids."
Stayed Just Long Enough
"$10 on a coffee and cake meeting at 6pm, since I had coffee that late I decided to go to a gig nearby $5 door fee and $5 for the beer that kept me there (it was rather boring)."
"Up rocks a casual friend I hadn't seen in a while, something about that night had us seeing the other in a different way. That was 9 years, 3 cats, several aquariums ago."
"We're planning on getting married next year."
Years of Thought and Entertainment
"Many years ago, I was walking up Madison Avenue, in Manhattan. I think I was heading to the bus stop at Madison and 96th Street. On the way there, I popped into this small bookshop that's on 92nd or 93rd Street, or thereabouts. I don't know if it's still there, especially with this pandemic."
"I went in on a whim, just to browse, because books, to me, are like catnip to a cat."
"I wasn't planning on buying anything but I picked up "Collected Fictions" by Jorge Luis Borges. I started flipping through it and I was so enthralled that I just had to buy it on the spot. It was about $20 and I usually don't splurge in an instant like that"
"also, $20 was a lot more money back when this took place — but it was worth every penny. This book is an anthology of Borges' work and it's just terrific. To this day, I'll pick it up every once in a while and read my favorite stories from there."
So next time you have a single $20 left in your wallet, maybe take a moment to think about using that thing intentionally. You never know what memorable moment might come of it.
I have to admit. I was not fond of being poor. I was ten when I realized my family had some financial issues. My mother sat me down to explain that she needed to go to the food drive to get somethings. It had been a hard year and she wanted me to be prepared in case someone we knew saw us. It was heartbreaking.
My mother has always been a hard worker and she hates asking for help. So that's why it infuriates me when people try to say that being poor is just a mentality and the poor should just try not to be poor. My mother did make it out of several financial holes but it was always an uphill battle, because the truth is... being poor only makes you more poor. The system is designed that way.
Redditor u/26point2PipeDream wanted everyone to start realizing that the game is rigged, often by the system keeping the poor, poor. They asked everyone to explain by inquiring... In what way is it expensive to be poor?
There are so many small details from the everyday, mundane that people with out an endless well of money have to do to survive. And it all may seem like nothing, but the nothings add up. They add up to spending and debt that can be necessary to survive. Look at real estate. Paying outrageous amounts of rent is fruitless. And mortgage is cheaper. But who can afford down payment for a mortgage? Maybe if you could get a free year of rent you could save for it. Hmmm....
Clothing Transportcats laundry GIFGiphy
I saw a lady coming out of a laundromat, loading her baskets of clothes into a taxi (there is zero other public transport where I saw this happen and only a few taxis).
Not being able to put enough money together at one time to buy a car or a washing machine (she probably rented so this maybe wasn't even an option) was costing her a fortune. Just being nickeled and dimed to death.
If you're ever desperate enough to take out a title/payday loan you'll discover you just stepped in financial quicksand.
About a year and a half ago I forgot to leave enough money in my bank account for a payment that needed to be done. It wasn't much, around $500 maybe, but didn't want the late payment and fees that come with it, so I decided to look into the payday loans. I needed $500 to last until Friday (when I would be paid)... I checked on it on Monday.
When I was to click "Accept", I read the entire thing... it said I had to pay back $950 IF I paid on Friday...or about $2,500 if I went with their payment plan.
Fees, fees and fees...
There are late fees for everything. Overdraft fees at the bank. Sh!tty jobs usually don't have good healthcare plans. If you're poor, you need credit cards just to survive, but interest rates are higher for those with low credit scores (see late fees above). Crappy cars are always breaking down, and that's expensive.
Death is Easier
Healthcare. That's the big one. If you don't have a healthcare plan, or have a crappy one you don't go to the doctor unless it's life or death. That means small problems that could have been caught in the beginning become hugely expensive problems later on.
Like parking tickets. I couldn't afford the £2 to pay to park my car so I get a £30 fine, after 2 weeks it goes up to £60 and so on. If I didn't have £2 to park in the first place I don't know how they think I can pay more.
When you're poor you have to crafty. You also have to be thrifty and smart ,but crafty is often overlooked. See poor people are constantly in a fight to survive so learning how to maneuver is a key going forward. You just have to maneuver very carefully. Don't fall for the financial traps. They're always ready to get you. Case in point...
Renting is like CreditCredit Card Money GIF by HustlersGiphy
Renting to own anything is really bad. You pay 4X the value of whatever it is you're renting to own. And if you miss a payment they repossess it and someone else might start at the beginning of attempting to pay for it again. Not only that you very well might be paying 4X the new value for a used item.
And only low quality items are sold rent to own. Ashley furniture, crappy used cars, the cheapest big screen TVs available at wholesale. Houses might be better, but rent a center, and JD Byrider are worse than loan sharks.
Being stuck with higher interest rates because you don't have enough credit to get low rates.
How a lender can ignore me paying upwards of $1500 a month in rent while contemplating a mortgage loan that is equivalent to $850 a month. You'd think that would be a pretty safe bet right there.
The Pre-Pay Options
You can seldom buy in bulk, so you end up paying more for thing. For example, our local butchery sells ground beef cheap if you buy 2 kg or more at a time. If you're paid weekly and can afford only 500 g per week, you end up paying more.
Buying in bulk is a huge money saver.
And it's so damn expensive.
You don't just need the money in advance to buy the groceries. You also need a freezer or cooler large enough to store it. And of course a vehicle to get it home. So many things to pre-pay before you can start saving.
I'll add that when you have less money the power relationship is flipped in nearly every financial interaction you have.
When you have money, banks and companies compete to get access to your reliable spending, be it with low interest rates on borrowing or better deals for early payment. They have to compete because you have the option to go to someone else who will gladly take your payment history and stable income.
You're a safe bet, so you have the luxury of choice.
When you don't have money institutions know you have nowhere else to go. So they happily gouge you knowing agreeing to horrendous loan terms is your only option.
I teach econ and always remind my kids that commercials boasting about "no credit, low credit, no problem!" know exactly who they're getting in the door. People who have nowhere else to go.
Time for Restructurestory justice GIF by PrimerGiphy
The justice system. If you can't pay a fine, the state will make things more expensive by adding fees on top of fees on top of fees, then they will incarcerate you for not paying the inflated fees. Then you have to pay the parole officer who is keeping an eye on you while you care unable to get a job that pays enough to pay him.
Not having in-home laundry is a great example.
Say it costs you $4 to do your laundry each week (which I think is very cheap). In 5 years you will have spent over $1000 on laundry.
For $1000 you can get a good washing machine that would last you through those 5 years, then another 5 years, and maybe a lot more. And that doesn't count the time saved doing laundry at home, and any transportation costs.
My car has a leaky seal on the transmission. It'd be about $250 to replace the seal and flush the transmission. I don't have $250, so I keep topping up the fluid and keep driving it because I'll never get $250 if I don't get to work. But, in time, that's going to destroy the transmission, which will be about $1200 to replace.
Edit: I never thought I'd say this in my entire life, but please stop offering me money. (I know. I'm insane, right?)
I'm getting by and my world will not end if my cars dies. It will be irritating and problematic, but I have other options I can make work, if the worst happens. In the mean time, plans are in place to resolve the issue and I have every reason to think that my car will survive until I can repair it.
I cannot tell you how much these offers mean to me. It has really made my night to have so many people want to help. Please, I ask you to turn your generous offers to others who are in a much more dire situation than I am.
There are several who commented on other threads on this post (as well as at least one who commented on this thread). I would not feel comfortable taking money under these circumstances when I have other options available to me. In short, other people here need it more.
Know that your kindness has made me smile on a day when really needed some brightness. I cannot put into words my gratitude. Thank you all.
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If you're well off, you buy 1 pair of boots for $150 and they last a lifetime.
If you're poor, you buy boots for $30 and they last a winter.
You end up spending more, because you can't afford to spend more. Terry Pratchett uses it to explain poverty via Sam Vines in one of his City Watch books.
If you can't maintain a minimum balance or don't have a bank in your neighborhood or were raised to be suspicious of banks and don't have a bank account, you've got to pay fees to cash your paychecks. Then there are fees to buy money orders to pay your bills-- or the cost of getting TO the utility office or car dealership or wherever to pay in cash.
So is one dental cleaning every 6 months (the reason its 6 months is because that is the time when cavities can form). Root Canals are now thousands of dollars and those dentists demand up front payment for those expensive services. Most people don't have an extra 2 grand in their bank account for a root canal.
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Mental health. Or more specifically stress. You will always have stress about future, always making decisions based on your poverty so that it won't affect your situation in bad way.
What Really Hurts
Everything is expensive when you're poor. Jokes aside, this is true. I've been poor for most of my life and I'm still not in a great financial situation. And the biggest problem is that you not only don't have a lot of money, but all the prices stay the same, so literally ANYTHING that you buy feels like a fortune.
I walked to the grocery store do buy some stuff to make a special dinner on my daughter's birthday and I spent about R$100,00 (about 20 dollars I think, Idk), and I swear I'd win an Oscar for how I kept my poker face. The second I walked out of the store I bursted out crying. Everyone on the street could see me crying as I walked back home. Seeing my daughter's smile later that day during dinner made me feel a lot better, but those R$100 ($20) REALLY hurt.
If you're poor you already have no or very little money to invest in yourself, so you have to take on debt to do so. If you want to get technical certifications or degrees. Sometimes there's financial assistance but a lot of the time taking on loans is necessary.
Miles and Miles and Miles...
Tires! Used tires cost 1/3 price and get about 20% of the life of a new tire. Also you are paying mount and balance every time, plus worry about blow outs. Even a new tire at $80 with a 30K mileage expectancy or a $100 tire at 65k mileage warranty. Over twice the life, little more than 20% in extra charge.
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Debt. Basically if you're poor you need to borrow some money to either get a house or buy food and after a while the debt keeps getting bigger and bigger.
In this moment the country is in the throws of cultural and financial battles. As I type, we await the Senate rulings on a financial plan for Covid. And the squabbling is endless. One of the main sticking points is raising the minimum wage to $15 and hour. Some Senators act like people are asking for a million dollars. Because God forbid we give the poor a leg up and shave a few measly dollars off the top from the super wealthy. You know, the ones rigging the whole game. Mhmmm.... Stay vigilant people and save those pennies.