People Break Down The Things Only Someone Who's Been Poor Will Understand
Photo by Steve Mushero on Unsplash

When you have no money, you have no other choice than finding ways to survive.

It can be sort of like a club.

Only people who understand being poor will recognize other poor people.

There are things you learn about stretching every penny that some will never be able to comprehend.

Of course right now in the throws of this ridiculous inflation problem, pennies are useless.

But that is a different conversation.

Let's make some notes about lacking funds.

Redditor cannonstotheleftofus wanted to hear from people who have struggled with the coin. They asked:

"What’s something people don’t know unless they’ve been poor?"

Rewashing clothes and reusing the same clothes for months. You ignore the fade.

Noodle Away

noodles GIF by Pusheen Giphy

"How to make $20 last a week."


"The magic word is Ramen."


“pay us now”

"You have a couple of months from when you get those 'pay us now' letters until they actually care enough to get bailiffs involved."


"I am currently in that stage and boy if that doesn't just make the next payment even worse. It's and endless cycle of higher and higher catch-up payments till you die or someone finally helps you."


Reading is Fundamental

"Poor people know the importance of a good library. They are one of the few remaining public places where you can simply exist without the expectation of buying something. Books are free to check out and provided entertainment when my family couldn't afford internet/cable. The library in my town is a safe, well-lit, air conditioned/heated space that has clean water, free access to bathrooms, and free wifi."

"Not everyone has all those resources at home. Some people have no home at all. It's a valuable resource for homeless people and it's a safe space for poor kids to do homework or hang around while parents are busy working. Nowadays libraries even offer free passes to museums and zoos, free adult education classes, and have tools or sewing machines you can borrow. Libraries are great."



"That everything takes twice as long to do because you have to take public transportation, and have to go to the laundromat; many things are a huge hassle like limiting how many things you can get at the store because you have to lug it all on the bus; basically things that many take for granted require a load of planning and time."


Good Night

Tired Go To Sleep GIF by bluesbear Giphy

"Sleeping not because you're tired but because you're hungry and can't grab a bite because whatever might be left in the fridge gotta last till the 15th."


Food is always the biggest issue. Making food last is a skill.



"How expensive being poor can be. When you're living paycheck-to-paycheck, you can't often plan/save/budget as well as you could if you had some money to fall back on."


The taste...

"How a black bean and rice burrito tastes when it's all you've been able to afford for the better part of the past year. No cheese, just beans and rice and tortilla, sometimes with Lowry's Seasoned Salt or peanut butter when available. Cheese is the most expensive part of a burrito."


Cheap parts...

"Being poor is expensive. You’re forced to buy low quality s**t that needs to be replaced constantly, which in the long run causes you to spend more money. This is why poverty is so hard to escape. For example, when I was poor as s**t, I was forced to learn how to fix my own old a** car and buy cheap parts, because I just couldn’t afford to take it in, buy quality parts, and/or get something more reliable."

"Because of this, sometimes I didn’t know what I was doing and created other issues therefore causing me to spend more money. Cheap parts need to replaced way more often causing me to spend more money in the long run as opposed to buying a quality, long lasting part initially. And the car itself just broke down way more frequently, causing me to spend money more than I would with a more reliable vehicle."

"But the problem is when you’re poor, you don’t have the option to buy that quality starter that will last years. You have to buy the cheap piece of s**t one and replace it yearly because you literally don’t have the money for the quality one as a one time expense. Although I do love working on cars now as a result of this, so in a weird way I’m grateful, but the point still stands."


Pain in the A...

"Medicaid is a pain in the a** to understand and sign up for. It's like the state actively fights you trying to sign up."


"I remember the one time I was briefly on Medicaid. It was such a pain in the a** to get going and the end result was that there was no point in having bothered because nobody took Medicaid and Medicaid didn't cover any of my diabetic supplies. The healthcare system needs a major overhaul and anybody who says otherwise can go suck a lemon."



Sipping Tea Time GIF Giphy

"You can infuse your tea more than once. It goes well with two times and it's acceptable with three. More than that... You can't afford tea."


"My grandma wasn't poor by a long shot, but she made those teabags last at least 5 times!!! They would be standing in the kitchen, all dried up on a little plate, ready to be reused!"


How do you use tea that many times? I love it anyway.

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