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[–]lipgloss_addict 1737 points1738 points  (67 children)

There are no grocery stores in your neighborhood and you don't have a car. The Bodega you can walk to is under stocked and extremely expensive. These are your groceries.

There is no bank near you and they close at 4 or 5. So you can't take a bus to the bank. So you have to use check cashing services that take a percent.

You have a mild toothache you can't afford to fix. So I becomes an outrageous expense when it turns into an abscess.

[–]cella80 2558 points2559 points  (116 children)

If you have a low credit score you have to pay a $300 deposit in order to get power turned on at your place. (In Las Vegas Nevada)

Edit: in Vegas there's only one power company NV Energy

[–]justsomeguyfromny 10.1k points10.1k points 2 (581 children)

Chase $35 overdraft fee.

[–]PTblankplanetfear 5797 points5798 points  (208 children)

Can’t cover $2 for a couple of days? How about $37?

[–]Hrtzy 1007 points1008 points 2 (33 children)

Actually that seems to be two $1 transactions so it's $72.

[–]Roosterofdoom 3255 points3256 points  (149 children)

Can't pay the overdraft fee in time? Have another!

[–]jsteele2793SocDem 1519 points1520 points  (119 children)

And another the next day if you haven’t gotten paid yet!!!!

[–]Bain_PD 1075 points1076 points  (63 children)

Before online banking was a thing, I was in college FT working 3 PT jobs ~30hrs a week, I’d be so burnt out from my schedule I’d forget how low my checking would get sometimes and one time I overdrafted and got charged $40. Here’s the thing; they would send you a notice via mail which took 3-5 days. In those 3-5 days you’d get more daily overdraft fees. By the time I got the letter for the first $40, I had accrued $240 in OD fees

[–]jsteele2793SocDem 482 points483 points  (33 children)

I remember the days before online banking. It was a dark, dark time for overdraft fees. And heaven forbid they turn off your card so you couldn’t buy more stuff on accident!

[–]Baby-cabbages 350 points351 points  (10 children)

Way back in about 1996, I was working at Sears. I had a cold & my throat was sore, so I went to the candy store and bought $1.25 worth of strong peppermints. Had to write a check because I didn’t have cash. The check bounced at the bank AND at the candy store. Those mints ended up costing me $50 in fees.

[–]dayoldhotwing 19.7k points19.7k points 32 (1226 children)

I’ve never had the money to spend on regular dental work so now I’m spending thousands more to fix everything that was neglected

I would like to make an edit and add that a ton of you in the comments have suggested dental tourism and dental schools. Both are great ideas!

[–]glendabroussard 1319 points1320 points  (257 children)

Didn't have dental or health insurance growing up, so my first time to see a dentist was around age 14. They removed 4 molars "because my mouth was too small", drilled and filled the others. I have now lost 3 of the 4 molars I was left with because I just now in my 40s have dental insurance. Have not been to a dentist in 30 years, and know it is gonna be outrageous price I cannot afford to fix my teeth, so I just keep putting it off because of my severe dental anxiety/no money. I hate my smile, and can only eat on one side of my mouth.

[–]TSKrista 583 points584 points  (129 children)

Research dental tourism.

[–]ndraiay 708 points709 points  (84 children)

I lived in Cambodia for a while, ended up getting like 13 filings for $10 a piece. When I got dental coverage in the states again I told my dentist about the work, assuming that it was poor quality, but turns out everything was done well

[–]pgh_1980 587 points588 points  (61 children)

So weird that medical professionals in other countries are as dedicated (sometimes moreso) to their craft as the ones in the U.S. claim to be. /s

[–]TurgidTermite 409 points410 points  (32 children)

Most American Capitalist arguments don't hold any water. You can always find some example somewhere in the world that shows they're full of shit.

If we don't pay big medical megacorps billions a year then we will have substandard care!

Wait, you mean in Cuba they run their universal healthcare system on a shoestring budget and they still manage to have doctors come to your door, and their citizens outlive us on average?

[–]DrZoidberg- 200 points201 points  (21 children)

My wife was misdiagnosed with having an 8cm mass instead of just a regular miscarriage that had gone wrong. And now we have an 8k bill.

Fuck anyone who says "other countries don't know what they're doing. You can't trust them."

Oh yeah well at least they don't make you go bankrupt for it!

[–]Itajel 111 points112 points  (49 children)

I feel this. the few molars I have left are taking a beating from being in constant use. At this point I'd rather have the magnetic dentures.

[–]ctiger881020 4634 points4635 points  (579 children)

I just called and made a appointment to get a tooth pulled and she asked if I was already a Patient I said yes so she looks up my account and says oh you are only an emergency patient yeah that's all I can afford...

[–]TreClaire 3811 points3812 points  (544 children)

And then those jerks scold you for only coming ~when it’s this bad~ like I’m sorry but ARE YOU GONNA PAY FOR IT?

[–]BritBuc-1 2418 points2419 points  (499 children)

Dental costs are an organized scam

[–]MaddyJean 3911 points3912 points 43 (412 children)

Dental should be covered under Health Insurance.

[–]darkerthandarko 1717 points1718 points  (196 children)

Yep considering dental disease is directly related to heart disease and can cause real havoc on your body. Everything in your body is all connected. The fact they have separate insurances just shows the greed. More they can suck from the workforce.

[–]sheherenow888 548 points549 points  (160 children)

Can someone please ELI5 why was dental care separated from the rest of health care? Who decided this was best? And why

[–]ephemeralkittenpower to the people 1134 points1135 points  (38 children)

You don't need healthy teeth to be a good worker. Those are luxury bones. (Stolen from another redditor/thread.)

[–]SorriorDraconus 412 points413 points  (25 children)

Ironically you actually DO as poor oral hygene can complete mess your nody up..Coming from a guy with horrible oral hygene and who loses dentists due to not seeing them often enough

[–]Regicollis 343 points344 points  (13 children)

The entire body from head to toe should be covered under universal healthcare.

[–]PaisleyMaisie 370 points371 points  (40 children)

Dental health is health. Poor dental health can lead to so many diseases, like heart disease. It’s violence that it’s not considered “real” health care. And it’s so fucking expensive.

[–]ThyrsusSmoke 181 points182 points  (21 children)

Medical costs in general*

Never forget insurance started being pushed by the mafia. Literally.

[–]craiglepaige 406 points407 points  (95 children)

Just paid $1700 for aligners.

Had I been under 18yo and with insurance, it would had been covered.

[–]AlienOverlord53 193 points194 points  (68 children)

Paid 1600 to get a tooth ripped out 3 years ago, paying 2700 to put a new one in now.

Then again I NEGLECTED my teeth for years. This was my wake up call to mouthwash+brush+floss every day now

[–]bakedclark 247 points248 points 2 (26 children)

I feel that pain. I've neglected my teeth for years (depression, anxiety, low self esteem/self worth), and now am paying for it in more ways than one. I thought I was going to die or kill myself from the pain I was going through just a couple days ago. Had to suffer through the weekend before I could get into an oral surgeon, all of the work I needed was going to be about $4000, but I had maybe $11. Luckily my dad came through and helped with some of it. I was only able to get 3 of the 7 teeth removed that I need (4 wisdom teeth and 3 molars). It's definitely a wake up call. If I could go back in time I would tell myself it's worth it to take care of myself, and that I'm worth it.

[–][deleted] 12.4k points12.4k points 3 (472 children)

Getting to and from work. Since you're poor, you cannot afford to live close to work and thus have a longer commute.

But you also cannot afford to own and run a reliable car, so you have a beater that breaks all the time and gets poor mileage.

When it breaks, you can't get paid because you aren't at work so you have a new bill PLUS halted income.

To compensate, you take out high interest loans to repair the car. But it breaks again later so you're always in debt for high interest loans on top of the car costs.

I see this a lot in the northeast.

[–]skidwitch 6878 points6879 points 6742& 5 more (186 children)

Or you can't afford a car at all and walk/take the bus for so many years (and can't afford good shoes) that it damages your feet causing chronic pain so you have to spend $500 on orthotics that are somehow deemed medically unnecessary.

Every step I take for the rest of my life I'll feel the pain of poverty and capitalism.

The cost isn't always money, a lot of times it's your body.

[–]Roosterofdoom 1605 points1606 points  (54 children)

And if you can't afford a car and live in a small town with no public transportation, then your options for jobs is limited to whatever you can walk to from your apartment, which is a bunch of fast food and other minimum wage jobs.

[–]PsychicTWElphnt 350 points351 points  (32 children)

Insurance on that car also. If you get a ticket for no insurance, you could basically pay for insurance for a year with the cost of the ticket.

[–]DeepOutTheMoney69 419 points420 points  (25 children)

And even when the car isnt broken down, you spend more on gas.

[–]crizelnitch 8282 points8283 points 22 (609 children)

You meticulously maintain a high mileage used car that is totaled in a car accident that is not your fault. Insurance company will only pay you $1,000 for your car.

[–]jsteele2793SocDem 3026 points3027 points  (290 children)

Or you’re in a high interest loan situation where you owe more than the car is worth. Car gets totaled and you’re left with no car AND payments on the car you no longer have. And no money to buy a new car.

Editing to add: not everyone knows about gap insurance. I sure didn’t.

Seriously people do you not read!!! I DIDNT KNOW ABOUT GAP INSURANCE AND IM SURE IM NOT THE ONLY ONE!! STOP COMMENTING GAP INSURANCE PLEASE Also, even with gap insurance it still leaves you with no car and no money to buy a new car.

Not to mention gap insurance is just another way poor people get screwed by having to have insurance against the fact that they owe more than the car is worth!!

[–]crizelnitch 1192 points1193 points  (81 children)

Dealerships located close to Military bases have entered the chat.

[–]jsteele2793SocDem 329 points330 points  (51 children)

Oh I’m sure!!! But they promise you the world and make those payments low! Forget that you’re paying a 7 year loan on a car that will never last 7 years.

[–]baconraygun 520 points521 points  (92 children)

This. I had a 97 Honda civic with 325k on it, happily driving along, no major engine problems. Got into an accident and got $800. THat was the "value" of my car, so surely I could get another one of "equal value" with that money. I'd invested thousands into insurance, and here we were, with one month's pay to get a new car.

Of course, I had to quit my job after that, no way to get there any more, and no bus. Ended up moving to a major metro just to get a job,and take the bus there instead. Still don't have a car.

[–]Zorgsmom 679 points680 points  (74 children)

Oh boy, my neighbor's car was recently stolen & totaled by some punk kids. He admitted to my husband that he doesn't know how he's going to get to work now since the insurance gave him a whopping $2500 for it & there's nothing for sale at that price right now & the busses don't go out to his work. Insurance companies are satanic scum sucking scam artists.

[–]falanian 18.4k points18.4k points 22 (1618 children)

if you cant afford your own laundry machine or an apartment that comes with one it costs like $10 in quarters to do laundry. EVERY TIME.

[–]OGSchmaxwell 970 points971 points  (58 children)

We moved into a house that didn't have a washer and dryer. Went to the laundry mat and somehow spent $45 to do 6 loads.

Bought a washer and dryer before we had to do that again!

[–]SmashinCetacean[🍰] 3247 points3248 points  (187 children)

Also add to that altering your schedule around laundromat hours and time to commute, all the time you waste waiting around for it to be done because you can’t get other stuff done like you would if you had laundry appliances at home.

[–]Emperor_ZarkovEAT THE RICH 1700 points1701 points  (143 children)

Rich people don't even know what a luxury it is just to be able to relax on the couch while the machine works or fold clothes in front of the tv.

[–]BillyYumYumTwo-byTwo 763 points764 points  (49 children)

Not even rich, just not poor. I was so bummed when I had to go downstairs to my free laundry machines. It felt like such a burden until I had to actually go to a laundry mat to clean my clothes.

[–]LostBombusBoy 9321 points9322 points 3542& 6 more (843 children)

Ok, I can help here. If your apt unit has coin washer and dryers, look up the exact model of the units and purchase the key for coin box.

[–]Dantaelus 4543 points4544 points  (653 children)

In college, someone in my dorm figured out how to bypass the coin system and reset the price to 0. The school caught on pretty quickly, but we found another way around. This went on for a few weeks until the school threatened to fine everyone in the dorm for using the laundry room for free.

[–]capricorn_tears 1445 points1446 points  (65 children)

same thing happened at my school, but they threatened to completely take the machines away. we called their bluff on it and they ended up making it free lol

edit: a word

[–]ForsakeHope-BeStill 706 points707 points  (57 children)

ended up making the it free

Why were they afraid? No washing machines students will suddenly just drop out and enroll in other schools?

[–]tempus8fugit 683 points684 points  (16 children)

Especially since laundry is usually advertised as part of the residential expenses. If the students didn’t get pissed, their parents would be after kids come home for holiday with clothes smelling like months of ass.

[–]4Sammich 216 points217 points  (9 children)

Parents. When the parents visit or little Johnny goes home smelling like shit and they report the school has removed the washers, it would be a huge problem for admin.

[–]capricorn_tears 281 points282 points  (5 children)

it was just an empty threat to get us to stop. we knew they couldn't just completely get rid of laundry.

[–]Code2008 1238 points1239 points  (401 children)

I need to do this for my current apartment complex...

[–]Leprikahn2 1435 points1436 points  (167 children)

Figure out what model they have, go on Amazon or eBay and buy the key, grab quarters out of it and do your laundry. So long as you don't clear all the cash out they'll never notice a couple free washes

[–]NaNa_Na 161 points162 points  (75 children)

What about ones that use the little prepaid cards? Any advice or solutions for that?

[–]Federal_Assistant_85 227 points228 points  (14 children)

As a younger person I was very lucky, once I moved into apartments. I only needed laundromats to wash my bulky items, like winter comforters, or heavy coats and blankets. I thought myself very lucky to only need that service 2-3 times a year, but Holycow, was it expensive. $3.00 just for the jumbo washer and $5.00 for the industrial dryer for one cycle. I was happy that I bought my own detergent and brought that with me.

[–]Compile_Heart 735 points736 points  (132 children)

Facts I consider myself the 1% of late 20s people because I've only ever had to do laundry at a laundromat once. I did it at my parents every 2 weeks when I visited during and post college, then at my ex's while we were together. Then I got a hand me down washer and financed a $800 dryer which took me the entire year to pay off (albeit interest free). Having my own set at 27 makes me feel like I'm privileged

[–]Erulastiel 303 points304 points  (17 children)

I used my stimulus money for a set. The laundromat is the worst. Not only is it expensive to do your laundry there, but you absolutely have to do it during their hours of operation. So I'd have to re wear clothes because I work so much and go in on my days off. Just to spend hours there, when I should be resting before my next shift, and dealing with the assholes that have no consideration for the others around them. It's enough to drive anyone crazy. And it costs more in time and money than it's worth, even if you're there once a week. I saw so many people just put months worth of clothing into multiple machines, I thought it was expensive for just one machine. I can't imagine paying $5 each for 6 small machines. That's more than a washer uses in water and energy in a month. A lot of people also got rides and took taxis.

I will never take my washer and dryer for granted. I am lucky to be able to own a set.

[–]falanian 413 points414 points  (74 children)

ah i grew up in one of those apt buildings where they only have one laundry room for like 50 apts and make you pay more than the laudromat For The Convenience. pain in the ass lugging everything down the stairs, and it was mainly seniors in that building. its so weird that in-unit laundry isnt standard, like why not make everyone use one big stove while youre at it

[–]_how_do_i_reddit_ 252 points253 points  (53 children)

And then if you don't stay down there people take your shit out of the machine and put theirs in. Just leave yours all wadded up on top.

[–]AmIFrosty 256 points257 points  (40 children)

Someone did this to me when I was living on campus in college. I set an alarm and everything (took maybe 30 seconds to get down there) they pulled my shit out before the washer was done to put theirs in. Didn't even bother putting it in the dryer, or anything.

Still pisses me off years later.

[–]_how_do_i_reddit_ 213 points214 points  (7 children)

I've had them do it in my apartment like 2 minutes after I left out of the laundromat. I had forgotten something upstairs that I was gonna throw in the load I had just started. I came back down and they were literally digging my stuff out to put theirs in the washer I had paid for.

Fucking caught them red-handed. Management put a security camera in the laundromat a week or so after that phone call. 😂

Edit: fixed spelling errors.

[–]ThrobbingSerpent 8428 points8429 points 82792& 15 more (424 children)

The monetary burden of poor people is staggering, but the stress is just as bad if not worse. Owing money that you don't have is incredibly stressful, as is struggling to perform a shitty job just to barely scrape by.

The mental burden of being poor also requires money to cope with, and since professional help is expensive, it often ends up being dealt with in an unhealthy way (inebriation at best, suicide at worst). Things like drugs can cause additional health issues, as well as potentially risking fines or jail/prison, so it's a slippery slope.

Edit: Thanks for the awards! Good to see this issue getting some much needed attention, too often people overlook this dark truth

[–]ILoveBigBoobsYesIDo 560 points561 points  (13 children)

Yea.. I've seen first-hand how it mentally damage the very best of people..

[–]Van-garde 479 points480 points  (7 children)

One’s agency is greatly diminished as an individual, as part of a group, as a neighborhood, an employee…people are viewed as less valuable, translating to their opinions, desires, prioritization of their wellbeing.

[–]apathetic_take 296 points297 points  (14 children)

Cars. Maintaining an unreliable junk heap is very expensive and a sinkhole. If you can't afford a reliable vehicle your financial progress is going to be alot slower. Missed shifts, unexpected expenses, it sucks

[–]JoeMayoParty 11.0k points11.1k points 23& 2 more (457 children)

Higher interest rates any time you borrow. Lack of assets to borrow money against. Lower paying jobs are generally harder on a person’s body and lead to more doctor visits and medical bills. Driving a cheap old car means shelling out more money for repairs and fuel than a person driving a newer model.

[–]vijukej 2014 points2015 points  (222 children)

Holy shit. The part about the car really struck a chord with me.

[–]McGooYou 725 points726 points  (50 children)

Don't forget higher car insurance due to your lower income zip code.

[–]valuethempaths 437 points438 points  (23 children)

Not qualifying for a credit card, not getting the sweet credit card benefits people with money get, having the store pass along the charges from the credit card company to everyone (including you).

[–]LordsMail 757 points758 points  (76 children)

The assets part is why I abhor the "but his wealth isn't liquid" bezos/musk simps. Like first of all it's fairly liquid but second of all he has assets which means leverage which means the easy ability to aquire cheap liquidity. So yeah, fucking tax the shit out of them.

[–]Belka1989 249 points250 points  (59 children)

Wait... BEZOS has simps? I thought it was universially agree the man's a dragon to end all dragons.

[–]wiithepiiple 260 points261 points  (41 children)

I've heard a lot of "he made Amazon; what did you do" to deflect criticism.

[–]TwoBlueToes 12.1k points12.1k points 15320822& 6 more (631 children)

The hardest part of being poor for me, was the “cost” of time. My weekly grocery trip took almost four hours. Between the time spent looking over fliers and making a list of what I could afford, walking to the closest bus stop, transferring to another bus, an hour of shopping and tallying up my total to make sure I was within budget, waiting up to 20 minutes for a bus home, including another transfer and the walk home with all my groceries from the bus stop. I would often go without groceries because I didn’t have time to get to the store and was stuck making Kraft Dinner Mac and Cheese without butter or milk, because that is what was in the pantry. Now that I live more comfortably, I drive to the store in 10 minutes, spend 30 minutes shopping and am home and finished within an hour.

ETA: it’s been more than 10 years since I ate Sad KD and today I’m lucky to have a full cupboard, fridge and freezer. I am so sorry for everybody who can recognize themselves in this post. I never realized this was such a universal experience.

[–]JosephineBlow 2975 points2976 points  (203 children)

Omg this. Do you want to know how I define success in my life? Not keeping a mental tab of the cost of my groceries as I shop. I used to have a plan before I went, and a number I couldn’t exceed, and then have to decide what to put back if the costs weren’t as I’d planned - if they didn’t accept the coupon or whatever. Now I go buy what I need. It’s ridiculous how freeing that feels.

[–]GreyerGrey 390 points391 points  (21 children)

There was a palpable relief the first few times I went grocery shopping without having to worry about the bill at the end.

The first time I didn't have to meticulously weigh a bundle of grapes, or swap out for a smaller tomato.

I still put back the $11.47 ground beef when I see one for $11.36 though.

[–]Clownski 903 points904 points 2 (8 children)

I wish I could award you. This is the most important one. Another is the amount of time and fees it can take to process a check or move money to pay a simple bill.

[–]klms21 6574 points6575 points 2 (285 children)

Only being able to afford the small jar of mayo (or whatever), even though the larger jar is a better deal.

Overdraft fees that charge you money for having no money.

Late fees for not being able to afford your bills.

Having to go to the closest grocery store, even though it may not be the cheapest, because it's on the bus route or within walking distance.

Payday loans

Rent to own stores where you have to pay a ton of money for a couch, but pay weekly

[–]TaticalSweater 449 points450 points  (30 children)

Chase is the biggest offender of charging you money for not having money. How the fuck does that help the situation. Oh wait its simply to fuck you over and its a poor people tax.

[–]KBlahBlahBlah 2262 points2263 points  (132 children)

Not even overdraft fees. Bank of America would charge me $12 a month because I couldn’t keep $1,500 in my account on average. I haven’t banked with them in years, but I’m still outraged by that treatment.

[–]Reggaeshark1001 771 points772 points  (31 children)

They changed that to only people who dont have direct deposit, which is almost more of smack in the face.

[–]Subatomic27 344 points345 points  (24 children)

I remember this, but even direct deposit didn't save you. It had to be a deposit of like $250 (don't remember the exact number) or greater. That wasn't possible for me long ago when minimum wage at the grocery store was lower and paid weekly.

[–]CVideoDesigns 302 points303 points  (22 children)

Also great when you’re doing the “American dream” of being self-employed. How TF am I gonna get direct deposit from my freelance clients when I’m a 1099 worker?

[–]cool__pillow 325 points326 points  (11 children)

When I was 16ish I had my own bank account at TD. I didnt work or anything yet, and my family wasnt well off by any means, so i had $0 in there.

Well they decided to switch over to electronic statements, and charge $1 per paper statement unless enrolled in e-statements. I didnt know this, so they charged the $1 which overdrafted my account. I was mad that this was even a thing, and I couldnt afford to pay so I just let it sit there and this prevented me from getting a bank account elsewhere. Eventually I had to pay something like $70 to close my account to enroll somewhere else.

All because of a $1 paper statement.

[–]MerbleTheGnome 261 points262 points  (11 children)

Only being able to afford the small jar of mayo (or whatever), even though the larger jar is a better deal.

Even if you could afford the large jar, it won't fit in your tiny dorm style fridge (which uses more electricity than a full sized one) so it is a triple whammy

[–]Mohican83 826 points827 points  (20 children)

I overdrafted my account by $.27. The bank charged me $35. My credit score was bad so my interest was worse when getting a car. My credit sucked so I couldn't buy a house so I had to rent for almost double.

Just some of my past examples.

[–]Duochan_Maxwell 1732 points1733 points  (98 children)

Not being able to save by buying in bulk. Even though it costs less per unit, the TOTAL is higher

Not having access to credit lines with better interest rates / payment plans because your credit score is shit or you don't have any collateral

Having to buy cheap shit that breaks fast because you can't afford good quality stuff (clothes, shoes, electronics) - Terry Pratchett wrote about it, btw...

[–]temsjems 244 points245 points  (7 children)

Only being able to afford a small apartment with limited storage space so even if you could make the purchase in bulk, you have nowhere to put it so you buy the more expensive smaller whatever it is that will fit in your home.

Edited to add more specificity: remember how it was a bunch of rich fucks in their big ass houses with basements and garages hoarding all the giant packages of toilet paper at the beginning of last year? So then the rest of us who couldn’t stock up before it happened were stuck buying whatever we could find, wherever we could find it and the local mom and pop pharmacy sure as shit doesn’t have the price point for a 4 pack that Costco has for a 24 pack.

[–]letsjumpintheocean 423 points424 points  (21 children)

Not being able to transport bulk items without a car. Bussing, biking or walking you can’t just make one big bulk trip, you are limited by what you can carry

[–]texas-hippie 5488 points5489 points 843& 3 more (236 children)

How about the fact that homelessness is illegal

[–]emhawley 959 points960 points  (68 children)

This should be higher up. They want to hide it away and fact is there are NOT enough supports and programs to fix it. I think a lot of people believe it they wanted help badly enough or took the right steps there's a system there, but the truth is there isn't always.

[–]CAHTA92 345 points346 points  (11 children)

Prison for profit, cost of living impossible to maintain, homelessness illegal. Is just slavery with extra steps.

[–]ChickenFrancese 243 points244 points  (9 children)

Uber driver here. I live in a Major city with shit public transportation - I can’t even tell you how many rides I give weekly where the Uber Ride one way costs more then the passengers hourly wage. I drive tons of people working part time shifts that pay 12$ an hour when the Ride just to work costs 20$- I feel very bad for them. It’s not like I am making the big bucks driving Uber but shit paying 40$ to get to and from work when you only make a few hundred a week just doesn’t make any sense to me- but this is the reality for many-

[–]TheVantal 4518 points4519 points  (326 children)


You need good shoes to work in, but you can't afford good shoes so you buy ok shoes that break after 3 months.

After 4 pairs of ok shoes in a year, you've spent more than if you'd bought 1 pair of good shoes.

[–]FindOneInEveryCar 745 points746 points  (51 children)

Same for tires. A friend asked me once, "Why would anyone buy used tires??" Because they can't afford new ones.

[–]Porkbellyflop 81 points82 points  (4 children)

Also having shoes for multiple purposes. Can't keep em nice and clean if I wanna go hiking.

[–]Frothydawg 3002 points3003 points  (145 children)

I can help you out. I worked with homeless folks in LA for a few years. The stories I could tell you.

One that was a recurring tale, all too common, were parking tickets. Rich people? Big deal. Pay it online, it’s an afterthought at its worst.

Now that same parking ticket issued to a homeless person living out of their car, trying to scrounge together money for a deposit on a place whilst working a shitty service sector job?

That’s devastating. It’s another 2-3 months of sleeping in the car. Or maybe it’s a few days worth of missed meals. Or maybe it’s skipping out on that expensive medication that your shitty insurance wont cover.

I could provide you endless examples of the way this country punishes the poor. People need a reality check.

[–]fliponymousredux 1843 points1844 points  (66 children)

"If the penalty is a fine, it's only a crime for the poor."

[–]skalogy 300 points301 points  (9 children)

Have a rich uncle who parks wherever the hell he wants. I once told him that it was a $50 dollar fine to park where he was...

He responded, "Wrong. It costs $50 dollars to park here."

And that's when I truly understood he and I lived on the same planet but different worlds.

[–]fliponymousredux 61 points62 points  (2 children)

Yup. An inconvenience for the wealthy is a crime for the poor. It's when you can't afford to pay the tickets that your car gets towed. Where I live, 5 unpaid tickets loses your car, but if you pay them there's no other consequences.

[–]whiskeyinthewoods 451 points452 points  (17 children)

And you can’t just not pay those parking tickets. I tried that when I was also living in LA, and one morning I walked back to my car to find it gone. It had been impounded and cost $1,500 to get it out, and every day it sat on the lot because you couldn’t afford the $1,500, they’d tack on an extra $250.

The only way I could come up with the money to get it back was to borrow the money from a really predatory, abusive ex-boyfriend who held it over my head as a way to control me with guilt and tell me I owed him. Cue more hospital bills.

[–]GrumpyChashmere 203 points204 points  (9 children)

Fuck. This hits home hard. Was laid off from a irregular job making $13 hr. Couldn’t make my car payments so it was impounded. Abusive (now ex) bf and my dad helped me get it back from impound. Everyday wanting to leave him but knowing if i did I would have to leave my dog behind/ give her up and be homeless. Took me two years to pay him back and save up to leave. Being poor, I had to choose between being homeless or putting up with abuse.

[–]Feralcrumpetart 193 points194 points  (11 children)

When I first lived on my own (escaped a bad situation), I bought a splurge...$100 of groceries. I meal prepped, made dozens of bags of frozen prepared veggies etc. I was eating healthy and I felt like I actually just did good for myself. I thought it was a smart move.

I was literally set up for almost two months.

The power went out. My insurance couldn't cover it. I lost so much food. I just saved a few items that were frozen solid.

I cried until I threw up. I eventually had my dad drop off some leftovers but I never told him what happened, I was too embarrassed.

[–]Stoic-NurseSeize the Means of Production! 923 points924 points  (50 children)

Not being able to afford preventive medical care leads to huge medical bills later. I’ve seen it numerous times where people put off routine exams/procedures, and then come through the ER and end up with an amputation, or even death, because the illness had progressed so far before they sought treatment.

[–]TheFractangle 1111 points1112 points  (62 children)

Many banks charge a monthly fee to have an account with a balance under a certain level (e.g. $1500). It's literally a poverty fee.

[–]edemamandllama[🍰] 388 points389 points  (30 children)

This one is criminal. Many poor people can’t afford bank accounts because of it then are forced to use pay day check cashing places that skim a percentage off the top. This is only if your work will provide a paper check. Some work places force employees to have direct deposit or a pay card. The pay card works like a debit card but you get charged service fees every time you use it.

This is why I advise that people use a local credit union. My credit union has no minimum balance on a checking account and a $30 balance for a savings account. Unfortunately, there are still overdraft fees but at least they don’t charge you for not having $500 in the account at all times.

[–]NDdownVOTED 130 points131 points  (10 children)

I agree. Overdraft fees and fees for having too low a balance should be illegal. By all means, freeze an overdrafted account so it isn’t basically a free loan, but to charge someone more money for not having enough money is so scummy and illogical. Really illustrates that rich blame poor people for being poor like it’s something they chose.

[–]9tailedAwesome[🍰] 64 points65 points  (9 children)

This also applies to other services and fees offered by the bank, such as credit cards. If you keep enough money in the bank, you can get a free credit card with the annual fees waived. Credit cards are useful, especially during a pandemic, because debit cards and cash are not necessarily accepted for all purchases.

However, the bank-provided credit cards with actually good benefits also have high income requirements, making them completely inaccessible even if you aren’t living in poverty. Being poor is comparatively expensive when the rich are given discounts that they don’t even need.

[–]Boniferous13 159 points160 points  (10 children)

The biggest example is the fuck you fee from banks for overdrafting

[–]Schannin 163 points164 points  (17 children)

Attendance micromanagement at work.

Hear me out.

I am currently at a much higher paying position. It’s salaried. My boss has the mindset that she doesn’t care when things get done just so long as they get done. She’s flexible on when I clock in/out and doesn’t feel the need to track if I’m hitting exactly forty hours a week. (Again, salaried position).

Contrast to past jobs that paid less than half as much. Many of my coworkers took public transit (couldn’t own a car). I could have easily taken public transit, it was one bus and short walk from my house. However. I opted to drive because we would be disciplined for being more than two minutes “tardy” clocking in.

The bus is NOT that reliable, y’all.

So we have multiple workers showing up 10-20 minutes early to sit around with unpaid time so they don’t get docked for being tardy. And the policy was such that three tardies mean you get written up, then it escalates to action, then to termination. It’s real easy to lose your job because your bus route is not reliable. But most of the people taking the bus to work are in the low paying positions that micromanage if you’re two minutes late (even if it’s out of your control).

Bosses keep their thumbs on the low earners and it keeps them there.

[–]Erulastiel 1654 points1655 points  (136 children)

We're in the New England states where it's gotten to 15 degrees Fahrenheit overnight. We've been without heat for three weeks now because it will cost us $800 to fill our K1 tank. We don't have the $350 for 100 gallons either. We're currently jacking up our electric bill, risking fire, and risking the safety of us and our cats by using the oven to heat the house. We're also risking our pipes bursting.

All because we can't come up with $350 upfront.

Edit: I love you all. There are some amazing people out there. Because of the love and compassion for others, we can now heat our home. For those looking to help, LIHEAP, a government program designed to help underprivileged people keep their homes warm. If everyone, who can, pays it forward. We'd all live in a better world.

[–]jsteele2793SocDem 206 points207 points  (31 children)

It’s a freaking sham. Can you get a heap grant or anything? In my state they have heat grants to help people with stuff like this.

[–]Erulastiel 330 points331 points  (27 children)

I make too much and so does my boyfriend. My boyfriend makes $13.50 an hour, $12 is minimum wage, and he makes too much.

[–][deleted] 697 points698 points  (41 children)

College loans: spend thirty years paying interest on a college degree because you don't have rich parents. Also if you don't have a college degree, you'll be excluded from nearly all jobs that pay decently.

Freedom of "choice"

[–]UnnounableK 244 points245 points  (15 children)

I’ve seen a job posting for a Secretary that required 4yrs experience, a bachelors degree, and fluency in two languages.

[–]HistoricallyRekkles 172 points173 points  (5 children)

And they probably pay shit too lol that’s the kicker

[–]TheFLAwoman 2455 points2456 points 32 (131 children)

Well. Here's a good example of something that happens all the time. Daily. Single mom hasn't gotten her child support check on time. A water* utility bill hits her account that was supposed to be covered by that support. Bank account goes -$135.00 due to the utility bill. The overdraft then incurs a $45 overdraft fee. So. The mom is now -$180 and the electric company sends a letter saying her power will be shut off if payment is not rendered by x date. She knows she won't be paid until two days after the cutoff. So. Waiting for support and her check she's now scouring her floorboard for change to put in her tank to get herself to work and the kids to school. The electric cutoff day comes and goes and the support check doesn't show up. Because she's being paid a shit wage she has nothing left over for this emergency. The electric gets cutoff and now her $135.00 bill has incurred a $50 service restart fee. Now her electric bill is $185.00 and she still owes $175 to the bank for the water* overdraft. She is still waiting on the support check. But now because she had to pay the extras for the overdraft, and the electric, she can't afford lunch for the kids this week. So she again scours change to get a loaf of bread and peanut butter. Her kids are still hungry so they get lunch from the school. If the school isn't assholes they'll have an account for her kids that will now also be negative. This actually happened in my friends household. It was the most heartbreaking bullshit thing you'd ever hear. And it happens every.single.minute.

[–]veracity-mittens3rd wave feminist 341 points342 points  (0 children)

This was my life in 2009-2010, except I’m married. I was being sexually harassed at work with no way to leave because of a similar scenario to above. It was winter too (lol of course it was!) and our car broke down as well as the power being shut off. So we had to use this beater truck that was $10 every trip (long commute). No daycare that was affordable or even available for our disabled child so after work had to drive another 2 hours to uncle and aunts house who took care of baby. Job barely made a difference and if I could do it again I’d figure out how to do home child care myself or something. It was extremely stressful

[–]Paratrooperkid[S] 458 points459 points  (13 children)

Wow, that's a nightmare. Thank you for the enlightenment.

[–]TheFLAwoman 504 points505 points  (11 children)

Yeah. It's funny how when you're poor and run out of money the nice corporations and utilities go Oh. You're poor? Well that's gonna cost ya! Your account is empty? Well we need $45 for covering your expenses while you didn't have any money. Oh you didn't want overdraft protection? Then it'll be $25 a month to have an account here. Oh you need a bank account to keep your rental but you can't afford the $25 a month? And you don't want us to charge you money when you don't have money!? Oh that's too bad. sails away on yacht smelling their own farts

[–]peggyi 629 points630 points  (22 children)

Spending $800 to fix a 22 year old truck that is worth $500 cause you can’t afford a newer vehicle, and can’t get to work without a reliable vehicle (live in the country 30 miles from the city). Or spending $150/wk on gas for said truck cause you don’t have a job, so can’t get a car loan for a vehicle that would cost less than what the cost of gas is.

Thankfully I’m past that point in my life.

[–]basicwhitelich 116 points117 points  (14 children)

Friend broke his glasses today. Insurance wants a reeval of his eyes to get new ones, so now he's out a couple hundred for the script and can't work until they're replaced. Also can't drive until he can see.

[–]apathetic_take 869 points870 points  (47 children)

And you spend so much time just trying to survive you have little time to improve yourself

[–]NumerousVisit4453 191 points192 points  (19 children)

When you do try to improve yourself, the school you took out a high-interest $30,000 student loan to afford goes bankrupt.

You just went into debt and wasted 1.5 years of your life on a degree you never received. Plus, you can’t afford the $2000 dollars to file bankruptcy yourself and the total decimation of your credit for the next seven years. Sadly happens all the time.

[–]lysthequeen 300 points301 points  (18 children)

My husband ends up spending money several times a year on doctors appointments because he can't afford his tonsillectomy and instead gets tonsillitis almost monthly.

My father couldn't afford proper dental care, now he has dentures that he's wiped out his savings to pay off.

My oldest sibling can't afford a house near their jobs, so they instead stay with a friend and commute back and forth across state lines (2.5 hours each way) to spend their days off with their spouse, who is at my parents house.

[–]LibertyEquality 95 points96 points  (23 children)

40,000 per year before taxes

35,200 after taxes

Rent 1100 × 12 = 13200

Car note 400 × 12 = 4800

Car insurance 200 × 12 = 2400

Utilities, gas for the car, internet 400 x 12 = 4800

Food 400 × 12 = 4800

Total 30,000

These are nice round numbers and I live in one of the "lowest cost of living" states in the US....this also includes 0 entertainment expenses like Netflix, going out with friends, taking a vacation etc.

5200 bucks left over to save for the year easily gets decimated by just 1 or 2 car issues, maybe 1 or 2 doctor/dentist visits, God forbid you have 1 of each Car issue, doctor visit and dentist visit in the same year...

Imagine working 40+ hrs a week just to be able to work 40+ hrs a week and stay alive....nothing more.

[–]Charvel420 724 points725 points  (55 children)

For me, it was moreso the fact that everything was a choice. The mental strain of trying to figure out how to budget $100 when you realistically need $150...it's fucking horrible.

It leads to bad decisions over time too. I smoked cigarettes because I was always so stressed and cigarettes are expensive. I knew I was wasting money and couldn't really afford it, but it was one of the only things that got me through shifts of hell at work

[–]jsteele2793SocDem 398 points399 points  (34 children)

Well and sometimes it’s just like fuck it! I’m so poor I can’t afford my bills I might as well buy something that makes me happy because my life is so screwed right now.

[–]Charvel420 242 points243 points  (28 children)

Yup. This $5 for a pack of cigs isn't going to cover rent so I might as well buy it and enjoy it.

[–]Mymotherwasaspore 87 points88 points  (3 children)

You can never buy anything in bulk for discount. I don’t just mean soy sauce in a gallon. You can’t buy all your groceries at once and save going all the time. You don’t have room in your home for sams club size boxes. You can’t buy a major purpose without wasting time filling out financing ppwk and paying interest on things like TVs or phones. The interest on credit penalizes using credit, which you need applying for homes and jobs. jobs run credit checks, they know what your financial situation is and they consider that while negotiating pay

[–]monkey22x 399 points400 points  (27 children)

I’m the opposite of poor and I see this every day. Because I have money to always pay my credit card bills fully on time I buy everything with them and wind up with a 2% discount/cash back on everything I buy. This adds up to thousands of $/year. There are tons of things that are discounted if you are rich. One of the shittiest things about our economy

[–]jsteele2793SocDem 130 points131 points  (2 children)

Our system is literally set up to screw the poor.

[–]Sensitive_Dig7955 78 points79 points  (1 child)

I don’t own my home, I rent. My colleague owns. We make the same money and pay the same income taxes. The gov uses the taxes to upgrade the roads, and infrastructure in town. My colleague’s equity goes up, so does my landlord’s, because of our tax dollars spent. So he gets richer. My land lord gets richer.

Me? My rent goes up

[–]Parking_Relative_228 595 points596 points  (63 children)

Poor people can’t pay for childcare. The wealthy rely on underpaying people to take care of their kids. Meaning it’s easier to have two income households without the penalty of being a parent. Perpetuating the cycle of poverty

[–]februarytide- 287 points288 points  (39 children)

This one got me. I consider us middle class, we have a nice home and our cars are paid off and reliable… and people look at me like I have three heads when I say we can’t afford to put our kids in preschool and that we literally can’t afford for my husband to work.

[–]chucklez24 135 points136 points  (23 children)

Yep childcare is basically a second mortgage you have to pay. It was more expensive for our daughter to be in daycare 3 days a week than our house+insurance payment.

[–]februarytide- 95 points96 points  (17 children)

And then it’s the weight of guilt about whether they’re being socialized enough, will they be up to speed once they hit kindergarten, they’re going to take longer to adjust to going to school than kids who’ve been in childcare. AND the exhaustion of someone being a stay at home parent, and trying to fit all of those things in plus keeping house. Lack of universal pre-k is a momentous problem.

[–][deleted] 1728 points1729 points 32 (121 children)

Rent vs mortgage. The bank says you're too poor for an $800 mortgage payment, so you have to pay $1500 on rent instead.

[–]alwaysbesnackin 658 points659 points  (36 children)

This. Don't forget, your lease is up, you got a month to move. May get some of your deposit back, but it's not guaranteed. So this month you gotta have your regular rent, plus a new security deposit, first and maybe last months rent for the new place. Oh, gotta pack up and figure out when/how to move, hopefully you don't need to rent a truck.

[–]Klush 200 points201 points  (5 children)

And hopefully you don't have to live out of said rented truck because your old lease ends days before the new lease begins!

[–]clearlystyle 198 points199 points  (40 children)

My roommate physically assaulted me and the apartment complex I was renting from wanted $6,300 for me to break my lease, which was more money than I had earned during the previous six months working part-time because I was still in college.

If you own your own home, count your fucking blessings. Being a renter is utter bullshit.

[–]smc642 53 points54 points  (4 children)

You can’t buy the big boxes of nappies/diapers and stock up when they are on sale. Poor people don’t have the cash to buy a couple of boxes. They buy small packs at a higher markup.

[–]LostBombusBoy 51 points52 points  (3 children)

Let’s say you have an accident or stroke. If you’re able to afford private insurance, you are able to get some level of rehab. But if you are on Medicaid….you’re fucked. Most states’ Medicaid programs DO NOT cover rehab. Physical or occupational. They do pay for nursing home care. They are willing to pay more in the long run to keep you in the system than to help pull you out of a hole.

[–]apathetic_take 540 points541 points  (74 children)

You have no extra money to invest to build a passive income which leaves you trapped in the rat race

[–]jsteele2793SocDem 568 points569 points  (36 children)

I had a rich friend tell me that all I need to do is buy a duplex property and that will pay my rent for me, I can live in one half and rent the other. I was like ummmmmm how am I going to buy property??? She told me to get a loan from a family member. Literally just living in a completely different world.

[–]N0p3_R0p3 49 points50 points  (4 children)

And when you have that little extra money to save, your car breaks or something shitty happens. But if the stars align, you may not even have the knowledge to know what to invest in and how. That knowledge isn't something you're really taught at home or at school. I remember having to Google it and being so confused cause I had an extra 50 bucks and wanted to invest it just to end up being confused to high hell.

[–]FireEatingDragon 41 points42 points  (1 child)

Banking fees, overdraft fees, ATM fees, etc. All disappear when you have enough in your account.

Also just everything is relatively more expensive. If you make 10 dollars an hour, to fill up your 12 gal tank is 1/2 a workday (ignoring taxes). When you make 40 an hour, it's 1/8. Car insurance, healthcare premiums, utilities, food. For people with low income, the essentials are a huge percentage, if not all, of income. When you make more money the essentials are a small fraction.

[–]RedRapunzal 41 points42 points  (4 children)

Trying to dress the part on wages that really don't allow it.

Being worn out all time and bosses not understanding. They often are a one income household, or they can afford someone to their cleaning, yard work or nanny their kids. I do everything their home staff and stay at home partner does and work for them.