15+ People Revealed Why It’s Too Expensive to Be Poor

3 years ago

“I am not so rich that I buy cheap things,” this saying sounds pretty absurd at first glance. Reddit users discussed what it really means in this thread. Some people shared their own bitter experiences while others recalled the situations that happened to their friends who could barely make ends meet.

At Bright Side, we followed how this discussion went and decided to publish the most illustrative examples. In the bonus section, you’ll see a poor person’s habit that works to their advantage.

  • If you’re poor, you buy boots for $30 and they last a winter. If you’re well off, you buy one pair of boots for $150 and they last a lifetime. © english_mat / Reddit

  • 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’ve seen 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 was costing her a fortune. © shallow_ender27 / Reddit

  • Let’s have a look at tires! You can buy a new tire at $80 with a 30,000 mile expectancy, or a $100 tire with a 65,000 mile warranty. Over twice the life, little more than 20% in extra cost. © tireguymatt / Reddit

  • I lived with a guy once who had a credit score of like 200, and he bought a used car at a sleazy “No credit, doesn’t matter” place of business — at a really high interest rate. He paid it off after I explained to him how interest works and they accepted the payments. Then, his car would not start, it wouldn’t even turn over. I went to help him replace the starter and there was like a radio transmitter wired to it! The sleazy car shop installed this device to turn the car off if payments were not made! So we called and explained, and they were like, “Oh sorry, we thought he was late on his payment.” They allowed the starter to work again, but it sucks being poor. © YukonBrawler / Reddit

  • When I was little, my mom got a bed for me through some rent-to-own place. A few weeks later they came and repossessed my bed. There is just something very defeating about seeing people come into “your” house and walk out with “your” bed. Probably for the best though, she would have paid at least double the real cost of the bed and it wasn’t even comfortable. © ReddFawkesXIII / Reddit

  • One of my sister’s friends had parents that brought her down to the dealership and “bought her” a brand new SUV when she moved out because they wanted her to have a safe and reliable vehicle. Unfortunately “bought her” was apparently the down payment, the poor girl was drowning, working full-time trying to make payments on the $25,000 vehicle they’d selected, in addition to rent. Meanwhile, her parents were trying to blame her struggles on the bad financial management which I found particularly ironic, given that there was really no way she could afford that vehicle on a state minimum wage job, to begin with. © MrEngin33r / Reddit

  • “It’s too expensive to be poor” is when you don’t buy groceries in bulk and end up paying more. For example, you can buy ground beef cheaper at a local butcher shop if you take 4 pounds or more at a time. If you receive a salary once a week, for instance, and can only afford to buy only one pound, you will consistently pay more. © doodlebagsmother / Reddit

  • 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 payments. 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 that you have nowhere else to go. So they happily gouge you, knowing that agreeing to horrendous loan terms is your only option. I teach economics and always remind my students that commercials boasting about “no credit, low credit, no problem!” know exactly who they target. People who have nowhere else to go. © Chiggadup / Reddit

  • I’ve worked for minimum wage and I’ve worked much better paying jobs. The products I’ve spent some money on last much longer than the products I cheaped out on. Continuously replacing items is not only expensive, but it also drains you mentally when everything around you keeps breaking. © kirkby18 / Reddit

  • If you’re ever desperate enough to take out a title/payday loan, you’ll discover that you just stepped in financial quicksand. © New_Game_P1us / Reddit

  • There are late fees for everything. Overdraft fees at the bank. Low-level 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). Cheap cars are always breaking down, and that’s expensive... © T***_Ferguson009 / Reddit

  • 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. © rhb4n8 / Reddit
  • I had to fight tooth and nail to get a tooth pulled, instead of a root canal procedure, when I couldn’t afford it. It’s even worse if you assume that children in poverty eat a diet that destroys their teeth so they have to pay more later for dental work. © Fulltequilabelly / Reddit

  • 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, for example. Sometimes there’s financial assistance but, a lot of the time, taking on loans is necessary. © _TallulahShark / Reddit

  • I used to have a friend who had a habit of, or almost an addiction to, making terrible financial decisions. He bought a 50-inch flat screen TV set from some rent to own center and was paying $40 a week for it. I looked up the TV set and it was $369 at Best Buy. He had agreed to pay $40 a week for this TV set for a year to own it. I told him that if he returned it, he could save up for 2 months and go and buy the thing, and save $1,600, and he looked at me like I’d said something terrible. © AmNotS***n / Reddit

  • Poverty is merely the accumulation of expenses that one cannot pay and once you are poor, there is a system in place to ensure that you never, ever run out of those expenses. If you want healthy food, that costs money. But eating cheap food, while sustaining, will inevitably lead to poorer health. Bad health will cost you money. Stress is huge when it comes to health, so worrying is kind of an integral part of poverty. Stress means less awesome interpersonal relationships, less sleep, and overwork to try to make ends meet. Good interpersonal relationships, getting enough sleep, and not working yourself into exhaustion are things that help you stay alive. © Gentleman_Villain / Reddit

  • I’ve been poor for most of my life and I’m still not in a great financial situation. Everything is expensive when you’re poor. 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 you’re spending a fortune. I walked to the grocery store to buy some stuff to make a special dinner on my daughter’s birthday and I spent about $20, I think, and I swear I’d win an Oscar for how I kept my poker face. The second I walked out of the store, I burst 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 that $20 really hurt. © Mr_ForeverDM / Reddit

Bonus: When renting is reasonable and helps you save money

  • The only sensible use I’ve seen for rental furniture was an ad suggesting that you rent a game console for your kids. If they don’t keep up their grades or do their chores, just take it back. It’s certainly not a long term solution, but if you were doing a month or so trial run to see if your kids could handle a game console without turning into screen junkies, it could be more cost effective than buying a system new and selling it if the kids couldn’t handle it. © Probonoh / Reddit

Which habits keep you from being better off, in your opinion? Tell us in the comments below.

Preview photo credit Unsplash, YukonBrawler / Reddit


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actually so true with the items that are cheap, in the end you just end up buying more and more and overpaying


I've never had credit and never will. Rather use my own money than pay interests to someone else's pocket.
Rich get Rich while the poor get poorer


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