Do you know that some banks charge a fee if you drop below a certain minimum balance? I know it sounds crazy. The journey we’re taking is just the beginning.

Paratrooperkid made a post on r/AntiWork asking others to list all the examples of why being poor is expensive. They chose the right place for it.

r/AntiWork is a subreddit with about 1.3 million followers. Basically, these people have a lot in common about unemployment.




As more and more people shared their answers, the post went viral and now has 60K upvotes and 16K comments. Some of the ways the system taxes vulnerable people.

 

 

1.

Rent or mortgage? You have to pay rent because the bank says you’re too poor for a mortgage payment.

 

2.

Well. This is an example of something happening all the time. Daily. A single mom has not received her child support check on time. She was supposed to have her account covered by that support. The bank account went down due to the utility bill. The overdraft incurs a fee. So. The electric company sends a letter to the mom saying her power will be shut off if she doesn’t pay by the date.
She will not be paid until two days after the cutoff.

So. She’s waiting for support and her check, but she’s also trying to get herself to work and the kids to school. The support check doesn’t show up when the electric cutoff day comes and goes. She has nothing left for this emergency because she is being paid a sh*t wage and she incurred a $50 service restart fee after the electricity was cut off. She still owes $175 to the bank for the water overdraft, even though her electric bill is $185, and is waiting for the support check.

The woman can’t afford lunch for the kids this week because she had to pay for the electricity and the overdraft. She has to get a loaf of bread and peanut butter. The kids get lunch from the school. The account for her kids will be negative if the school is a*sholes. This happened at my friend’s house. It was the most heartbreaking thing you’d ever hear. It happens every single minute.

 

3.

The cost of time was the hardest part of being poor. It took me almost four hours to go grocery shopping. Between the time spent looking over fliers and making a list of what I could afford, walking to the nearest bus stop, transferring to another bus, an hour of shopping and counting up my total to make sure I was sticking to my 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 mac and cheese without butter or milk because that was in the pantry. When I live more comfortably, I drive to the store in 10 minutes, spend 30 minutes shopping, and am home and done within an hour.

ETA: It has been more than a decade since I last ate Sad KD, but I still have a full fridge, freezer, and cupboard. I apologize to everyone who can see themselves in this post. I didn’t realize it was a universal experience.

 

4.

A higher risk of cancer and other illnesses can be found in the purchase of processed foods. It is a privilege to have healthy foods. I would like to have more fruit.

 

5.

Getting to and from work. You can’t afford to live close to work since you’re poor.

You can’t afford to own and run a reliable car, so you have a beater that breaks all the time and gets poor mileage and you can’t get paid when it breaks because you aren’t at work, so you have a new bill.

To fix the car, you take out high-interest loans. You’re always in debt for high-interest loans on top of the car costs because it breaks again later.

In the northeast, I see this a lot.

 

6.

Shoes.

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

You’ve spent more than if you’d bought 1 pair of good shoes after 4 pairs.

 

7.

I can help you, as I worked with homeless people in LA. I could tell you stories.

One of the recurring tales was parking tickets. Rich people? Big deal. Pay it online and you are at the worst.

A homeless person living out of their car, trying to scrounge together money for a deposit on a place while working a sh*t service sector job, has been issued a parking ticket.

That is devastating. It is another 3 months of sleeping in the car. Maybe it’s a few days’ worths of missed meals. Maybe it’s skipping out on the expensive medication that your insurance won’t cover.

 

8.

I rent my home. My colleague has something. We pay the same income taxes. The taxes are used to upgrade the infrastructure in town. My colleague’s equity goes up, so does my landlord’s. He gets richer. My land lord makes a lot of money.

Me? My rent goes up.

 

9.

I have never been able to afford regular dental work, so I am spending thousands more to fix everything that was neglected, and a lot of you in the comments have suggested dental tourism and dental schools.

Both are great ideas.

 

10.

It is not your fault that a high mileage used car is totaled in a car accident. You will only be paid $1,000 by the insurance company.

 

11.

A monthly fee is charged by many banks to have an account with a balance ($1500 for example). It is a poverty fee.

 

12.

It costs $10 in quarters to do laundry if you can’t afford a laundry machine. Every time.

 

13.

I see this every day and I am the opposite of poor. Because I have money to always pay my credit card bills on time, I buy everything with them and get a 2% discount on everything I buy. It adds up to thousands of dollars a year. If you are rich, there are tons of things that are discounted. It’s one of the worst things about our economy.

 

14.

It is illegal to be homeless.

 

15.

Micromanagement of attendance at work.

Hear me out.

I’m currently in a higher-paying position. It is a job. My boss doesn’t care when things get done as long as they get done. When I clock in/out, she doesn’t feel the need to track if I’m hitting forty hours a week. Again, a position.

Past jobs paid less than half as much. Many of my coworkers took public transit. I could have easily taken public transit, it was one bus and a short walk from my house. However. We would be disciplined for being more than two minutes late.

The bus is unreliable.

We have multiple workers showing up early so they don’t get docked for being late. The policy was that if you were written up, then three tardies would mean action and then the firing. It is easy to lose your job if your bus route is unreliable. If you are two minutes late, most of the people taking the bus to work are in low-paying positions that micromanage.

Bosses keep their thumbs up for low-income workers.

 

16.

Even though the larger jar is a better deal, only being able to afford the small jar of mayo.

There are overdraft fees that charge you money.

Not being able to afford your bills can result in late fees.

It’s on the bus route and within walking distance so it’s the closest grocery store.

Rent-to-own stores are where you have to pay a lot of money for a couch but pay weekly.

 

17.

You have little time to improve yourself because you spend so much time trying to survive.

 

18.

I bought a lot of groceries when I first lived on my own. and made dozens of bags of frozen prepared veggies. Felt like I did good for myself when I was eating healthy. I thought it was a smart move.

I was set up for two months.

The power went out. My insurance wouldn’t cover it. I lost a lot of food and saved a few items that were frozen solid.

I threw up after crying and was too embarrassed to tell my dad what happened.

 

19.

Huge medical bills are caused by not being able to afford preventive medical care. I have seen it many times where people put off routine exams/procedures and end up in the ER because the illness had progressed so far before they sought treatment.

 

20.

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

I live in a state where the cost of living is the lowest in the US.

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 to have 1 of each Car issue, doctor visit, and dentist visit in the same year.

Imagine being able to work 40 hours a week and still be alive.

 

21.

Everything was a choice for me. The mental strain of figuring out how to budget $100 when you really need $150 is horrible.

It leads to bad decisions over time. I smoked cigarettes because they are expensive. I knew I was wasting money and couldn’t afford it, but it was one of the only things that helped me get through shifts of hell at work.

 

22.

I over-drafted my account. I was charged $35 by the bank. When I got a car, my interest was worse because of my bad credit score. I had to rent because I couldn’t afford a house.

Some of my previous examples.

 

23.

College loans. You have to pay interest on your college degree because you don’t have rich parents. If you don’t have a college degree, you won’t be included in jobs that pay well.

The freedom of choice.

 

24.

My best friend got an internship at a hospital because he needs experience as a graduate student in an MPH program.

The hospital required him to have a lot of shots. If you don’t do it, you will lose your spot. Since he doesn’t have insurance, he had to pay $280 to work for free so he could build his resume. SMH!

 

25.

How about depression and anxiety caused by financial pressures being treated by a therapist and being charged copays? If the anxiety is bad enough that you don’t go, you’ll have to pay a $45 cancellation fee. There is a self-fueling system.

 

26.

If you have a low credit score, you have to pay a $300 deposit to get the power turned on.

There is only one power company in Vegas.

 

27.

We’re in the New England states and it’s gotten to 15 degrees. It will cost us $800 to fill our K1 tank because we’ve been without heat for three weeks. We don’t have the $350 for 100 gallons. We’re jacking up our electric bill and using the oven to heat the house because we don’t want to burn our house down. We are also at risk of pipes bursting.

We can’t come up with $350 upfront.

 

28.

You can get higher interest rates when you borrow. Assets are not enough to borrow money. Lower paying jobs can lead to more doctor visits and medical bills. A person driving a newer model car will pay less for repairs and fuel than a person driving a cheap old car.

 

29.

A friend broke his glasses. He can’t work until his eyes are replaced, because insurance wants a reveal of his eyes to get new ones. He can’t drive until he can see.

 

30.

Poor people can’t pay for child care. People who take care of children for the wealthy get less pay. It is easier to have two-income households with no penalty of being a parent. The cycle of poverty is perpetuated.