Here’s Why It’s Actually More Expensive To Be Poor

    Being poor is expensive and frugality can be hard to afford. Here are a few things that cost more when you’re poor and a few steps to take to stop living paycheck to paycheck.

    it's more expensive to be poor


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    It’s Harder To Be Frugal When You’re Poor

    Toilet paper costs 5.9% more when purchased not in bulk or on sale

    Healthier food costs about $1.50/day more than less healthy choices

    Car Insurance costs 40-90% more for lower socioeconomic drivers ($681 more per year on average)

    Financial Costs

    Pay Day Loans Interest costs around 400% vs. Credit Card Interest which costs 12-30%

    Checking Account Fees can cost $7-$10/month with $34 overdraft fees vs. FREE when you carry a minimum balance and at lower risk of overdrawing.

    Because you can’t afford large up-front costs

    If you can’t afford rent and deposit,
    You pay more over time for a motel.

    If you can’t afford a refrigerator,
    You pay more over time on convenience food.

    If you can’t afford a reliable car,
    You pay more over time in repairs.

    If you can’t afford to transportation,
    You pay more for necessities at the neighborhood store with higher prices.

    If you can’t afford a monthly bus pass,
    You pay more over time for one-ride tickets.

    Breaking The Paycheck-To-Paycheck Cycle

    Poverty is complicated and sticky. It makes it hard to break out of survival mode and it’s hard to see beyond today’s problems in order to prepare better for the problems of tomorrow.

    Focus on the basic things you CAN do:

    1. CALCULATE your monthly bills, your debt amounts, and your income. Figure out if it’s possible to make your monthly bills less than your predicted income.
    2. AVOID debt. Any money you borrow has to be paid back with interest. Any money you can avoid borrowing is money saved. Prioritize paying back high interest debt first.
    3. SAVE money. Even a small amount of cash saved allows you to avoid expensive loans when an unexpected expense occurs.
    4. GET HELP. Many employers have employee assistance programs that will help with basic needs including finances. Many local charities will work to offer free financial planning. Check what’s available in your area.


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