It’s Expensive to Be Poor

Hazel Garcia is a writer and graphic designer for InvestmentZen who loves maximizing (and spending!) credit card rewards. In her spare time she's also an avid traveler and foodie, and often goes on adventures with her faithful canine companion Momo. The New Progressive Alliance has documented how much poverty is caused by government policy. In this article Hazel Garcia shows how difficult it is to live in poverty and has some suggestions to help.

According to a study, most wealthy Americans assume that poor people live an easy, carefree life because they take advantage of government benefits. Still, is this accurate? Or is this affirmation a bit forced?

As a matter of fact, easy is not exactly the most accurate word to describe the life of lower income families. When you depend on your meager paycheck for everything, you often cannot afford to buy the right things at the right time.

Considering that even if you plan your paycheck in detail, you still don't have enough to buy quality goods nor benefit from sales and one-time offers to purchase in bulk. For example, let’s say that you want buy a reliable car; unfortunately, it's too expensive, which means you have to settle for a cheap, used vehicle. The clunker then breaks down on your drive to work, requiring extra fees from the cost of towing to the lost wages of missing your shift, or even worse, the loss of your job. Moreover, car insurance costs up to 90 percent more for low socioeconomic drivers.

It’s needless to say that this applies to other significant purchases, such as home appliances and gadgets. Also, if you cannot afford to pay for a car, you are either forced to shop at neighborhood stores where prices tend to be much steeper, or ride public transportation which wastes a lot of time that you could have spent on other income generating tasks.

Of course, you could always embrace a range of saving strategies to maximize your budget. Or, even better, you could come up with some productive ways of making extra money.

Believe it or not, you could take advantage of unexpected practices for making some extra cash. Plus, if you combine this with setting a monthly budget, you’ll be on the right path. In short, by implementing these practices, you would change your financial situation, in the long run.

For a more comprehensive outlook on the real costs of living a frugal life, have a look at this infographic.


Poverty is Getting Worse 

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