13 People Share Things That Others Might Not Understand About Being Poor

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Sometimes it’s hard to understand what someone else’s life is like. This is true for all of us. If someone is going through something that you have never been through, it’s impossible to understand how they feel in the same way as someone who has been through the same thing.

Hopefully you have never been so poor that you didn’t know how you were going to feed your family, but that’s not true for everyone. Only people who have truly been poor understand what it is like to be poor.

Reddit user fwilliams13 asked, “What is something that someone, who has never been poor before, wouldn’t understand about being poor?”

The answers are enlightening and prove just how misinformed people who have money are about what it’s like to be poor.

  1. “It’ll Last Longer”

    Reddit user limebot wrote:

    Being told that you should invest in more expensive clothes and shoes because they last long than cheap stuff. I could barely afford the cheap stuff

  2. It’s Stressful

    omnilynx shared:

    The mental and emotional weight. It feels like you’re just going from crisis to crisis, expending all your effort just to stay above water, always knowing that something else is just around the corner, and it might be the big one that puts you down for good.When I finally saved up enough to live on for a couple months, just the security that I could handle a crisis if needed was a huge load off my mind and significantly improved my happiness and mental health.

  3. The Paranoia Never Goes Away

    Another Reddit user added:

    Once you’ve been homeless, the fear of becoming homeless again never goes away. Stability, good credit, a little bit in savings will never be enough to soothe that gnawing stress that an injury or illness could land you there again.

  4. Not Everyone Can Afford to Save

    Iforgotsomething897 explained:

    A top executive or someone came to my store and a coworker was telling me how she had to take time off from one of her 3 jobs because she was sick, and the executive overheard her saying how she didn’t have enough for rent, the executive just butted in and said “Well it’s okay to take a little out of your savings for expenses, just put an extra 10% in later for next time!”She looked at our jaw dropped expressions… then said “That’s why you’re supposed to always put 10% out of every paycheck away… You do put 10% into savings every month don’t you?” I had to politely tell her that some people don’t make enough to put anything away, let alone to pay all their bills every month.

  5. Buying Groceries

    Shtring_GTAO answered:

    The embarrassment of having to remove things from the belt at the cash register.

  6. It’s Hard to Get Ahead

    freeweddingphotog wrote:

    You sacrifice so much just to survive, that everything from eating crap food, to not affording hygiene products, to not ever going to the doctor greatly effects your health and happiness. It’s very, very hard to break that cycle and get ahead.

  7. So Many Fees

    brjedi26 shared:

    It costs money to be poor. Don’t have enough in your bank account: get charged a fee. Can’t afford to pay rent on time: another fee.

  8. It Feels Hopeless

    Best_Dad_Decision answered:

    How hard it is to live week to week, and hope you have enough money to cover basic needs until your next payday.How soul-crushing it can be when you realize do not have enough to make it to next payday, and you have to decide whether or not to get a cash/payday advance, even though you know that will be worse for you in the long run. How hard it is to get out of it, and how hopeless it can seem. There is usually no end in sight. How depressing it is, and how worthless it makes you feel, when you cannot make it and need to ask for help – and then have those who have never dealt with the same issue condemn you for needing it in the first place.

  9. “Almost Guarantees Misery”

    RubbishBinJones answered:

    Money does not buy happiness, but being too poor to eat some nights almost guarantees misery.

  10. It’s Embarrassing

    CHIP-SKYLARK518 added:

    I think hiding the embarrass that can be a big part of it. When your friends want to do things and you can either admit you’re poor, make an excuse to not go, or go and sit there and buy nothing.

  11. Shoes Are Too Big

    TCnup explained:

    Buying shoes multiple sizes too big so you have time until you grow into them. I remember feeling like I was wearing clown shoes until they finally fit. Made running in gym class a bit of a challenge.

  12. “It’s Only a Dollar”

    Another Reddit user explained:

    When someone says “It’s only a dollar” and you literally don’t even have a dollar in change bc that went into your gas tank.

  13. Choosing Which Bills to Pay

    DunbarsPhoneNumber shared:

    Knowing that you’re going to have to be late on some of your monthly bills so you can renew your car insurance, because if you have your car impounded, you won’t be able to get to work to make money to do any of it.