Did you know that some banks require a minimum balance and charge their clients a fee if they drop below it? Sounds absurd, I know. But that's just the beginning of the journey we're taking.

Recently, Reddit user Paratrooperkid made a post on r/AntiWork, asking others to list all the examples why being poor is actually expensive. And they definitely picked the right place for it.

r/AntiWork is a subreddit with 1.3 million members who, according to the community itself, "want to end work, are curious about ending work, want to get the most out of a work-free life, want more information on anti-work ideas, and want personal help with their own jobs/work-related struggles." In other words, these folks have plenty of shared experiences regarding unemployment.

As more and more people shared their answers, the post went viral and now has 60K upvotes and 16K comments. Here are some of the (indirect) ways the system taxes the most vulnerable ones.

Image credits: Paratrooperkid

#1

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich Rent vs mortgage. The bank says you're too poor for an $800 mortgage payment, so you have to pay $1500 on rent instead.

ManWithPets , pexels Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Plus a minimum of like 10K up front. Because everyone can save that when they have to pay $1500 in rent a month.

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#2

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich Well. Here's a good example of something that happens all the time. Daily. Single mom hasn't gotten her child support check on time. A water* utility bill hits her account that was supposed to be covered by that support. Bank account goes -$135.00 due to the utility bill. The overdraft then incurs a $45 overdraft fee. So. The mom is now -$180 and the electric company sends a letter saying her power will be shut off if payment is not rendered by x date. She knows she won't be paid until two days after the cutoff. So. Waiting for support and her check she's now scouring her floorboard for change to put in her tank to get herself to work and the kids to school. The electric cutoff day comes and goes and the support check doesn't show up. Because she's being paid a sh*t wage she has nothing left over for this emergency. The electric gets cutoff and now her $135.00 bill has incurred a $50 service restart fee. Now her electric bill is $185.00 and she still owes $175 to the bank for the water* overdraft. She is still waiting on the support check. But now because she had to pay the extras for the overdraft, and the electric, she can't afford lunch for the kids this week. So she again scours change to get a loaf of bread and peanut butter. Her kids are still hungry so they get lunch from the school. If the school isn't a*sholes they'll have an account for her kids that will now also be negative. This actually happened in my friends household. It was the most heartbreaking bullsh*t thing you'd ever hear. And it happens every.single.minute.

TheFLAwoman , unsplash Report

#3

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich The hardest part of being poor for me, was the “cost” of time. My weekly grocery trip took almost four hours. Between the time spent looking over fliers and making a list of what I could afford, walking to the closest bus stop, transferring to another bus, an hour of shopping and tallying up my total to make sure I was within 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 Kraft Dinner Mac and Cheese without butter or milk, because that is what was in the pantry. Now that I live more comfortably, I drive to the store in 10 minutes, spend 30 minutes shopping and am home and finished within an hour.

ETA: it’s been more than 10 years since I ate Sad KD and today I’m lucky to have a full cupboard, fridge and freezer. I am so sorry for everybody who can recognize themselves in this post. I never realized this was such a universal experience.

TwoBlueToes , unsplash Report

lenka
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes. When I was a teen I lived by myself in a little hovel on the outside of town. I didn't have a washing machine or car so I would have to walk to the laundromat to wash clothes. If I left them there, they were stolen so I had to sit and wait for them to be done and then walk home again. Instead of being able to throw a load of laundry in and go to work, it took three hours of my time. Then I had to do grocery shopping. Couldn't carry laundry and groceries and they weren't in the same direction anyway, so walk to the supermarket, shop takes time because you have to carefully inspect prices and then walk home again. I was unable to pick up extra working hours to get out of poverty because poverty demanded my time.

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#4

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich It’s cheaper to buy processed foods, leading to higher risk of cancer and other illnesses. Healthy foods are a privilege. I wish I could afford more fruit

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Caro Caro
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is outrageous. We've had posts here on BP about food/diet. Governments (USA?) should budge in and do something. I'm lucky that where I live veggies and fruit are cheap and good quality.

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#5

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich Getting to and from work. Since you're poor, you cannot afford to live close to work and thus have a longer commute.

But you also cannot afford to own and run a reliable car, so you have a beater that breaks all the time and gets poor mileage.

When it breaks, you can't get paid because you aren't at work so you have a new bill PLUS halted income.

To compensate, you take out high interest loans to repair the car. But it breaks again later so you're always in debt for high interest loans on top of the car costs.

I see this a lot in the northeast.

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Sakeena
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Happens in the southeast too, where there’s miles and miles of trees and grass between the next actual anything.

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#6

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich Shoes.

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

After 4 pairs of ok shoes in a year, you've spent more than if you'd bought 1 pair of good shoes.

TheVantal , pxhere Report

Sarcastic Cow
Community Member
11 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

For more see genius Terry Pratchetts character cpt. Sam Vimes ´Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.´

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#7

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich I can help you out. I worked with homeless folks in LA for a few years. The stories I could tell you.

One that was a recurring tale, all too common, were parking tickets. Rich people? Big deal. Pay it online, it’s an afterthought at its worst.

Now that same parking ticket issued to a homeless person living out of their car, trying to scrounge together money for a deposit on a place whilst working a sh*tty service sector job?

That’s devastating. It’s another 2-3 months of sleeping in the car. Or maybe it’s a few days worth of missed meals. Or maybe it’s skipping out on that expensive medication that your sh*tty insurance wont cover.

I could provide you endless examples of the way this country punishes the poor. People need a reality check.

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Cactus McCoy
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Living in your car WHILE HAVING A BLOODY JOB is insane. The underlying system is completely broken.

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#8

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich I don’t own my home, I rent. My colleague owns. We make the same money and pay the same income taxes. The gov uses the taxes to upgrade the roads, and infrastructure in town. My colleague’s equity goes up, so does my landlord’s, because of our tax dollars spent. So he gets richer. My land lord gets richer.

Me? My rent goes up

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Patti Vance
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

this is something that pisses me off to no end. if you have a person or couple with decent jobs who show through their history that they are good renters but have no other assets or a huge savings, why the hell would a lending agency think they were not a good risk to have a mortgage. renting costs so much more than owning. also, not all apartments have utilities included and, if a person/couple is renting they they already are paying for those kind of things.

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#9

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich I’ve never had the money to spend on regular dental work so now I’m spending thousands more to fix everything that was neglected

I would like to make an edit and add that a ton of you in the comments have suggested dental tourism and dental schools. Both are great ideas!

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Cee Mor
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I just tried a new dentist and it was over 600 for a cleaning...now I have to try out another more affordable dentist to get the fillings done...in about 6 months.

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#10

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich You meticulously maintain a high mileage used car that is totaled in a car accident that is not your fault. Insurance company will only pay you $1,000 for your car.

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Chucky Cheezburger
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This sucks even when someone isn't poor. It's such a pain to replace a car for what rip-off...er, I mean insurance company deems your car worth.

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#11

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich Many banks charge a monthly fee to have an account with a balance under a certain level (e.g. $1500). It's literally a poverty fee.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Seems that a US bank that would treat their customers like European banks do, would blow all the other US banks out of the water.

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#12

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich if you cant afford your own laundry machine or an apartment that comes with one it costs like $10 in quarters to do laundry. EVERY TIME.

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Jenny Shmurak
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And that's a luxury too. In my country I've never seen those quarters laundry places. Always thought it was an american movies thing. Also, noone has a washing machine in the basement of apartment buildings. Only in dorms.

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#13

I’m the opposite of poor and I see this every day. Because I have money to always pay my credit card bills fully on time I buy everything with them and wind up with a 2% discount/cash back on everything I buy. This adds up to thousands of $/year. There are tons of things that are discounted if you are rich. One of the sh*ttiest things about our economy

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Cactus McCoy
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah. Also, being able to buy the good, lasting stuff leads to not spending money on many things like good quality clothing, appliences and tools. Saves a HUGE ammount of money over time.

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#14

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich How about the fact that homelessness is illegal

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Caro Caro
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

God the hopelessness. How can you make it illegal if you don't help? WTF is wrong with people.

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#15

Attendance micromanagement at work.

Hear me out.

I am currently at a much higher paying position. It’s salaried. My boss has the mindset that she doesn’t care when things get done just so long as they get done. She’s flexible on when I clock in/out and doesn’t feel the need to track if I’m hitting exactly forty hours a week. (Again, salaried position).

Contrast to past jobs that paid less than half as much. Many of my coworkers took public transit (couldn’t own a car). I could have easily taken public transit, it was one bus and short walk from my house. However. I opted to drive because we would be disciplined for being more than two minutes “tardy” clocking in.

The bus is NOT that reliable, y’all.

So we have multiple workers showing up 10-20 minutes early to sit around with unpaid time so they don’t get docked for being tardy. And the policy was such that three tardies mean you get written up, then it escalates to action, then to termination. It’s real easy to lose your job because your bus route is not reliable. But most of the people taking the bus to work are in the low paying positions that micromanage if you’re two minutes late (even if it’s out of your control).

Bosses keep their thumbs on the low earners and it keeps them there.

Schannin Report

rspanther
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I like to say that the only reliable thing about my public transit is that it is unreliable.

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#16

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich Only being able to afford the small jar of mayo (or whatever), even though the larger jar is a better deal.

Overdraft fees that charge you money for having no money.

Late fees for not being able to afford your bills.

Having to go to the closest grocery store, even though it may not be the cheapest, because it's on the bus route or within walking distance.

Payday loans

Rent to own stores where you have to pay a ton of money for a couch, but pay weekly

klms21 , pexels Report

Alice
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Local fb groups here in the UK are a great source of unwanted furniture, where people can offer their unwanted sofas and stuff for someone who might like them.

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#17

And you spend so much time just trying to survive you have little time to improve yourself

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#18

When I first lived on my own (escaped a bad situation), I bought a splurge...$100 of groceries. I meal prepped, made dozens of bags of frozen prepared veggies etc. I was eating healthy and I felt like I actually just did good for myself. I thought it was a smart move.

I was literally set up for almost two months.

The power went out. My insurance couldn't cover it. I lost so much food. I just saved a few items that were frozen solid.

I cried until I threw up. I eventually had my dad drop off some leftovers but I never told him what happened, I was too embarrassed.

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Dianellian
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That’s so sad. You shouldn’t be embarrassed as I’m sure your dad didn’t mind helping you out.

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#19

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich Not being able to afford preventive medical care leads to huge medical bills later. I’ve seen it numerous times where people put off routine exams/procedures, and then come through the ER and end up with an amputation, or even death, because the illness had progressed so far before they sought treatment.

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Helen Haley
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Every injury, every cough, every tooth pain is accompanied by panic because it is like having a hole in your pocket. You have no idea how much this is going to cost. But you know it is likely to ruin you.

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#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

These are nice round numbers and I live in one of the "lowest cost of living" states in the US....this also includes 0 entertainment expenses like Netflix, going out with friends, taking a vacation etc.

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

Imagine working 40+ hrs a week just to be able to work 40+ hrs a week and stay alive....nothing more.

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#21

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich For me, it was moreso the fact that everything was a choice. The mental strain of trying to figure out how to budget $100 when you realistically need $150...it's f*cking horrible.

It leads to bad decisions over time too. I smoked cigarettes because I was always so stressed and cigarettes are expensive. I knew I was wasting money and couldn't really afford it, but it was one of the only things that got me through shifts of hell at work

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Paula Marowsky
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Cigarrettes... alcohol... now you know why poor people get into them

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#22

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich I overdrafted my account by $.27. The bank charged me $35. My credit score was bad so my interest was worse when getting a car. My credit sucked so I couldn't buy a house so I had to rent for almost double.

Just some of my past examples.

Mohican83 , pexels Report

Cactus McCoy
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This s**t happens when a country is run like a corporation.

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#23

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich College loans: spend thirty years paying interest on a college degree because you don't have rich parents. Also if you don't have a college degree, you'll be excluded from nearly all jobs that pay decently.

Freedom of "choice"

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#24

Not me personally but my best friend recently got an unpaid internship at a hospital because he needs the experience as an upcoming graduate student in an MPH program.

The hospital required him to be fully vaccinated and to get a sh*t ton of shots. However, they won’t pay for it and if you don’t do it, you will lose your spot. Since he has no insurance, he ended up paying $280 out of pocket to go work for free just so he can build his resume. SMH !

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Thorfin Wolfsbane
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"intern" is the new word for indentured servant, but being an indentured servant was better because room, board, and clothing was provided.

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#25

How abput depression and anxiety caused by financial pressures being 'treated' by a therapist and being charged $75 copay per visit. Then, if the anxiety is bad enough that you don't go, you get a $45 cancellation fee unless you cancel 2 days+ in advance. Self-fueling system.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

US health care is a for profit system and only aimed at being beneficial for the ones working in the business. It doesn't matter if your treatment makes you better or makes you dead, you will pay the bills.

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#26

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich If you have a low credit score you have to pay a $300 deposit in order to get power turned on at your place. (In Las Vegas Nevada)

In Vegas there's only one power company NV Energy

cella80 , unsplash Report

Sakeena
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oo this is a big one. Entergy in the southeast is notorious. And don’t miss a few days out sick and can’t afford your light bill. You gotta get it caught up and pay a reconnect fee.

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#27

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich We're in the New England states where it's gotten to 15 degrees Fahrenheit overnight. We've been without heat for three weeks now because it will cost us $800 to fill our K1 tank. We don't have the $350 for 100 gallons either. We're currently jacking up our electric bill, risking fire, and risking the safety of us and our cats by using the oven to heat the house. We're also risking our pipes bursting.

All because we can't come up with $350 upfront.

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Bill
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Off road diesel is K2 with dye. You only need 5 gallons to run at sub zero for 24 hours from empty. I know lots of people who fill up a 5 gallon gas can every day

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#28

30 Things That End Up Costing More For Poor People Than For The Rich Higher interest rates any time you borrow. Lack of assets to borrow money against. Lower paying jobs are generally harder on a person’s body and lead to more doctor visits and medical bills. Driving a cheap old car means shelling out more money for repairs and fuel than a person driving a newer model.

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Helen Haley
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My dad freaked out when he heard what my auto loan interest rate was. My credit score wasn't even that bad.

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#29

Friend broke his glasses today. Insurance wants a reeval of his eyes to get new ones, so now he's out a couple hundred for the script and can't work until they're replaced. Also can't drive until he can see.

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Becky Samuel
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What shíthole country is this in? An eye test costs under £20 on the high street.

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#30

Poor people can’t pay for childcare. The wealthy rely on underpaying people to take care of their kids. Meaning it’s easier to have two income households without the penalty of being a parent. Perpetuating the cycle of poverty

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Sakeena
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Then they scoff at childcare professionals wanting increased pay.

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