A New Infographic from the Films for Action website “Explains Why It’s More Expensive to Be Poor.”
Hazel Garcia writes, “It defies logic, right? That the poor would pay more for basic life items, essentially ensuring that they stay in the cycle of poverty forever. But people can forget that if you are living paycheck to paycheck, then it often becomes impossible to afford buying more than one thing at a time.”
Many of us can save money by buying the basics such as toilet paper in bulk. But if you do not have the money to buy an item like that in bulk, you end up spending more money in the long run buying it roll by roll.
And think about how your savings in purchasing bulk items could go towards saving for a house or paying for medical care?
It is also even hard to save money for first months rent and a deposit for a new apartment. Many low-income households stay in motels to avoid homelessness and the day by day or week by week motel expenses add up.
And if you can’t afford a reliable car or a monthly bus passes, transportation expenses also add up and can be prohibitive to getting to work.
“Additionally, big up-front costs become more difficult, meaning you’re more likely to buy low-quality or used items. Look at it this way, if you can’t afford a reliable car, you are going more likely to buy a cheap, used car. A cheap car can end up costing more in the long-term due to more frequent breakdowns and higher maintenance costs. This applies to other large purchases such refrigerators, computers, washing machines, etc.”
Some advice that Garcia passes along about living paycheck to paycheck includes “calculating your monthly bills” and looking at how you can reduce them. But some very low-income people are already getting by with as little as they can.
Other items highlighted in the Infographic that cost more when you are paying for them little by little are healthier food choices and car insurance. Lower socioeconomic drivers pay, on average, $681 more.
Other financial clots of living paycheck to paycheck are the interest accumulated from pay day loans and credit card interest. Low-income households often get stuck with monthly checking account feeds and overdraft fees while middle- and high-income households carry enough of a balance month to month to avoid minimum balance fees.