Hierarchical class systems divide the world today and serve as the basis for many metaphors interspersed through mainstream media. Where the wealthy strive, the lower class merely survives. Users on a popular internet website discuss the harsh truths lower-class individuals know that rich people never run into.
1. Duration of Reuse/ Repurpose/ Recycle
In the popular remake of the sitcom One Day At a Time, the mother jokes that she only has one Ziploc bag and has been using it for years. The quip pokes fun at stereotypes and class systems but also honors a universal truth about existing sans unlimited funds. When you have less money, you reuse and repurpose as much as possible.
2. Pressure of Living Paycheck to Paycheck
One commenter states wealthy folks never learn the anxiety-riddled fear of living paycheck to paycheck. The swirling what-ifs can debilitate and terrify anyone. What if the paycheck isn’t enough to eat next week? What if you get sick and don’t have a safety net to fall back on?
Homelessness fosters a stigma in too many people today. Whenever you see someone on the side of the road, asking for money, food, or water, do you roll your windows up and avoid eye contact, or give them essentials? Society teaches us that panhandling is illegal, and those who participate in it want easier drug access. However, what if that idea is not true, and these people actually need what they ask for? What if they had a stroke of bad luck, and their landlord served them with an eviction notice, and they had nowhere to go?
4. Being Unable To Go Inside When It’s Freezing
Escaping into the warm respite of a fireplace or a heated apartment is a luxury not everyone experiences in the winter. A forum member speaks about their experience. When the temperature outside dips below a certain number, people flock inside and cuddle with their blankets. Still, this person says they’ve remained outside in below-freezing temperatures for 48 hours with nowhere to flee to.
5. Using Coupons
Saving $5 on a grocery order may not seem like a massive difference to those who can afford the expense of purchasing overpriced brand-name groceries. However, for those on a budget, that extra $5 could go to medical costs, housing bills, or other necessities.
6. Different Rights
“The same laws apply to everyone, but if you’re poor, you can’t afford lawyers and cannot skip work to go to court. And landlords and bosses know this and will drag any procedure out as long as possible until you quit,” someone who identifies as a lower-class citizen shares.
7. Endless Hunger
Humans have hunger. If we go too long without fueling our bodies, we get cranky, tired, nauseous, faint, etc. But not everyone can feed their bodies when they need fuel. “How to be hungry. Not what it feels like to be hungry, but how to live your life even though you’re always hungry. The chosen situation of being on a diet is not the same as being hungry and unable to afford to do anything about it,” a contributor writes.
8. Dealing With Public Transport
This commenter uses public transportation to work and around their city to see their friends and family. “Some people can’t afford a car or a rideshare, and their employment opportunities are limited to where they can travel by public transportation and the transportation schedule. When you need public transportation, you depend on the bus/train schedule, and places take much longer to get to than they would be by car. For example, it takes me an hour to get to work by public transportation (though I need to leave early to catch the bus), but it only takes 20 minutes to get there with an Uber. Less free time means less time to make more money.”
9. Hierarchy of Bills
When you need to conserve every penny you make, you must choose which bills are more important than others. Those who have been in this situation say the best way to navigate this hardship is to skip the bill that won’t go out that day. They state that the internet will go out immediately, but utilities tend to stay on after a few late payments.
10. No Family Members Can Help
Many wealthy people inherit their wealth, like most lower-class people inherit their financial standing. According to many lower-class citizens, wealthy people don’t seem to comprehend that their family can’t buy them help or dig them out of trouble with a hefty check.
This article was initially published and syndicated by The Cents of Money.