The Cost of Being Poor

It is suddenly winter here in Australia.. and while the temperatures are mild compared to home (New Zealand) its still cold and I found myself forced to go and buy a heater.  So I went to the nearest department store and located the heater section and as I was deciding between the $14 fan heater or the $29 convection heater, I was thinking about the effect of each one on my power bill. That was when I noticed the $500 and something dollar dyson heating and cooling wizz-bang thingy that professed to be energy efficient and all that good stuff… of course my budget didn’t allow for such extravagance.

It got me thinking about the environment and the appliances I own. Or at least the appliances I have owned in the past. And then I looked around the section of the store I was in and saw the $250 two star rated tumble drier and the $150 no star rated freezer and it occurred  to me that being broke is costing me and several million other people an absolute fortune… am I slow? I don’t think so .. it just never occurred to me before.

It looks and sounds a bit like this..I can’t afford to by the $500 dyson heaty/cooly thing that’s expensive to buy but cheap to run so I will by the cheap $14 fan heater that will cost me a fortune in power along with my cheap ass no star rated freezer and my archaic second hand fridge that make weird noises and sucks power like a vampire because that’s all I can afford because I never put any importance in money before…hmmm

The wider implications.

And then I started to think about the wider implications of being poor or broke or whatever you want to call it.. I’ll go with broke because I have it better than millions of other people. This is not a poor me moment, more of a whacking great insight.

The wider implications are this:

Poor food choices – if you don’t have the money you can’t buy food that’s good for you, you get stuck in the shitty situation of living on low quality food which will inevitably lead to…

Poor health – this is a two fold nasty really, the chances are that if you’ve been eating crap for some time it very well could lead you to poor health.. and once you there things get really icky from a financial stand point. Health care costs money and lots of it.  So if you haven’t got the cash you get to stay sick. Gee, what fun.
The second part of this is that if you are broke you don’t invest in preventative health care. I dislike the body/car metaphor but it works so I’ll go with it.  Just like a car needs regular servicing to keep it in good condition so we need regular health checks. A car that isn’t regularly checked is at greater risk of breaking down because what could have been prevented wasn’t caught. The same can happen to people , as I am sure you are aware. Major illness, teeth problems. All expensive. All out of reach when you are broke.

More on the car thing, cheap cars. You don’t see to many broke people driving late model, environmentally and pocket friendly cars. Nope old shitty beat up things that suck gas like my fridge sucks power, they break down, and it’s cheaper to by another beat up wreck than it is to fix.

Credit card debt and loans. How are you going to pay for the car, the doctor, the dentist, the school stuff for your kids when you haven’t got a brass razzoo?  Yep credit. Horrendous interest rates and the monthly payments that have to be met. It just adds insult to injury…

And to top all off you are probably living in a grotty house that costs a fortune to heat in winter and cool in summer and if you happen to own it it becomes a struggle maintain.
No retirement savings, in fact no savings at all.  If most people lost their jobs they wouldn’t have enough to live for a month before things get really nasty.

It’s kind of ironic that I had this massive epiphany because I had decided about a month ago that I really started to pay attention to what I was doing with my money. I’ve been reading some really awesome and very enlightening books.  I can change my money story.. perhaps I can help you change yours too. 

Big love



One thought on “The Cost of Being Poor

  1. Very good thoughts there Jay. Having spent most of my life on the lower wage bracket and going back to work at 67 as who can afford to live on the meager Gov donation I can relate to this very well. Usually not much choice but to choose the cheapest option unless one has an unlimited bank balance which I never have.
    Cheers Evelyn

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