10 Things Wealthy People Don't Understand About Being Poor, According to Redditors

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Poor Rich People

It's hard to believe that some people have no clue what it's like to be poor (there are documentaries, people). But those who grew up in wealth and were never exposed to the working class just don't know what it's like to struggle — and, according to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, downplay the impact of their privilege. Here's what Redditors say the rich just don't understand.

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The Constant Mental Math

According to @stcloud777, the rich can't grasp the math poor people have to do when shopping. "Those born to wealth will never understand the struggle of doing 'mental math' when shopping or asking yourself 'can i afford this' or 'what should i sacrifice to be able to afford this' on even basic necessities."

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It's Expensive to Be Poor

Whether that means high-interest cash advances or just having to replace low-quality boots year after year (when a pricier pair might last much longer), poor people end up paying more for less. 

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The Fear of Not Knowing

When you can't afford basic health care or even basic necessities, fear of the future can keep you up at night. "The fear of not knowing. Not knowing how long the lights will stay on. Where your next meal will come from. How you’re going to fill your gas tank. Not knowing what that weird lump is because god knows, you can’t afford to get it tested. It’s scary not having money," says Alpaca_bowl420. 

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Having to Fundraise for Extras

Kids need extras — and if you can't afford them, you still need them. While people with money often sneer at GoFundMe campaigns, those can be the last resort for the poor when they don't want their kid to miss out. 

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Investing Is Not an Option

Playing the stock market already comes with some risk — but it's not an option for someone who needs what little money they have to eat or pay rent. 

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Money Can Buy Happiness

While cash may not make a difference for the wealthy, a study found that wealth up to $75,000 can make people happier after all (if you have more, you aren't necessarily happier). Not being able to afford necessities bums people out? Crazy!

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Being Poor Wastes Time

Looking for a job, using public transport, shopping for food you can afford, finding cheap clothes — it can be time-consuming just to get by. 

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More Skills Means Spending More

Yes, you could take a class or go to college to get out of a low-paying career — but that means spending money you probably don't have. Most colleges and classes come with price tags, which the wealthy shrug off. 

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Having Nothing to Lose

Not being able to pay the bills can have terrible consequences — but knowing you're at your financial bottom makes some of those consequences, such as jail or homelessness, less scary. One Redditor notes that many local jail occupants are in for petty crimes they committed so they would have housing and food.

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Caring About the World Is a Luxury

Worrying about climate change, politics, or other big-picture issues gets a backseat when you're hungry and worried you won't have somewhere to sleep. Many on the lower economic rungs would love to donate to causes they care about or buy more sustainable products, but there isn't extra money to do that.