9 Ridiculous Double Standards Between Rich and Poor People


Cheapism / DALL-E 3

Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

The Great Divide

The very existence of double standards being played out in society can drive one to the brink of insanity. Shopping at thrift stores? It's either trendy if you've got time to sift for the perfect sweater to post to your Instagram followers, or a necessity if secondhand clothing is all you can afford to stay warm.

Life is filled with a series of challenges, and you never really know what someone can be going through on a given day — or how much money is in their bank account. Let’s take a look at some of the most infuriating double standards that people end up facing depending on how much money they have. 

Ramen noodles on the table.

1. Eating Ramen

Anyone who has been down on their luck and in the midst of a financially stressful period of time — or simply committed to cutting expenses as much as possible — knows the value of ramen. And that value is very wallet-friendly indeed. For a couple of quarters (depending on which stores you go to), you can grab yourself a nice package of ramen to make at home. 

However, you can also spend anywhere between $20 to $30 on a seemingly identical bowl served in a hipster ramen restaurant, where many of the customers have decided to dine because of a viral TikTok video. Therein lies the divide when it boils down to ramen. 

clothing in a vintage second hand shop

2. Shopping at Thrift Stores

There was a time when you stood a fighting chance at finding a new fuzzy sweater or pair of sturdy boots from a thrift store without spending a ton of money. Nowadays, however, it's grown to be quite the opposite situation. Thrift stores are still brimming with their fair share of hidden treasures, but those treasures can cost you a pretty penny, making it a haven for those with extra cash to spare.

And don't even think about trying to exchange your old clothing for cash or store credit these days. You'll find yourself in unpleasant conversations with someone who not only rudely prices out your items of clothing, but who might trouble with you with excessively judgmental glares. 

Word Tax 2024 on the calculator. Business and tax concept.Calculator, coins, book, tax form, and pen on table.Tax deduction planning.Financial research, government taxes, and calculation tax return

3. Avoiding Taxes

The dawn of tax season can be an especially stressful time for anyone, regardless of whether they're rich or poor. This is because some folks have taken it upon themselves to shadily dodge paying their taxes out of a greed-fueled desire to amass as much money as possible. Then, you have other folks that can't pay their taxes due to a life of poverty. It's never a good idea to avoid paying taxes, but not everyone who does is created equal — or looked at the same way.

For more hot takes, please sign up for our free newsletters.

Absurdly Small Diet Meal

4. Dining on Small Plates

Ah yes, the good ole overpriced-yet-alarmingly-small main course at an upscale restaurant. But that's not the only time people are faced with a plate of minimal food. Sometimes, smaller meals are eaten out of necessity (and sourced from the discount bins of a grocery store). It's a stark contrast to when the world's wealthier folks elect to dine on mini meals because it's the most "impressive" thing to do. 

Related: 14 of the Most Expensive Restaurants in America

Affordable Mobile Homes

5. Owning Small Homes

Some folks will live in trailers and out of their cars during different phases of their lives because that's the hand they were dealt, and they don't have the financial means to live elsewhere for the time being. Then you have rich people who have taken it upon themselves to purchase multi-million dollar trailers and park them in luxury resorts. Those same rich people will then peer down at those who live in trailer parks. What's all of that about, truly?

Related: Unique Tiny Homes Around the World

African-american man browsing work online using job search computer app

6. Being Jobless

Maybe you've met someone who has been fortunate enough in their life to quit their job and enjoy dreamy beaches and "funemployment." Then there are those who can't seem to get a foot in the door of the next company that could lift them out of actual unemployment. Both people are jobless, but only one is seen in a favorable light. We'll let you guess which one.

Diet Time

7. Intermittent Fasting

For the committed biohackers out there, intermittent fasting is a part of their daily routines. Intermittent fasting involves mindfully alternating between fasting and eating on a consistent schedule. Research has proven that intermittent fasting is a highly effective way to healthily manage your weight, while also working to fight against different forms of disease. 

But being able to choose when to fast is its own kind of misery-coated luxury. There are plenty of other folks that have to stick to one meal a day because that's where they're at financially. 

Bengal cat at home
Michele Pevide/istockphoto

8. Having Lots of Pets

While you might see both rich and poor folks owning a bunch of pets, those same pets are leading very different lives back at home. In a wealthy household, you might find a menagerie of exotic and well-fed animals. Some people might even leave their pets a small fortune in their will. Less-fortunate folks might be living in a house overrun with cats and dogs, and not all of them may get the amount of food seen in wealthier homes. 

Gold Vintage Convertible 002

9. Buying Old Cars

Some people buy old cars out of necessity, unable to afford a monthly car payment or a new, $30,000 ride. But rich folks? They'll drop serious cash on old cars — and sometimes spend even more to fix them up — because they're "vintage." These cars end up adding to their investment portfolio, further proof that it's easier for rich people to get even richer.