Why is Being Broke so Expensive?

Jessica Hubbert
Published in
4 min readMar 16, 2022

I know, sounds like a contradiction, but hear me out.

Photo by micheile || visual stories on Unsplash

I remember a few years ago there was a post circulating around social media. In it, someone describes the expenses associated with being poor, but through the metaphor of buying boots. When you’re rich, you buy the nice boots, the hundreds of dollars worth ones that last years. But, when you’re poor, you buy cheap boots. The ones that fall apart in a matter of weeks. Over the years, the poor person will have bought 100s of these boots, while the rich person just keeps one pair. Because of this, the poor person ends up paying MORE in the long run.

The first time I read this, it made sense, and I figured that was probably the extent of it. But, in the summer of last year, with no job and no money coming in I realized the true extent of the expenses associated with being poor.

For Transparency: I am very lucky to have parents that have a comfortable living. If I had asked for extra help, they would have done so no questions asked. But, I have made it a priority in my life to try to get through things or get the things I want without having to go to them.

With that out the way, let me tell you what I learned. I learned it is virtually impossible to make money if you don’t have money. I started doing door dash to make ends meet at first. But, guess what you need to do door dash? Gas. Guess what costs money? Gas. So, after driving for 3 or 4 hours, making a measly 40 dollars, probably 20 of that went back into my tank. Woohoo! I have now earned enough money to pay 1/3rd of the Wifi Bill.

Have you ever been late on one bill at a time? There’s usually about a 15 dollar “late fee.” Maybe you just forgot, maybe you’re check was late, but no big deal right? 15 dollars you barely notice it. Have you ever been late on every bill? Those 15 dollars pile up. Now, your 600 dollar check is gone and a pretty penny of that went just to the late fees.

Now that you’ve paid all of those, you have no money in your account. Then, before you know it, surprise you forgot to cancel that 4 dollar subscription for an app, a journal, or something else you never use. Your bank overdrafts. Now, your negative 35 dollars. Repeat, rinse, recycle, the whole thing starts over the next week.

Jessica Hubbert

I just write about what ever comes to mind and inspires passion. Social Justice, Self Improvement, Media, or Mental Health.