The increase in American poverty—and just how to gauge the poverty line—has been in the news lately. For those of us who live in cities, poverty’s a bit different. Here’s how to tell if you’re a cash-strapped urbanite.
While people who live in major cities might make more money, we also pay more rent, have a higher cost of living, and have a different lifestyle to maintain. The hardest part about being poor in a city is trying to maintain a quality of life in a place that is priced for the richest people in the country, who happen to be your neighbors. Here is a list of behaviors that indicate you’re poor. We know you’ve done at least one of them.
- Your apartment has four times the number of roommates as it has bathrooms or double the number of inhabitants as it has rooms.
- You steal all your toilet paper from public restrooms and use napkins from pizza places as Kleenex.
- Your diet consists of dumplings, Ramen noodles, and the sandwiches you buy right before the store closes that are half off.
- You have had to make the choice between buying cigarettes and buying food. Cigarettes won.
- You say that not having cable is a “lifestyle choice” and you “don’t watch television anyway” but you go over a friend’s house to watch True Blood or the Real Housewives.
- You drink water at the bar on the 14th of the month and then run to the ATM at 12:01 once your direct deposit went through. Then it’s time for a real drink.
- You take the bus.
- You know when things go on sale at the thrift store.
- A career in porn/escorting/stripping is a serious consideration. (Yes, your mother will find out.)
- You plan an entire weekend around drink specials and open bars.
- All of your furniture is from Craigslist.
- You net more money from eBaying your possessions than from your actual job.
- You cut your own bangs and you think they look good. (They don’t.)
- Your mattress is on the floor.
- You have gone out on a date with someone unattractive for a free dinner.
- You spent more than 17 seconds trying to figure out your neighbors’ Wi-Fi passwords so you don’t have to pay for internet service.
- You don’t live in a loft, you sleep on one.
Got others to add? Share them in the comments below!
[Image via Sergey150770/Shutterstock]
Send an email to Brian Moylan, the author of this post, at firstname.lastname@example.org.