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Guest Post: 5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by John Cheese via The Burning Platform blog,

Being poor is like a game of poker where if you lose, the other players get to screw you. And if you win, the dealer screws you. A bunch of you reading this are among the 45 million “working poor” in America, and if you’re not, you know somebody who is. Like me.
Or 60 percent of all retired NBA players, according to this site.

I’m not blaming anybody but myself for getting into this situation (I was drunk for two straight decades) and I’m not asking for anybody’s sympathy. What I am saying is that people are quick to tell you to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and just stop being poor. What they don’t understand is the series of intricate financial traps that makes that incredibly difficult.

If you’re not poor, that’s awesome. I’m not mad at you, or jealous. Hopefully you’ll never find out that …


#5. You Get Charged for Using Your Own Money



This is the future, where many businesses no longer accept cash as payment. That means you are required to have a checking account to function in the economy. And if you’re poor, that means at some point you’re going to get bank-fucked.

Because having a checking account while poor doesn’t just mean you have to be responsible and good at math — you have to be perfect. Meticulous, flawless record keeping is the difference between surviving and having the bank seize your next paycheck.



Let’s say you’re running late for work and hurriedly stop to get gas, paying with a bank card. In your haste you forget to write the $55 down (gas being $4 a gallon, you know). So while you spent the last week until payday thinking you had $50 in your account to absorb minor purchases, you actually were $5 in the red.

So payday comes. You go to the bank to deposit your check, at which point the bank takes it, sticks it in their pocket and says, “Thank you very much! I’m buying myself a new pair of shoes with that shit!” They then inform you that your account was at -$200 at the moment you deposited your check.
Oh, it gets a lot worse, stock photo woman.


The bank can hit you with a $35 fine for every charge that comes in while you are in minus territory. The bank will not tell you they charged you this money. You will have no idea anything is wrong.

It’s a silent chain reaction in which every charge that comes through during those few days before payday draws the $35 fee. The $8 you spent at the gas station for cigarettes, the $24.99 that automatically comes out for your Internet access … for each, the bank silently zaps out the charge and $35 on top of it, until your next paycheck is gone. Five seconds of oversight gave the bank the right to take away a week’s worth of your labor.

Some of you are saying, “Fine, just tell the bank to go fuck itself. Walk out the door and just do everything by cash or money order.” Ah, but now when you get paid, you have to go somewhere to cash your paycheck — and businesses charge up to $8 to do it. If you’re working in the service industry, congratulations — an hour of your labor just vanished … just so you could use your own money. Some describe this as a “poverty tax.” Others refer to it as a “Because fuck you, that’s why” fee.


The one piece of advice I can offer here is that you’ll be surprised how many businesses will give you some leeway if you just call them and beg. Banks are run by human beings (as of the writing of this article) and if you get a person on the phone you can get them to waive overdraft fees, particularly if it’s a first offense. Even businesses waiting on a payment will give you an extra week or two if you call and explain it. In this economy, they’re so used to people just taking the money and disappearing that they’re happy to hear you’re operating in some kind of good faith.

Otherwise, you’re going to be in a bind. And this is when you’ll find out …

#4. There is an Industry That Profits by Keeping You Poor



Think you’re too smart to ever use one of those shady “payday loan” places? Well, you should know that nobody thinks they’re a good deal. People go there because they’re choosing between which fucking provides the most lube.
Yeah, when you’re done choosing, just stay in that position, buddy.


Say the gas bill is a month past due, and they’re threatening to turn it off (if so, it’s $150 to get it reconnected). Or you’re about to be late on a credit card payment (which would be a fee and a doubling of your interest rate). Or your favorite S&M whip broke, and Whipfest is coming up (entry fee is nonrefundable). That is when you find yourself swallowing your pride and heading to the payday loan place.



A standard 14-day “payday” loan charges $15.50 per $100 borrowed. So a $500 loan ends up being $577.50 (or 1.5 tanks of gas in interest). But if you don’t have it after 14 days, that’s fine — they offer to extend your loan to 180 days. It makes the payments miniscule. Oh, and you’ll be paying back $1,275 at 403.10 percent APR.

Yes, you got fucked, in the name of your financial asshole avoiding the credit card company’s bigger, barbed dick. And it’s a hell of a lot better than going over on your checking account again and starting up their infinite circular fuckatron.


Using this.


All right, let’s say you wised up. You save and cut back. You resist an offer to, say, buy a computer on Best Buy’s finance plan, because you’re too smart to take on more debt. And no monthly cell phone payments for you, oh no. You’re not going to put yourself in a hole again!

Congratulations. You just did. It turns out …

#3. No Credit Can be Just as Damaging as Bad Credit



On the spectrum of financial responsibility, from “that billionaire who drives an old Dodge Dakota” down to “MC Hammer,” you’d think that the next step up from being overdue on a bunch of bills would be to have no bills at all. Don’t buy it if you can’t afford it, right?

You’ll find out the problem the next time somebody does a credit check — having no credit will stop you from getting a loan or an apartment just as fast as having bad credit. And more importantly, if you have old bad credit due to a bunch of previous fuckups, simply vanishing off the credit map doesn’t do anything to fix it.
It sounds good in theory, though.


It took me six months to find a place to rent after applying for every property that appeared in the paper across five towns. I was denied each time. It was my lack of credit due to years of me and lenders deciding to just stay out of each other’s hair, like those old sitcoms where roommates would draw a line down the middle of the house. I even used a prepaid cell phone where I’d just be buying minutes off the shelf rather than get locked into a contract with all those termination fees and shit. When I needed something big, like a computer upgrade or furniture, I’d wait for a windfall, like a tax return, and pay cash. It’s called financial responsibility, motherfucker!
Now hand over the heroin, bitch!


Nope. It turns out that to a business, a customer with no credit is like a girl giving you the silent treatment — they assume something is wrong.

And everybody checks your credit — if I want to get Direct TV, I have to pay $310 worth of startup fees (the size of your up-front payments/deposits depends on your credit history). Utilities are even more — which means trying to move to a new place costs hundreds of dollars in deposits (remember the $150 to get my gas turned on). If I need a new car, well, let’s just say I need to show up at the dealership with a shoebox full of cash.
The last two kids I bought on the black market virtually wiped out my life savings.


So repairing credit means opening accounts (having a cell phone plan is a good one, having your utilities in your own name — as opposed to the landlord’s — is another) and, you know, making sure to pay your fucking bills on time. And don’t bother trying to shortcut the system by saving the shoebox full of cash, getting a loan, then paying it all off the next month. Length of credit is part of your credit score. They want to know your ability to make steady, long term payments without missing a month or being late

#2. Your Next Expensive Disaster is Always Around the Corner



Shit happens, always at the exact worst time. A tire blows on my car and, without a spare, it instantly becomes a paperweight. There’s $80 for a new tire, $50 for a tow. Now, it’s a good idea to have a separate bank account set up specifically for these situations because they are unavoidable. It’s also a good idea to have a sex slave or two just sitting around in case your balls need shaved. It’s not that fucking simple.
Just a little further, sir. We need to be able to stab your heart with our dicks.


You get the same domino effect with sudden financial disasters as you do with the bank fees. For instance, I worked a shitty service industry job, which meant I got paid by the hour, and didn’t get paid unless I showed up — no paid time off. But I couldn’t physically get to work because of the goddamned flat tire. It’s a rural area, no subway or buses. So it’s double penetration — not just lost work time, but lost time that is spent paying for a tow and a tire. And if I didn’t happen to have that money sitting around, it meant waiting until payday, and missing work until then.

Which meant my next paycheck would be short. By the time I get it fixed and add in the missed work time, that $80 tire just turned into a $250 enema. That’s life in a world with no financial margin for error. It’s like trying to climb out of a dick pit but the ladder is also made of dicks.



Years ago, we bought a house with the help of our in-laws. You know, because owning property is the responsible adult thing to do. The very first fucking night of moving in, we got a massive water leak. I couldn’t just call the landlord — I was the landlord. I couldn’t call a plumber because we didn’t have the $150 to pay the guy, not until payday. So the leak was allowed to run until we could put the money together to pay one. So two weeks later, we hand the guy $150. And then, a week later, the water bill arrives.


You find yourself thinking, “Man, we could get caught up if this bad shit wouldn’t keep happening!” Then it finally hits you that bad shit happens like clockwork. Not because God hates you, but because you’re poor and you’re using cheap shit that breaks. Maybe you don’t pay the $150 for a plumber, but have a handy friend fix it for you for $50. Awesome, you saved $100! Then six months later you have a leak again, because it turns out he fixed it with rubber bands and Fruit Roll-ups.



Everything in a poor person’s life is a cash vampire. My truck has 170,000 miles on it and the MPG is so bad that every time I start it, the ghost of an Indian appears in the passenger seat and cries. About twice a year, something under the hood grinds to a halt or melts — always another $500 on a tow and repairs. And that was the money I was saving to get a more reliable car.

Hell, even my own body does it to me. I lost my last job because of chronic back pain, losing my health insurance in the process. Which means I can’t treat my chronic back pain. Can’t afford to get dentist check-ups, so more expensive problems are allowed to grow and fester. And so on.

#1. You’re Always in Survival Mode



There’s a phrase in the working world that drives me crazy. One guy says, “The money’s not great, but I love my job.” And somebody responds, “Hey, happiness is all that really matters.”

To be clear, that’s probably true for people at a certain level of income. If you aren’t struggling to pay the bills, then happiness is indeed a pretty damn awesome extra. But you know those movies like American Beauty, about the guy with the unfulfilling career who abandons it to live life to its fullest? Yeah, don’t forget that after quitting their jobs they still come home to houses that look like this:



But down here, at this level, you take what you can fucking get. Fantasies about holding out for that dream job will ruin you.

For instance, long before reading to this part, some helpful commenter has surely skipped down and chimed in with, “Why don’t you just get a job, you lazy fuck!” Wait, did you think I was unemployed? Hell no, it’s been years since I was out of work for any long period of time. I’ve always had jobs. Shitty, shitty jobs.

A huge chunk of this economy runs on shitty jobs now. Recently, McDonald’s held a job fair with 50,000 openings. They got more than 1,000,000 applications. Tens of millions of you will wind up in one of these jobs, it’s sheer math.



These service jobs pay hourly, they give you little or nothing in terms of benefits and there is nothing in the way of security even from week to week — your hours could get cut at any time, for any reason. Sure, you can take a second part-time job. Though, that’s assuming you can find one that works around your primary job’s schedule — just mentioning that you have another job in an interview is often enough to stop that interview mid-sentence. Why hire you when there are 30 guys in line behind you with completely free schedules?

So in answer to the inevitable, “You need to dream bigger, and strive forth to get a new career for yourself!” Hey, I totally agree. But now we’re back in the Catch-22 poverty fuck gauntlet. Once you’re in this tier of jobs, getting out isn’t just hard, it’s expensive.

Sure, you can take classes at night at a community college or something. Maybe you’ll even get financial aid or loans to pay for your books or tuition. What they will not pay for is the time you missed at work while you were in classes or for a babysitter or for transportation. And you sure as fuck better be certain that you have some kind of aptitude for whatever you’re studying (which, by the way, you won’t know until you’ve spent a year or two studying it) because that’s the only chance you’re going to get.



You can do it the old-fashioned way, by working your way up the corporate ladder from within whatever shitty job you have. But that is also expensive because promotions often require you to move. I got offered a promotion at my shitty service job (washing semi trucks with high-pressure hoses, the job that eventually destroyed my back) that would have required me to move several hours away. And moving costs money — remember what I said about the cost of getting utilities turned on? And how landlords check your credit?

And then there are the intangible costs. I would be abandoning my children, for instance — I share custody with my ex-wife, who obviously was not going to be moving with me. How many visits would I get in before my car broke down? And moving away from friends and family also comes with a cost — think of the favors you do for each other (i.e. the friend/brother/uncle willing to fix the truck for free, because you helped paint his porch, etc).
Rounding each other’s fros.


It’s not impossible, but it’s taking a huge risk. And if the new job doesn’t work out after you bet all of your chips, you’re triple fucked. And at that point the world will wag its finger at you and tell you how irresponsible it was to move when you were so poor. “Ha, you poor people are always doing stupid shit like that!”

And on and on. People do get out of this situation — I got paid to write this, for instance. All I’m saying is that the journey is something like trying to go from the Earth to the Moon. By letting them launch a Saturn V rocket directly into your butthole.


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Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:41 | 3654849 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I like it when they run their $0.39 special on avocados.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:49 | 3654881 Barnaby
Barnaby's picture

Shut up! Where else am I going to find a big sweaty tin of geschwantzenmutten?

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 18:25 | 3656070 Phil Free
Phil Free's picture

Aldi - The grocery store for the frugal.


There, fixed it for you.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:20 | 3654760 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

John 'CHEESE[pope]' knows a lot about being poor... Like 'Simon' ~ The Fisher King of the Andean ski slopes...


Fucking blow me...

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:20 | 3654761 csmith
csmith's picture

My truck has 170,000 miles on it and the MPG is so bad that every time I start it, the ghost of an Indian appears in the passenger seat and cries.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:21 | 3654768 denverdolomte
denverdolomte's picture

hahaha, +10 on that, hahah. that's a good one.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:26 | 3655117 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture



Instant 'ENTRY' to the ZH 'comment of the year' awards ceremony...

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:49 | 3655257's picture

It's a quote from Cheese's article.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 17:06 | 3655651 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

How ironic...


My bloodshot eyes must have missed it...

Crockett... You & I... [& even kito, fonz, & Dr. Engali] ought to smoke a peace pipe... Not that I've 'mellowed' in the past month since Rothschild bought out ZH [or so it seems]... But only because I'm convinced that, despite our argumentative posture when it comes to the decorum of 'tea cotillions', I believe we'd all be fighting the same enemy in the long run...

I've pretty much expressed to kito & fonz this sentiment... & Engali gets it by default...

Someday ~ if the shit really hits the fan & kito & fonz get 200 acres... They're gonna need an ornery bastard around who knows how to grow shit, chop shit, shoot shit, skin shit, burn shit, refabricate shit, & cooks 10x better than Dona K ... That kinda knowledge comes in handy...

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 18:19 | 3656042 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

is does seem that ZH has been infiltrated in some way. I think the suits paid a visit and assymilated the operation. #1 favorite place to troll for info on terrerists and domestic ruffians

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:21 | 3654764 denverdolomte
denverdolomte's picture

I feel for this article, it's true. Median family income totalling I believe $45k annually is not enough to get by within your means due to all the fees and fines you get constantly from Banks, Taxes, Credit companies, and misc. fines (tickets and whathaveyous). I find it even more strange the amount of regulations against self sustaining your self or your community, for example here in Denver we can not collect run off rain water from our roofs to water gardens, as the city has claimed ownership of the said water....yeah they own nature now. 


Be an amazing day if the world turned its back and went on its own never looking back to this time in history.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:46 | 3655015 samsara
samsara's picture

How about wanting save money and not use the dryer and want to to dry clothes on a clothes line and you get fined. Your car doesn't pass inspection because of something like a rice size hole in the taillight lens. And the replacement cost $75. It's all a one way valve or slippery slope. Came from a poor family, Been Poor. I KNOW poor. The average person takes so many things as common sense and/or for granted.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:20 | 3655105 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I was surprised the article didn't mention the municipal/traffic court treadmill for indigents...  It's pretty unreal...  basically an endless road of fines, lost wages (community service/court time), and general belittling.  Granted, many of the problems stem from incidents where the defendant stated "I couldn't walk a straight line sober!" or "what do you mean leash law?  My dog can eat whatever it wants" or "she started the fight, she wouldn't shut her damn mouth when I told her to, what was I supposed to do, not hit her...  it was only a slap?" (that knocked her teeth out)...  but, those are probably the exception moreso than the rule.

Fail to complete a lofty community service requirement in a short amount of time = warrant out for your arrest + extra charges for new arrest + extra fines and costs + more community service...  See it every day.

The worst cases are where the person made a good faith effort to follow the law and then gets shit on for a failure to interpret it correctly or follow some minute detail in a 10 page court document... 

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 17:07 | 3655683 Nostradalus
Nostradalus's picture

Nigel please! $45K is just scraping by? i live comfortably on under $18K only because i have experience in being born to "working poor" parents, and not wanting to repeat their mistakes, took a different path making sure i live a financially responsible life. and i did just that. only a blithering idiot would fritter away that amount of money yearly (probably on x-boxes, smart phones, and mcdonalds).

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 18:38 | 3656148 object_orient
object_orient's picture

You have 3 dependents?


Fri, 06/14/2013 - 00:13 | 3657184 Nostradalus
Nostradalus's picture

2 dependents, house, truck, car, motorcycle, AND NO DEBT. main trick is living within/below my means.... as i said, comfortably. figured out the difference between want and need long ago. (gas is over $4/gal in this socialistic, new england state, along with taxes galore). it is possible people. i am living proof!

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 01:25 | 3657268 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

Ok, I'll bite.

That's right in the ballpark of what I make ($45k) with three kids and a wife.  I'm telling you your claim is fucked, but I'm ready to listen because I frankly need the schooling if you have it to offer.

So, to get the ball rolling, here's what we have on that income-

A 1,000 sq ft house.
Two vehicles, no loans on them- this is required, because bussing is not offered where I live, and small children can't walk 2 miles when it's -40F.
Gasoline for transport to work and school, no extra trips.
Internet access (The sole entertainment expense for 5 people, and required if I want to keep my job.)

Here's what we don't have, or routinely run out of.

Insurance, (car or meaningful health insurance) (edit: I did remember that I have reasonable dental and term life, my bad.)
Healthy food (try living on an 80% pasta diet, you'll see what I mean.)
Cellular phones
Gaming systems
Any form of cable or broadcast television (We had Cathode Ray TVs, but they don't work anymore.)
A clothing budget

The list is larger, pro and con, this is just a sample of the big things.  

So, master of the working poor lifestyle, please enlighten us on how you make it work.  I'll be honest, I think you're full of it- but in the off chance that you're not, I am all ears to hear how you do it.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 09:56 | 3657902 Nostradalus
Nostradalus's picture

why would i bother to lie? to puff up my chest on ZH? first off thank you for your reply. secondly let's go through this item by item. we have two adults living on this take-home pay. the budget is $50/day max. If your take-home is $45k and have 5 dependents, 2.5 times 18=45. so you should be able to do the same budget, just multiply all these expenses by 2.5 (budget for you - $125/day). property/vehicle taxes take up $5k/year. that's approx $14/day. food (never eat out, grow veggies in summer, make gallons of spaghetti sauce from tomatoes for winter, pasta once a week on sunday of course) $15/day. insurance for all vehicles and home $5/day. 2 cells, 1 landline, internet, $4.25/day, electric $3/day, cooking/hot water gas $1.25/day, water $1.25, gasoline is the wild card variant, but this leaves me with $6.25/day for sundries and gasoline, i work close to home. no life/med/dental insurance, cable. thats all i can think of now. and that is how i do it. as walter brennan used to say on the real mccoys "no brag, just fact". waiting for your reply or other questions. i'd be glad to help anyone (for free) figure out a budget. and btw i never said or feel like i am "working poor". i am living smart/comfortably. i said my PARENTS were working poor. again, thank you for your interest.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 22:56 | 3657030 samsara
samsara's picture

I would say that the old real estate thing of LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION will play a large part of how true what you said is. 

Living in different parts of the country and your milage may vary.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 00:16 | 3657188 Nostradalus
Nostradalus's picture

2 dependents, house, truck, car, motorcycle, AND NO DEBT. main trick is living within/below my means.... as i said, comfortably. figured out the difference between want and need long ago. (gas is over $4/gal in this socialistic, new england state, along with taxes galore). it is possible people. i am living proof!

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:22 | 3654770 Investor Wizard
Investor Wizard's picture

Start by getting up a little earlier so you aren't running late to work.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:42 | 3654854 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

Start by getting up a little earlier so you aren't running late to work. you ever had the prescience of mind to get up at midnight to be at work by 8am because you knew you were going to blow out a tire on a one way 4 lane bridge and had to wait for a tow truck on the other span to go down the interstate, wait to cross the median, merge with the other flow of traffic, negotiate his way to you, safely backup while cars are whizzing by at 70 miles per hour +, load you up, wait to merge back out, deliver you car to a tire shop that does not open up until 7:00am but already has cars ahead of you, just to be able to see you at 9:00 so you can still be late by an hour and a half.

You made a hat trick my friend, by being a prick, an asshole and an idiot at the same time.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:24 | 3654772 Maos Dog
Maos Dog's picture

John Cheese, I really like your work, but this article is so full of fail I don't even know where to begin.

I guess I'll start by saying, you don't ACTUALLY know any poor people, do you???????

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:23 | 3654773 Scro
Scro's picture

All true.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:44 | 3654863 Chump
Chump's picture

I dunno.  I'm poor as hell but I manage to balance my checkbook and stay away from payday loan sharks.  Outside of that, yeah, I agree.  One minor hiccup in my income flow and shit gets real like, immediately.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:24 | 3654777 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.”


? Herman Melville

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:24 | 3654778 Barnaby
Barnaby's picture

"Check Into Cash - them niggas got Astro Glide up in that mutha!" ~ Montel Williams

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:25 | 3654780 n.d.v.
n.d.v.'s picture

What a bunch of whiny bs. Stop using money you don't have (checking your balance with a phone app works wonders) and stop thinking you have some god given right of having everything near YOUR current place of residence.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:52 | 3654894 Barnaby
Barnaby's picture

You've apparently never lived hand-to-mouth, standing there all ashambles in the Produce Section saying to yourself "how am I gonna buy these bananas?" Because I have to tell you, it's hard to watch.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:34 | 3655527 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Buy bananas? WTF?

when you po for reelz baby you go knock dat jar sketti sauce on de flo an lick it up fo dat bitch get dere wit de mop.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 19:58 | 3656470 Chump
Chump's picture

Ah, yes, recommending a smartphone with a data plan to someone who is barely scraping by.  So they can check their bank balance.  You know, something that requires an elementary school education, a pencil, and a piece of paper.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 08:42 | 3657675 n.d.v.
n.d.v.'s picture

In a country where HOMELESS people have iPhones, I don't think expecting one to have at least a cheap ass ZTE Android phone that can be bought for below 100$ is too much.

Sun, 06/16/2013 - 22:50 | 3663895 Chump
Chump's picture

Spending $100 dollars on a cell phone and committing to a $20/mo data plan is the last thing someone struggling to make ends meet should be doing.  And then buying apps?  To balance a checkbook???  

Pencil, paper, third grade (second grade?) math.  Your advice is awful.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:25 | 3654782 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

Not an untruthful word in this article.  Could have been written by or about me.

Bravo !

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:08 | 3654983 Jonas Parker
Jonas Parker's picture

As the economy sinks slowly into the slime and Obamacare becomes the law of the land, this article could be written by and/or about any one of us.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:26 | 3654786 dojufitz
dojufitz's picture


Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:41 | 3654842 CashCowEquity
CashCowEquity's picture

Living below your has to be done in order to avoid the shaft in the anus.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:27 | 3654789 UK debt marsh
UK debt marsh's picture

I feel I should cancel something

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:48 | 3654790 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

Love the Latrell Sprewell reference. This is the guy who turned down a $30 million contract extension, saying "My family's got to eat." Became a free agent and got no other offers. Oops. End of career. Just declared bankruptcy recently. Genius.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 22:51 | 3657015 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

To be fair, Spre probably did need more than 30m.  Maybe he was 31m in debt, so... Even if they paid him $30m, his family wouldn't get to eat!

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:27 | 3654791 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

i remember those days. the only time you have money is the four times a year that there is five paychecks in the month.

building credit, first with a store credit card and an 80 dollar purchase at sears.

man i love my wife. without her i'd be living in a box down by the river.

with her i've got it made.(i did get her thru college)

I think i will cook her favorite salmon with cayenne truffle butter, and the hand made veggie pasta and caramelized cauliflower with a truffle vinagrette for dinner tonite and have it on the table when she gets home.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:28 | 3654796 FrankIvy
FrankIvy's picture



Jesus.  Pretty awful Marxish stuff here.

You 'must' have a checking account?  And the bank "f----s" you for overdrawing.


This quote is too much: "Because having a checking account while poor doesn’t just mean you have to be responsible and good at math — you have to be perfect."

Really?  Perfect?  I thougt that it was basic math.  As in 4th grade math.  John puts 200 dollars in his checking account.  He had 6 dollars in it prior to the deposit.  How much does he have now?  206.  John spends 40 dollars on a carton of cigarrettes.  How much does he have now?  156.   And so on. 

Is that really the "perfect" standard?  To simply track the money you spend?  And isn't there a contradiction here?  You NEED a checking account for deposits, according to the article, right?  Then why use a debit card as a cash equivalent for any purchase where it is not required?  Just use cash.  Even the dumbest f-ck, victim mentality losers can figure out when they are out of cash.

You "need" a checking account because there's an 8 dollar fee to cash a pay check?  Just pay the fee until you save up enough money to open a checking account.  Many banks around here will open one with a 100 dollar deposit, no fees to keep it open.  How hard is that?

If you're too much of an idiot not to overdraw your checking account, buy prepaid cards - the 5 dollar fee on a 100 dollar card will be worth it if simple math and saving receipts are beyond you.

This Marxist victim shit is horrid.  Surprised ZH posted this.  Garbage.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:39 | 3654836 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

I could not come up with a valid argument against this so I'll just accuse you of stabbing babies in their cribs!

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:10 | 3654996 gonetogalt
gonetogalt's picture

Let's see here, I've $6 in the bank, deposit $200, have $206. Check. Spend $40 on cigarettes, (damn that's cheap), check. Left with a balance of $156, Whoa. I think you made John Cheese' point very well.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:02 | 3655336 IMACOINNUT
IMACOINNUT's picture


when i was poorer  the way i'd save up some extra cash was to deduct items just like that. ten bucks here and five there, by the end of the month i could give the wife a little gift of chocolate and not feel the pain.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 17:32 | 3655822 First There Is ...
First There Is A Mountain's picture

OMFG......BAZING. Great fucking comment. I was just about to have a field day with that smug dildo and in a much more offensive manner. Thanks.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:48 | 3655255 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

@FrankIvy ...

Uh, Frank? $206 - $40 = 166.

Either you're a lot funnier than appears at first glance, or you just inadvertently made the point you were arguing against.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:07 | 3654964 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

FrankIvy, According to my basic math calculator 206 - 40 = 166       just sayin'   

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:11 | 3655001 Jonas Parker
Jonas Parker's picture

FrankIvy's comment is as accurate as his math...

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:12 | 3655012 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

You wouldn't know Marx even if he were fucking you in the ass from the grave.

This article had no mention of Marx, spouted no Marxist dialouge or ideology.  It is nothing but the simple truth on the ground.

But you, fuck head, you so called conservative (which I consider myself one) and you compassionless libertarians (which I consider myself one as well) are just as elitist as the globalist elite you rail against all the time on this site.....(and rightfully so).

You don't know Marx....but you are very familiar with ignorance

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:15 | 3655031 thereisonlyonelaw
thereisonlyonelaw's picture

Way too many people think wealth is produced by "effort" and "interest". The problem at the bottom and the problem at the top is the same, people think they are entitled to wealth just because they "did their part" by either saving or working hard. Neither produce wealth. Effort is by itself destructive of wealth: it wastes energy. Lions don't go around running all day long. Saving is a losing game as nearly everything decays, and everything can get lost or be stolen: interest is not earned automagically. It is at the point where countries like Japan, with a declining and aging population, think that if only they get their voodoo magic spell right, they can start growing again. Wealth is produced by wisdom. If your level of wisdom is equivalent to that of an animal, you'll just have to resign yourself to being treated like livestock by those above you. Don't like it? Wise up.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:39 | 3655054 Rainman
Rainman's picture

+ $ 30 Billion/yr. bankster revenue in overdraft fees. < think of it as a tax on the 70% of amerikans who are financially illiterate >

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:51 | 3655275 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

Uh, my friend - I've been working for my current firm for over a year. I started a no-fee chequing account. Despite the fact that most cheques in Canada clear in 2 days, they put a 5-day hold on my cheques for the first month. When you haven't been working for a couple of months, living off credit and the kindness of strangers, you don't want to wait five days to get your hands on your money, just so you can start paying some bills. Even after six months, they would only release the first $300 of my cheque on deposit; everything else waited 5 business days. Now, that's fine once you get into the rhythm, but what happens when some unexpected expense pops up? Like, for example, the bicycle I was riding to work to save on transit fares is stolen. Not only do I need $100 to buy another cheap bike, I need $20 to buy the eight bus fares I need for the two days (York region and Toronto bus, twice a day each) before the local Mega-Lo-Mart will have the new bike ready for me. Plus I need another lock - preferably a better one. So now, it's $150, and I don't get paid for another week. I've used the payday loan places a couple of times; I hate doing it, because I know it's a rip, but it's STILL cheaper than taking the bus everyday to pay the $30 to borrow the money for ten days. Luckily, a British firm, Wonga, has come here recently, and they offer much more reasonable rates - e.g. borrow $100 for two weeks, pay back $109. On an APR basis, I know it's ridiculously high, but it's a lot less than any of the other payday loan places here, where $200 for ten days costs you $250.

Now, finally, they are releasing the first $1,000 from my paycheque, which means I can deal with these little bumps in the road a bit better, but I hear what the man is saying. I have a dental plan at work, but the dentist won't take the insurance; he wants me to pay him first, and then collect from the insurance company myself. Great - I just had a filling crack two weeks ago. Think I have an extra $200 lying around to pay to get it fixed? Instead, I'm patiently saving up and hoping it doesn't get worse in the meantime.

I went to get a cellphone, finally. Nothing fancy - no iPhone or Android, just a basic phone. "$0 phone" says the ad, but when you get there - "Oh, no credit? No phone for you". Pay the $100 out of pocket for a basic phone, then pay by the month. it's cheap but if you're a day late with the payment (and this company says it takes FIVE BUSINESS DAYS to process an internet bill payment from my bank!!!), you're out of luck - no service for you.

His story about a flat tire rings true. When I had a car, I woke up one morning, went out and found I had a flat. Hadn't changed the tire in five years, so all the bolts were rusted on tight. Don't have an airhammer at home, but luckily the ex-wife did have an auto service, so I waited 90 minutes for CAA to show up, and ended up 2 hours late for work. HR's response? "Why don't you get up earlier and check your tires?" (No word of a lie - I nearly punched the little bitch in the face)

Let me leave you with these words of wisdom from Bob Dylan's old backup group, The Band:

Out of nine lives, I spent seven
Now, how in the world do you get to Heaven?
Oh, you don't know the shape I'm in

I just spent 60 days in the jailhouse
For the crime of having no dough
Now here I am back out on the street
For the crime of having nowhere to go

Save your neck or save your brother
Looks like it's one or the other
Oh, you don't know the shape I'm in

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 22:50 | 3657012 samsara
samsara's picture

Great post Frank.  (Loved the song btw.  First concert I ever went to just The Band)


Thu, 06/13/2013 - 22:55 | 3657028 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

INSANITY!  So you are telling me Wonga is a 'cheap' payday lender!  I didn't think the usury could get larger, but seems I was sadly mistaken!

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:54 | 3655345 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Frank Ivy (League?)

Let me put it in terms you will understand. Suppose you are on the golf course and you have a 10 foot putt. Easy peasy right?

Every time you miss a putt, I punch you in the face. Hard. Every time, no exceptions. No Mulligans, no gimmees, no do overs.

Still think it's fair?

How about if I punch you 3 times in 3 holes, your face is a bloody aching pulp with teeth missing, you miss another putt and I hit you again as hard as I can?

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 18:37 | 3656136 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

spoken by the man who is completely comfortable with a bankers cock in his ass.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 22:59 | 3657040 NumberNone
NumberNone's picture

$200 dollars deposit less $40 for a pack of cigarrettes less $35 a month for honor of letting the bank hold your money.  

Get the fuck off your high horse.  Blame the poor but the banks make billions off the financial incompetence of others and they love it. Do some homework and you will find that the banks used to only give credit cards to only people with good credit.  One day someone asked why and they all realized that the write-offs of bad debt would be miniscule to the billions they could ass rape the poor for in terms of inflated interest charges.  

Banks count on people fucking up and they count on the repercussions of that fuck up spiralling into an indebted position that a person can't get out of.  

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:29 | 3654800 Frank N. Beans
Frank N. Beans's picture

where's my violin?

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:52 | 3654896 Barnaby
Barnaby's picture

2 for $5 at Wal*Mart

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:29 | 3654801 ALANBEEKMAN

Really, really good article.

So sad, but true.

At least the author has not lost his sense of humor

and maybe he has finally found a way out of his own

poverty pit---writing.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:34 | 3654807 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Funny stuff, thank you.

At the same time sadly true too.

Lots of people commenting who have never really been behind the eight ball.

Getting rid of cash is the #1 imperative of the kleptoligarchy - the youngsters are being trained and conditioned - it won't be much longer now, I'm guessing 3-5 years.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:03 | 3654945 waterhorse
waterhorse's picture

I think you are right about the cash thing - but we still can use cash for now, so if someone is having difficulty with balancing an account (or maybe the big bankster they have their account with is playing the old "float the debits" game), they should try a "cash diet" for a little while to get them back on the budget track.  Even one bank overdraft fee can put you into a tailspin.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:34 | 3654813 Benjamin Glutton
Benjamin Glutton's picture

This is NOT the DEADBEAT depositor you were looking for.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:35 | 3654817 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

I know of many people who have graduated high school and who can't find a job, or a job that will pay them more than $8/hour.

You people who think that graduating from high school is still good enough, or that being poor is a choice - you know, something you want to be - are fucked in the head.

Try being a black kid from the inner city. No college degree, just a worthless pass-them-and-fuck-them high school diploma. One parent - if you're lucky - who is too busy with their cell phone to be bothered by you. Who has grown up thinking potato chips ad Chex Mix are acceptable breakfast menu items. (This I have seen twice on my way to work this week on the bus.) In a society that cherishes those things that matter not in the least over those that truly do fucking matter. ("Who won the NBA finals game?" > "Wait a minute! The government is doing WHAT with my emails and phone calls???")

The world isn't fair. Is it supposed to be? Well, we were all told as children, that if we worked hard, and played by the rules, we would have a better life than did our parents. George Carlin truly was right - the American Dream is called so, because you'd have to be asleep to believe it.

Being poor in America may not be akin to being poor in India, but it still doesn't mean you aren't poor. It's apples-to-oranges to think in such a manner.

I may not be poor, but I work for an hourly wage, because I am a temporary employee, and my partner works at a "not-for-profit" hospital, making barely $11/hour. We still are just getting by. I totally empathize with this article.

Being rich may not make you happy, but it doesn't hurt.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:04 | 3654950 thereisonlyonelaw
thereisonlyonelaw's picture

I think $8 an hour is an awesome pay for non-specialized work.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:28 | 3655131 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

I think $8 an hour is an awesome pay for non-specialized work.

This is why you have illegal aliens in the droves that you do.  It's a slave wage in today's inflation bloated fiat environment

Thanks for outing yourself as one of the mindless masses hooked into the Matrix.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 17:37 | 3655844 First There Is ...
First There Is A Mountain's picture

And you're probably a complete asshole who deserves nothing more....

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 19:48 | 3656440 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

"And you're probably a complete asshole who deserves nothing more...." enough to realize the obvious....that I AM an asshole, and gladly so for fucking morons like you...... but you are too fucking stupid and hooked into the Matrix to understand how metaphysically correct I am.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 23:03 | 3657048 white_guy
white_guy's picture

i are going a little over the top with some of your comments......"but you are too fucking stupid and hooked into the Matrix to understand how metaphysically correct I am"


Come on now

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 19:04 | 3656269 object_orient
object_orient's picture

For teenagers it's ok. For everyone else, responsible for their own lives, it ain't enough. Employers can pay these wages because the goverment steps in to pay the rest: medical, food stamps, etc. Your tax/debased dollars at work.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:40 | 3654821 10mm
10mm's picture

America the beautifal  [FRAUD] 1913,a year that will live in infamy.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:36 | 3654822 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture



OMG good / funny stuff and some really good adjectives using the word fuck.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:36 | 3654823 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

     My credit union checking account is FREE, and I have an option for overdraft, with a fee of course. (which I opted out of) If the money ain't in my account, the card ain't going to work. Where I live the available funds are debited in real time. (no float)

     I'm guessing the author of this article lives in "Bum Fuked Egypt".

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:41 | 3654847 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

For now my friend - but when there is no cash they will have us by the balls.

We won't be able to stomp out with all our money in hand - it will be holding a transfer slip.

A transfer to another bank, which charges you $10 per month for them to hold your "money" (binary credits).

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:52 | 3654891 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

     I keep very little cash in the bank ebbie. It's in my safe next to my P.M.s . The author keeps mentioning credit. The less credit the better.(Good credit is the key)

     If he is so insistent on securing credit, he could take $1000 into his bank and put it into a secured deposit (CD) and get a secured credit card from the bank for 75% of the value of the deposit. After 6-12 months of payments they will let him have access to the deposit. (The card will become unsecured) That's a hell of a lot smarter than building credit by getting a cell phone.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:29 | 3655500 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

you sir, are a fucking moron

did you not read the article?

where in there do you find any implication at all that he has 1000 dollars?

the cell phone idea works because you NEED a form of communication

what is the least expensive payment plan for something you absolutely need that YOU can think of?




ding ding ding


i want to punch you in the face

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 18:34 | 3656121 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  You sir are humorous at best. I would surmise that you're in a similar situation.

  It's apparent that you think in two dimensions.

   First of all, I in no way suggested he give up his prepaid cell phone. (I agree he needs a phone for communication)

    Secondly, he needs to contact his bank and find out what (their individual credit terms are) the minimum to open an account.

     Third, and most important, is his lifestyle decisions, (smoking,drinking excessively, satelite TV, and general laziness)

  Before you decide to take the path of 'name calling' and "degredation", I suggest you know what the mitigating factors are.

       Name the time and place you little prick!

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 22:42 | 3656996 Harry Dong
Harry Dong's picture

Yen, u're getting some misdirected anger here...just let it go. And word to the unions are on the fast track to becoming wells Fargo part duex

Sun, 06/16/2013 - 13:25 | 3662855 20834A
20834A's picture

 I did just that when my husband of 28 years divorced me because I was "no fun" anymore due to severe back problems. He got the job (now) paying him $130k a year plus bonuses in the 5K range through MY contacts because he wanted me to stay home with our children. I did so until they were teens and went to work in the only shit job I could get, having been unemployed for 15 years. Turned my paycheck over to him and got an allowance of $60/mo. because he was always SO WORRIED and STRESSED about money. I trusted him- fool. My back got worse and had to have an operation to keep me from being paralyzed. So- post divorce- I got 22k/year alimony. He assumed responsibility for credit debt. Not much $, but I'm very frugal and make GOOD decisions. After a few years and saving what I could, I got a mortgage on a cute, modest log cabin in a cheap rural area and started homesteading (with back limitations: smallish garden, chickens, guinea hens, hunting for food). So what happens? Asshole mishandles his money having fun with his new girlfriend. He falls behind on his credit cards and I start getting calls from collection agencies. Turns out I'm still on the hook for THOSE DEBTS BECAUSE I CO-SIGNED WHEN WE WERE STILL MARRIED. Who knew? I'd hire a lawyer to (maybe) straighten it out, but I can't afford one. I hope  I can keep my 2006 car going indefinitely with modest cost PMI, or...

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:38 | 3654832 GreatUncle
GreatUncle's picture

Try this ... think it is comical myself and feel good about yourself in the process.

1. First up go to the bank take all the excess out in cash. You are likely getting little to no return on it anyway and leaving it in you do your bit for reducing the leverage inflation expansion. Forces more QE but then it is out in the open.

2. Then put back in just enough to cover bills untill the next payday do not put back any excess. To avoid the taking it all out just do a balance check, ready reckon all standing bills and leave in enough to cover those. Then remove the rest.

3. Now get a jar, put it in a draw or even under the mattress the excess. Wherever you lke this is your secret stash and not theirs. It cannot be confiscated or lost etc. like a depositer haircut in a Cyprus bank.

Now your goal is to grow that pile,  not spend it and that means you have to get a grip of your spending so no more wasting it okay. Always question what you spend it on after that and the rule is "don't spend it unless you can justify a need or a return" At that point you stuck one to the man even if poor because he has not now got it and what plastic card payment really is. Half the stuff you did not ever need anyway, but you bought it on plastic. Feel the money in your hand and you will not want to part with it. Works a treat, your excess is now your protection for the unexpected and if this excess gets big enough start killing of the insurance on things you will never benefit from and even more savings because you will just buy a new one under the above principle.

Now who is exactly fucked in such a mechanism and to be honest it ain't me.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:45 | 3654864 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Great idea - I've already started -  but when they get rid of cash you will have to stash plastic cards of binary credits - and then they can leech and steal your "money" at will.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:00 | 3654933 samsara
samsara's picture

I think this is a key part for many.

"Feel the money in your hand and you will not want to part with it"

Make it real to you, NOT an intangible. You are must less likely to spend any if you have to unfold it and count it out to someone... Make it PAINFUL to yourself to part with it.

Everyone should get rid of the plastic. Have your money in the mattress or somewhere. Your chance of being robbed for 90% of the people is about the same as getting hit by lightening.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:18 | 3655436 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

"1. First up go to the bank take all the excess out in cash. You are likely getting little to no return on it anyway and leaving it in you do your bit for reducing the leverage inflation expansion. Forces more QE but then it is out in the open.

2. Then put back in just enough to cover bills untill the next payday do not put back any excess. To avoid the taking it all out just do a balance check, ready reckon all standing bills and leave in enough to cover those. Then remove the rest."

Go ahead, try it. See what happens.

Last time I got that close to spending all the money in my account, here is what they did:

I wrote checks I could cover, and made sure I left $5 cushion. The day the last check hit the bank they took out their monthly fees even though it was 3 days before the end of the month and they never took their fees before the 1st. Because the fees totalled more than $7 my account was $2 and change in the  hole. This allowed them to bounce the last check and charge me an NSF fee EVEN THOUGH I MADE SURE I HAD ENOUGH MONEY IN THE ACCOUNT TO COVER THE CHECK.

This was at a credit union by the way.

Their explanation was that they took their fees early just in case I did not have the money in the account when they came due.

I raised holy hell and got the charges reversed but still had the embarassment of the bounced check.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:44 | 3654861 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

No new revelations. This has been going on forever.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:45 | 3654868 Maos Dog
Maos Dog's picture

Here is my first crack at this article. I have work to do today so I can't put in too much time:


#5. You Get Charged for Using Your Own Money

YOu REALLY think it's too much to ask, any person, to do a little math??? OMG OMG ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION GOD HELP ME!!!! OMG how did people do it that last 100 years when all that had was a paper passbook?????

And about the bank rape, Ummm, no. It's you own individual choice to use a bank that charges outrageous fees. There are non-"bank" checking account options that don't rape you, like bluebird and other options. You don't even need to be a US Citizen to open and use these accounts.


#4. There is an Industry That Profits by Keeping You Poor

Sorry but again it's your own fucking stupid fault for using this. Last I checked no one at the check cashing place / payday loan stores were forcing people in their doors. 


#3. No Credit Can be Just as Damaging as Bad Credit

Are you really fucking kidding me? One of the reasons we are so fucked as a country is because everyone tried to get involved in the credit system to consume more then they produce. They need credit to get a loan??? What poor people should be getting a loan and for what exactly???? 

NOT having credit should keep these poor people from digging themselves bigger holes. THIS IS THE POINT OF A CREDIT RATING TO BEGIN WITH.

And again, for those times when're you REALLY need a credit card, you can get one without being part of the system using s pre-paid one. Ask Juan the illegal.


#2. Your Next Expensive Disaster is Always Around the Corner

Again, you should have savings. It seems that the flaw in your article is that poor people are trapped, but the reality is that they are only trapped by their own bad decisions. I meet poor people all of the time who bitch about money, then when I get to know them a little better I see their Directv dish, drinking / drug / cigarette habit, a car twice as expensive as they should have, with the insurance payment to go along with it. All while crying "poor me"


#1. You’re Always in Survival Mode

Yes, being stupid always puts you in survival mode.


Honestly, I can tell you from personal experience, I've been dirt poor, rich, dirt poor (again!), and now getting "well" again, and I can tell you it's 100% about hard work and making personal decisions. Being dirt poor the second time around after being rich actually MADE ME A MUCH BETTER PERSON. 


Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:54 | 3654906 samsara
samsara's picture

Ah, he said he wasn't looking for sympathy. He was just relating the reality

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:35 | 3655173 g speed
g speed's picture

the biggest problem is that most poor live in a TV world and so have learned little about choices they may have. the world is inside a TV show and they live within the constraints of that world guided by the users and abusers. learning to read was at one time agianst the law for lower classes (coloreds-chinamen)--that in itself should tell poor persons the direction to go. educate your self--do it with out school--learn to be expert in excell and access and walk up to any business and you will be hired right now--and not for chump change either.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:43 | 3655229 samsara
samsara's picture

Yes,  agreed.   Most Americans don't know HOW to be poor.

I was raised in a family of 6, parents both went thru the depression.  We learned to many many things from them.  I remember taking down a small barn we had.  Saved every board, and being about 7,  I was sat on a chair with a hammer straightening nails we pulled out.  We saved EVERYTHING.

Many of the painful hard learnings have lost.   

Biggest tip.   LEARN TO GROW FOOD.  As much and as large of a variety as possible.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:04 | 3654956 Darth Rayne
Darth Rayne's picture

The longer our current financial system runs the poorer we will all become. The financial system transfers wealth from the many to the few, by design.

We have, for years, been increasingly productive. That won't last.

I was poor and now I am not. I am taking to steps that will maintain my standard of living, at this level, for the rest of my life. I hope I am successful, if not I will die cold & hungry.

The next twenty years will see many more of us joining the poor club, regardless of how many really useful phone apps we buy. This too is by design.

I don't want more 'money', I want more gold. Shit, I haven't got my tin-foil hat on. Message ends.


Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:20 | 3655453 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Bullshit. You've never been poor. You only think you have been poor.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:42 | 3655557 Maos Dog
Maos Dog's picture

IF this is directed at me, well then fuck you.

I can't really argue anytihng about my personal life, since anyone can be anything on the internet, but let me tell you how poor I was as a kid. I am talking cold water flat poor, then "sofa-person" poor, and if you don't know what that is it's one step above being homeless, and being the only white family in the poverty-ridden area I grew up in added another dimention to the problem.

Fuck you again btw...

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 17:02 | 3655642 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

"you should be better at math" "you should have a cushion of savings" "it's your fault they take advantage of you, stupid"

If you grew up poor you sure have a short memory. I still say you are full of shit.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:48 | 3654877 TN Jed
TN Jed's picture

John Cheese = Jan Kees = Yankee   Or so I've been told.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:51 | 3654889 samsara
samsara's picture

Paraphrasing another post,

Most Dangerous Man:

"I'm Just an Average Guy who lost it all, Now I got nothing to lose."

(btw, I am REALLY Pissed about it, and I have some Lead despensing tools. )

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:52 | 3654892 Navymugsy
Navymugsy's picture

This sounds like my entire military career in one story! I never forgot how it felt being right on the edge of the precipice every month. Never fucking again and I don't get uppity with working stiffs now that I live alot better. Could be me behind that counter swallowing shit eight hours a day.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:53 | 3654898 waterhorse
waterhorse's picture

Go to a healthy and solvent local community bank or credit union - its the big banksters that will fuck you over with their account manipulation bullshit, but you have to be vigilant too.  I haven't had ONE problem in the 3 years I've made the switch over to a local community bank since leaving Wells Fraudgo and I do not regret leaving them a bit - I regret that I did not do it MUCH SOONER.

Monitor your account EVERY day, so you won't be off.  Don't use the debit card - pull out cash for the week and STICK to your budget.  Stay AWAY from payday loans.  Scrimp and save for however long it takes you to have an emergency fund of some sort so it will be there when you need it.  Dave Ramsay has some very sound financial advice if you can stomach the religious overtones.  DO get a Visa or MC, but ONLY if you can be disciplined in not charging it up, but using it prudently as the tool it was designed to be.  Make the bank work for you and not the other way around.

I've been there, done that, feel for you and good luck.  I don't think our economy is going to get better anytime soon.  The banksters are winning and we are losing.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 17:03 | 3655656 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

That is basically what the original article says. Plus the warning, if you slip up the least litle bit they will fuck you over BAD.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:55 | 3654912 bluskyes
bluskyes's picture

Cash your check at the bank/branch it is drawn on.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:04 | 3654949 cherry picker
cherry picker's picture

The Royal Bank of Canada charges a fee if you negotiate a check on their accounts.

I was upset.  The writer of the check should have been aware of it and included it over the amount he owed me, in the end I paid to get the money.

It should be against the law, charging a fee to cash a check on the bank it is drawn on.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:54 | 3655607 bluskyes
bluskyes's picture

That's interesting, I have never been charged by RBC, even though I have no accounts there. I would argue that there are no such terms on the cheque, and as far as I know, a cheque is a negotiable instrument. Definitely something to bring up with "Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions" or "Canadian Bankers Association"

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 17:08 | 3655685 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

They will not cash a check if you don't have an account there. Go ahead and try. I have tried and they won't do it. It's the same at every Canadian bank.

If you have an account they will allow you to deposit it. And make you wait 5 days to draw out the money. 5 BUSINESS days not counting the day on which you made the deposit. Meaning 8 calendar days. Unless there is a holiday weekend in there, in which case it will be up to 10 days.

For a real good customer they will allow you to draw out your own money in less than 10 days, but they don't have to. They are doing you a favor.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 19:48 | 3656439 bluskyes
bluskyes's picture

When I was a landlord, I used to take one tenant's cheques to RBC to be cashed every month. I would ask the teller if the cheque was good, if it wasn't I would keep it, and try the following Friday.

I believe you, I just have not experienced it. OTOH I have experienced TD being a bunch of complete ass-holes on a number of occasions.

About 7 years ago, I tested out a report I had heard about silver certificates not being backed by physical metal. Turns out the report was right, and TD was charging me storage fees for metal they did not posses.  They get pissy when you demand they fulfill their obligations, but they quiet when you point out the fraudulent storage charges.

I still deal with TD because of the hours, but I can't wait for an opportunity to get them over a barrel, and violate them.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:06 | 3654967 waterhorse
waterhorse's picture

Did you know some of the big banksters will try to charge someone who does not have an account at their bank a 6.00 service fee - even if the check is DRAWN on that bank/branch?  Wells Fraudgo did this to my horseshoer with a check I had written him.  After making a big scene, I got his 6.00 back.  Then I closed my account of 25 years (not the only reason though).

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 17:41 | 3655857 Nostradalus
Nostradalus's picture

TD bank charged me $5 to cash a check drawn on that bank, telling me that the lady who wrote it knew about the fee. i asked the lady if she knew, and of course she was flabbergasted (older woman who probably remembers what a bank is in business for...). next time she paid me cash... (i asked the bank teller rhetorically if i were cashing a $4 check, would i owe the bank $1 at the end of the transaction... all i heard was crickets.)

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:58 | 3654923 GreatUncle
GreatUncle's picture


Under my method everbody is being deflated away so afraid of pulling the money out. Well stuff you I am sticking one to the man first after that we see what happens.


1000 bucks say deflated away with a QE function of value X  results in relative 998. Yep possible.

998 bucks say deflated away with a QE function of same value X after numerous itterations left results in little change as it tends to a limit based on the QE function and the overall dollar supply.

So I got a jar of dwindling dollars and now reduced to 700 in relative worth under the method I quoted it will get harder and harder to devalue as the total global supply of dollar so big is held by the 1%. Good that.

Only if you play the game do you lose and that is in fact leaving it in the bank. 

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 14:59 | 3654930 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Wow it is MillionDollarBonus first article on ZH.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:00 | 3654932 cherry picker
cherry picker's picture

I've been there more than once.  I stay out of the loop now, pay cash or if necesary debit card.

It is possible to survive, it may not be glamourous, but liveable and I am generally content.

I can see it happening down the road I won't be able to do this anymore, they make it more difficult, I'll either be dead by then or working for some cartel to make ends meet.  :)  They don't play the game either and seem to be having no problem paying with cash.  :)

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:03 | 3654936 reTARD
reTARD's picture

#5: The Federal Reserve (technically it's not our "own money" because if it was we'd be able to print our own)

#4: The Government (create the problem so that you can provide the "solution" or the War On Poverty)

#3: The Federal Reserve (cartel of banks) and the Government (loaning money at interest that never existed by "expanding the balance sheet as well as inflation especially so that property taxes and all forms of government "revenue" always increase)

#2: Obamacare

#1: Same as 3 and 4 (of course you always need to be dependent on your Government and you are always "educated" to become a productive worker bee who will eventually accept an ever-lower paying job as a result of the hidden theft of inflation; because your Government is "risk-free")

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:01 | 3654937 dot_bust
dot_bust's picture

I remember working low-wage service jobs. Those things are like a torturous hamster wheel. You have to work more and more hours just to make end's meat, and an unexpected expense like a sudden car problem can wipe you out.

Also, if you have to visit a hospital emergency room without insurance, you're fucked. Say goodbye to anything you managed to save.


Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:04 | 3654947 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

He's exactly right.

I made some bad decisions in the early 90's, and after two bad roommate situations, I was poor. Now mind you I had a full-time job and GI Bill money coming in if I was fully enrolled in school. Though, for school, I had to pay cash for EVERYTHING going in each semester and then wait a month or two for my checks--it was strange to be sitting on $2,000 and still not have two-dimes to rub together and be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for all three "meals."

Regardless, I just remember the stress of it all. Shit always seemed to happen to absorb any "extra" cash one might have. Then there was the constant and nagging worry--Always worrying if that rattle in the car was going to be the next nightmare, etc.

I actually deliberately downgraded my shitty lifestyle further, just to try to get ahead of the curve. I moved into a flop house apartment building with transients, "on the runs, " and "bottom trolling" alcoholics as neighbors.

Now I worked my way out of it after about a year or so, but the experience has stayed with me--burned into me really.

People that say "money can't bring you happiness" are only partially correct, because money sure brings a lot less stress and it is a lot easier to find and be happy with less stress.

Sidenote: During this period I would always buy "essentials" (TP, toothpaste, etc.) when I found them on sale. I didn't realize it was a problems until I was promoted a few years later and moved to another city and into a much smaller apartment. I found that I had accumulated over two years worth of TP, 3 or so years of toothpaste,  many years of peanut butter, ditto shampoo, etc.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:04 | 3654948 earnulf
earnulf's picture

Much of what the contributor wrote was funny, some was actually spot on (banks, payday loans, bad luck) but he left out a very important missing piece that I see everytime I have to fill a job opening.    Personal Responsibility.

Oh he metioned it, sorta, but kinda glossed over it as it wasn't germaine to the subject.     The vast majority of job seekers that hit my door, have no personal responsibility, it's always someone elses fault that this or that happened to them.     I have no problem finding someone to take on a steady 35 hours a week, stand on your feet on a concrete floor and fold laundry for slightly more than minimum wage. (8.25).    But finding a person who will work for that and SHOW UP for work every day for 90 days straight?    As the commercial says, Priceless.   It's always a family member that needed them or they got sick, or had a flat or someone died.    Always seems to happen on a friday or monday too.       I usually give them one for the rope and hang them on the second.    We'll go through 10-20 people before finding one that will stay for about 2-4 years before flaking.

And don't think it's dead end, after 90 days as a temp to perm, we may bring you onboard which usually means a slight bump in pay (8.75), paid sick leave accumulation (1 hour per week) and you start accruing paid vacation (after 1 year, 1 week, after two years, 2 weeks, then you have a while before you get 3 weeks.) and you can get on the company insurance with the company picking up 70% of the premium costs (prior to Obamacare, no one knows what will happen now)

The point being most applicants think that being there 9 of 10 days or even 4 of 5 is really great attendance!   Or that family gathering is too important to miss (I think they will understand given you just STARTED a JOB) or they already had this or that fishing/canoeing/rafting/skiing trip planned and they don't want to disappoint thier buds or sis's.)     Sorry, but I missed a total of 3 days sick in the last 3 years managing this company.   You want a steady job with a company that actually offers beni's, you have to at least show up every day and perform.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:18 | 3655067 Darth Rayne
Darth Rayne's picture

If you paid me 8.25 then I would be doing you the favour turning up.

If you paid me 12 then we are even.

Pay me 15 and you are doing me the favour.

Offer me 8.25 and the shitty holiday structure and I won' be a happy bunny. I will be unhappy. Look at me funny and boom.

This is why the poor are poor. Fuck heads like this prick..


I must apologise, I am a degree educated engineer. Your attitude is appalling and I immediately sunk to your level. Well done on being self employed and running your own business. I have had no days sick in the last three years. I earn enough to live comfortably without fucking anyone over. I sleep well.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 22:27 | 3656952 Harry Dong
Harry Dong's picture

Up arrow not enough


(What's the definition of a sweatshop?)


Thu, 06/13/2013 - 23:25 | 3657101 malek
malek's picture

Look, another one who believes someone else owns you something!

You're full of shit. earnulf described how some people can't even be bothered to show up regularly for easy work, and your pseudo-liberal knee-jerk reaction based on zero facts is he must be exploiting people too much.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:07 | 3654960 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

Using credit cards?  Buying gas w/o using cash?  Smoking?  Borrowing MORE?  Cashing a paycheck in a store?  A CELL PHONE? With MONTHLY payments?

And you're complaining about being "poor".

I'm going to "blame the victim" on this one...

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:08 | 3654978 cherry picker
cherry picker's picture

Contrary to popular belief, I am starting to think crime pays.

They do it to us, why not us to them?  The golden rule in action.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:09 | 3654989 LongPAU
LongPAU's picture

So, you can write this article, but you have no genuinely useful marketable skills?


Is that correct?


It seems to me that this is what Darwin was talking about. Be a hero: do the right thing.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:17 | 3654994 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture


This is about humans taking advantage of other humans:

  1. The more fortunate taking advantage of the less fortunate.
  2. The more intelligent taking advantage of the less intelligent.
  3. The more educated taking advantage of the less educated.
  4. Those who can afford a lawyer taking advantage of those who can't. 
  5. Those who can bribe the judge taking advantage of those who can't.
  6. Those who are politically connected taking advantage of those who aren't.
  7. The rich taking advantage of the poor.

In the past someone down on their luck could find work doing something - those opportunities are shrinking.

If they wanted to avoid parasitic banks, credit, loan, and other institutions they could deal in cash; when this ability is taken away by TPTB they will be trapped.

The entire society is becoming more parasitic, and in a parasitic environment those at the bottom have it the worst.

"Welcome to the Jungle" - Gun's and Roses:

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:19 | 3655073 LongPAU
LongPAU's picture

It must be a new trend because there are no accounts in recorded history of any animal taking advantage of another animal's misfortune or infirmity.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 17:54 | 3655922 Nostradalus
Nostradalus's picture

hey stoney, lions look for and attack the wildebeest with a limp first. your thesis go bye-bye. you don't get much "recorded history" around the parts you inhabit. stop wasting your mom's basement and electricity turd-brain.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 07:57 | 3657576 LongPAU
LongPAU's picture

Then the lions and the banks have something in common? No way!

It's called sarcasm. You need to read more: you write as if you've never seen it done before.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 11:59 | 3658256 Nostradalus
Nostradalus's picture

i cannot "hear" a sarcastic inflection in your tone of voice. i am reading, and unless otherwise indicated, i take what is written as literal. therefore i stand corrected sir. btw how many people here on ZH are not well-read? i think nearly zero. they may have differing interpretations of WHAT they've read, but this is the most thought-provoking site on the intertubes, and the conversation is always stimulating. thanx for taking the time to reply. i retract completely my earlier reply to you. mea culpa.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:37 | 3655192 bjfish
bjfish's picture

You are completely wrong (at least #1 & 6) and I infer a strong 'fixed pie' mentality in your thoughts. Those who have gotten rich (excluding finance, of course) have done so by making the pie bigger not by stealing part of your slice.

Imagine for one minute just how well-off the less fortunate would be, if the 'more fortunate' had never existed.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:37 | 3655193 bjfish
bjfish's picture

You are completely wrong (at least #1 & 6) and I infer a strong 'fixed pie' mentality in your thoughts. Those who have gotten rich (excluding finance, of course) have done so by making the pie bigger not by stealing part of your slice.

Imagine for one minute just how well-off the less fortunate would be, if the 'more fortunate' had never existed.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:19 | 3655439 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

Thank you for your posts on this thread, I couldn't have expressed them better.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:13 | 3655019 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Americans have little clue what poor really is.  Try checking out the slums of Asia and Africa, then cry a river of tears for the poor in America who are living like Gods on taxpayer goodies, enjoy the latest exploits of the Kardashians on TV and text their fellow poor folk about what a douchebag taxpayers are for not giving them more.  Yeah.  I'm all fricken choked up.


Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:22 | 3655095 LongPAU
LongPAU's picture

Yes, the author should spend a week in Mogadishu.


I'll help pay for the trip there.


Who will pony up for the return trip?

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:26 | 3655488 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

One more time, the article is not about being poor. The article is about how the system is rigged. We all know the system is rigged, that is what this web site is about. But when you are poor the velvet glove comes off and you feel the iron fist.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:18 | 3655063 cpgone
cpgone's picture

All the profanuty added nothing and proved the author a pissed off idiot.

No wonder his wife divorced him. BTW , why did you bring a kid into the world being such a loser?

Thanks to the military industrail complex, it basically runs it all.

Some is wrong. Credit unions were I live offer no fee, no minimum accounts. Learn to work on your own car. Better still, completely work the system until it all collapses. Makes more sense than this profan rant.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:28 | 3655133 Enceladus
Enceladus's picture

I understand the rant in this post F the TPTB and TBTF etc BUT...

- This guy was a drunk for 20 yrs. Had enough money for booze I guess. When I want to drink i.e. all day everyday, I say to myself 'I can't afford it' or 'my kids need their dad' or 'one day I'll have a stroke and I can rest then'

- When you are on a knifes edge of financial existance your math better be perfect. I pay those same fees when I fuck up. But I also use the tools at my disposal not to get screwed. Like always have your credit card loaded for a minimal monthly payment so if your blitzed out in your crack den the bill still gets 'paid'and Citibank doesn't get your $35.

- Stop smoking if you can't afford it.

- If your in this country and credit is the name of the game, better learn the credit game. I didn't make the system, hate the system, but live with it and have credit.

I could go on but this post has to much low hanging wtf fruit. Let me tell you why I'm not poor. MY PARENTS!!!

Heres what I learned and sometimes the expensive hard way like our author.

-My dad missed two days of work from 1949 until he retired from the phone company in 1992.

- He and my mother raised 7 children

- we took 2 out of town vacations during my childhood

- Our laundry hung out in the back yard to dry

- We raised a garden every year

- We recycled when they still paid you for your cans and paper

- My parents after being married in 1953 waited 9 years to buy their first house and live in it to this day.

- Education was paramount in our house. My parents paid for Catholic school because it had better standards. My Dad threw a report card back in my face because I had 1 C out of all A's and B's. (yes it was in spelling) My parents had standards that they forced on me. (Thank God)

- Reading and criticle thinking were expected and encouraged.

I could continue but you get the idea. So when I read a victims tale I too weep for our collective loss of any standards. And I believe when people say pick yourself up by your boot straps it means STOP vicitimzing yourself first before you blame it on the system. When u find yourself in a hole stop digging. The diffecence between the days of yore and today is if i screwed up in school or 3 streets away by the time I got home my parents were waiting. They did not defend me (unless warrented) they joined in and held me accountable. I bet this guy goes to his kids parent teacher conference and tells the teachers its their fault his kid isn't passing math. Oh and in case you think I dumping on the poor no way. The exact same mentality Mr. Cheese has would make him a swell investment banker. Whining about market conditions and unfair regulations etc. all the way to the bank. 

So in short shut the fuck up get your shit straight


Thu, 06/13/2013 - 20:06 | 3656498 Loose Caboose
Loose Caboose's picture

Yay for you being raised by Ward and June.  But, your spelling is still a C. 

Seriously though, if you can attribute your success to the excellent role models who parented you, maybe you should also cut some slack for those who were not as fortunate in the folks department.  You are simply boasting about an advantage you had that some others did not. 

Say "hi" to Wally for me.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 22:36 | 3656976 samsara
samsara's picture

What he and every other distractor of the article pointing out what they did, or parents did is that thru the 60's 70's and 80's  there was a general updraft plenum of the economy.  You could go out and build a skill and start at the bottom and work up.

AIN'T that way no more.  How many on this list have any children 20-30ish living at home or have moved back in?  Or Parents move back in with them.  

What entry level jobs do we have?  Where at the Nail & Pedicure shop or the phone store?  There are hardly any real "Businesses" any more.  And if you don't have a degree you have no chance other than "You want frys with that?"

In the last 30 years while most of us on this list were moving up, earning a living, or trying to,  America has lost ALL it's manufacturing plants.  Places where the average joe could get a job on the shop floor and work his/her way up while earning a decent wage while doing it.

Those jobs that Most of us pulled ourselves up by the bootstraps with AIN'T THERE NO MORE.

About the only advice I give to young folks is "Screw College,  Learn a Trade if at all possible"   A real sleeper of an occupation is a small local Natural food farm.  Vegs, Chickens, eggs,  sell to farmers markets etc.  AND you have something to eat at the same time. 

I was out of work and took a course on Keypunch operation back in 1980 got a job, taught myself programming and rode the Computer wave of the 80's and 90's.

That Route is CLOSED now.  Unless you have a work permit and come from india. 


Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:31 | 3655151 bjfish
bjfish's picture

Check-cashing and overdraft fees ... thats a stupid/lazy tax, not a poverty tax, tho it often applies to the same ppl.

#4 There's also a Party (Democrats) that 'profits' from you remaining poor and will work tirelessly to keep you there, all the while offering you crumbs to 'help take care of you'.

'$4 gas' ... I assumed you must be in CA, then I saw '$8 cigarettes', so I figure Nuyawk or NJ.  EIther way, thats part of your problem (socialist paradise).  Try Texas for affordability.

And finally, GET A MARKETABLE SKILL (plumber, underwater welder, salesmanship, engineer, nurse, etc.) or start your own damn business and don't be dependeant on some other asshole's service job.

I get your point and agree that it can be very tough out there.  But, nearly all of those ppl made CHOICES that put them there while other's have made better CHOICES and prospered (relatively speaking).

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:35 | 3655174 GOLD AND SILVER...

Profanity in this was just awful. 

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:58 | 3655313 LongPAU
LongPAU's picture



The author seems to find more humor inside his pants v outside.


I also noticed that he's divorced.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:36 | 3655185 LongPAU
LongPAU's picture

When I was a wee tyke, one of my relatives - a Libertarian most likely - bought me a Golden Book about the Ant And The Grasshopper. It included a 45RPM record. Side A was "Oh, the World Owes Me A Livin'"


That song was going through my head the whole read...


Guess what? The world does NOT owe you a living. You might get a handout or three from someone more emotional or guiltier than me, but most of us humans are like wolves. Show weakness, and we will tear you apart and fight over what's in your pockets.


You're ALWAYS weak. You can't solve even a simple problem. That is why you fail. In a past era, you would have starved, pulled a boulder onto your head, or eaten poison mushrooms: the species would statistically benefit from that.


Ah, the good old days...


These things said, you'll get a better reception over on HuffPo.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:01 | 3655323's picture

Take the time to reread your Golden Book you'll discover that he grasshopper was not a member of the "working poor." The banker who demands exorbitant fees resembles the grasshopper far more than the poor slob who screws up his checking balance or sends in his credit card payment a day late.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 22:18 | 3656918 Harry Dong
Harry Dong's picture

Best troll've got my #

If only we got to see the all-wise banks get chewed up and spit out like wachovia, all of them, then life would be fair


Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:37 | 3655194 Ironmonger69
Ironmonger69's picture

#5 ought to be considered criminal, and I've experienced that one up close and personal. $420.00 in overdraft fees in 3 days before I ever got the first notice, on a grand total of -$18.00 in purchases. And the bank did not give a single fuck if I had simply forgotten to drop my paycheck that week. I got no break, just a lost paycheck.

I can tell you now that a $37.00 McDonalds biscuit doesn't taste any better than a $2.00 one. In fact, the aftertaste has a decidedly fecal quality.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:03 | 3655289 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

    Did your bank pay on the the original charge(s) and then ding you for overdraft fees, or did they decline the charges and also charge you the NSF/overdraft fees.

    My bank has an opt out on paying overdraft fees, so my card wont work if the account becomes overdrawn. You might want to check and see if they offer that opt out option. That is absolute larceny!

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:40 | 3655211 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

Thanks for a useful article.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:41 | 3655220 RealitySpike
RealitySpike's picture

I've never been poor but #3 is dead on. I moved to the US from Canada in the late 90's. I had a perfect credit record in Canada -- I even owned my house so I had paid off a mortgage. I found out my credit record didn't transfer across the border so I now had no credit record in the US. That means despite having a >$100K a year job and a big down payment I had to get a jumbo mortgage (which after the subprime fiasco is hilarious) and pay an extra 0.5%. I couldn't get a credit card so I had to make do with a Discover card. When I bought a car I had to pay cash or get screwed on the payments (a lease wasn't even an option). Every now and again I'd apply for a credit card and suffer through the embarrassment of rejection. After 2 years of this I was frickin golden -- credit everywhere I turned, lenders were fighting over my jumbo mortgage, etc.

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:50 | 3655269 Legolas
Legolas's picture

If you think you're poor now, just wait until Obammycare kicks in this coming January !


Looks like Glenn Beek is trying to raise ratings again.


Oh, if only this could be proved.  I don't think it will make much difference.  It'll just be the scandal of the week.




Thu, 06/13/2013 - 20:19 | 3655272 notquantumdum
notquantumdum's picture

There is some truth to all of this, but there are simple solutions to all of these problems, and they all center around one thing:  discipline.

You obtain a checking account with a credit union, not a bank.  If you obtain debit cards, you never use them, nor even take them out of your hiding place for them in your home.  You obtain a credit card (by securing it with a deposit in an associated savings account at your credit union -- if you have bad or no credit).  You never write any checks.  You make all of your purchases with cash or credit card.  And, most importantly, you never fail to pay off your entire balance on your credit card, every single month, on time.

Finally, you make sure (absolutely sure) that you always save some of your earnings every single paycheck no matter how small it is.  You can use this savings to make sure that you always have a little more emergency money if you need it.
Everyone I know complains that they cannot do this, and that they have to live paycheck to paycheck.  I even know of a married couple who are both lawyers who complained that they had to live paycheck to paycheck even though their combined salary was apparently well north of a quarter million a year.  Utter BS.  Anyone can save every month.  This was once proven to me by someone who could do it earning minimum wages!  But, you have to spend less than you earn!

Unless you can master this one skill (spending less than earned), you’ll probably always feel poor, even if you’re not, and you'll probably always be doomed to financial ruin, like the US government and future children in the US appear to be doomed.  On the other hand, nothing eliminates financial worries like having $100k of savings in your checking / trading / savings accounts.  Anyone can do this over time.  ‘But, only with discipline.

('Sorry, forgot I was posting at ZH . . .'Or, stored in physical gold or whatever other method of storing value, which is preferred by the future money manager who has actually saved some.)

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 22:04 | 3656883 Harry Dong
Harry Dong's picture

News flash , credit unions got really crappy really fast..unless u have 100k with them. Then you're da man.

And min wage? now that it's $24 its easy to save an emergency fund... What? Are you freak in kidding me? 

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 22:58 | 3657035 notquantumdum
notquantumdum's picture

I don't have a 100k with my credit union, so I hope you are wrong, but I know I have figured out how to save 10 to 20 percent of what I have figured out how to earn, every month.  It sure makes stuff easier, that's all I am trying to say.  Trust me, that is some easy stuff to do, compared to the alternative, in my experience.

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 00:58 | 3657265 Harry Dong
Harry Dong's picture

I hear you. I also pay everything in cash. And save my nickels for a rainy day.

But the days of getting screwed by the credit Union are OVER...even so I will not forget.

Perhaps it's when a credit union expands to branches is when they become total Indian agents (as in 'you can trust the govt, just ask any native american).

The little c u that the wife has seems quite good and it's run by 4 volunteers.

Now then, trying to save 10% when making min is another but to crack. 

BTW, did you hear that renting tires is the latest scam?



Thu, 06/13/2013 - 15:59 | 3655312 TheMeatTrapper
TheMeatTrapper's picture

When I was a young man I spent several years woking as a hunting guide. I lived in a trailer on the Plantation, drove a paid for jeep and had no credit whatsoever. 

When I left the woods and moved home, I had saved $14,000 cash. I walked into a bank and asked for a $10,000 loan. I explained I wanted to build credit and I offered them $10,000 in cold hard cash on the spot as collateral. 

They told me to fuck off. Nobody would loan me a dime because I had no credit. I offered them $10,000 cash collateral for a $5,000 loan. No dice.

I learned early that banks were fucked up. I have never forgotten that experience. 

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 16:07 | 3655372 Central Ohio
Central Ohio's picture

My wife and I made some financial mistakes and had a couple of bad turns.  These 2 organizations and their programs within our local church helped us move forward. and  We still are not where we need to be, but we are moving forward.

Life is not easy on the low end.  One mistake and a spirol seems to flush you down and getting back up takes years.  

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