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为什么穷人的生活成本更高?

Why It's More Expensive To Be Poor

大多数人并非大富大贵
Most people are not super wealthy,
但我们多少都对富人的生活有大致的概念
but we all have an idea what it might be like to be a wealthy person.
我们在电视上看他们 在Ins上关注他们
We watch them on TV, we follow them on Instagram,
我们阅读他们的博客和自传
we read their blogs and autobiographies.
不幸的是 我们并不像了解富人生活一样
Unfortunately, that awareness of how the other half lives
了解穷人生活
doesn’t happen much in the other direction.
尽管我们中的许多人有时会称自己为
Though many of us have probably described ourselves
“破产者”或“穷人”
as “broke” or “poor” at one point or another,
却很少有人知道真正的贫穷是什么感觉
very few have an understanding of what real poverty feels like.
真正的贫穷不仅仅是拥有更少的钱
And it’s not just a matter of having less money.
一旦穷到一定程度
Once you get below a certain threshold,
会有一套全新的规则
a whole new set of rules apply that
使他们的日常生活更加昂贵
actually make day-to-day life more expensive.
如果你从未经历过真正的贫穷
If you’ve never struggled with real poverty,
你可能不会知道许多隐性的生活成本和金融陷阱
you might not be aware of the many hidden costs and financial traps that conspire
都是使穷人一直贫穷的原因
to keep poor people poor.
不使用基本金融服务
It’s very hard to make your way through modern life
如活期存款 自动提款和个人支票等
without access to basic financial services
是很难过现代生活的
like checking accounts, ATMs and personal checks.
但是你拥有的钱越少
But the less money you have,
这些基本金融服务的花费反而越高
the more these things will cost you.
那是因为银行通过用你的钱
That’s because banks make their profits
积累贷款利息来获利
by accruing interest on your money.
因此 如果你的账户余额过低 通常低于1500美元
So if your account balance is too low, usually under $1,500,
银行便不再认为你是能带来利润的客户
they won’t consider you a profitable client anymore,
并让你按月缴纳基础服务费
and they’ll make you pay for their basic services in the form of a monthly fee.
如果你的账户余额为负 只有上帝帮助你
And heaven help you if you go below zero.
每笔透支收取约35美元费用
Each overdraft incurs a charge of about $ 35, and
许多银行会故意从大到小重新排列当天的交易
many banks will deliberately reorder your transactions for the day, from biggest to smallest,
导致你在更短的时间变为赤字 以尽可能多地收取透支费用
to drive you into the red more quickly and rack up as many overdraft fees as possible.
如果一家银行愿意向你提供信贷
If a bank is willing to extend you credit at all,
那么条件将远不如
the terms will be much less favorable
那些有更好的金融记录的人
than for someone with a rosier financial history.
你每个月都会付更多的利息
You’ll pay more money in interest every month,
任何迟交都意味着更多的罚款和费用
and any late payments means more penalties and fees.
如果你没有那么多钱的话
Even cash can be more expensive
即使使用现金也可能更贵
if you don’t have much of it.
如果你从自动取款机
If you withdraw $100 from
取款100美元
an out-of-network ATM,
支付的那3美元费用相当于3%的服务费
that $ 3 fee equates to a 3 % service charge.
但如果你一次
But if you can only
只能拿出20块钱
afford to take out 20 bucks at a time,
你就得付15%的费用
you’re essentially paying a 15 % charge to access
才能拿到你自己的钱
your own money.
总的来说 这意味着
Taken together, this means
一个穷人一年可能支付上百甚至上千美元
that a poor person might end up paying hundreds or thousands
来获得富人几乎是可以免费享受的服务
of dollars a year for services that wealthier people virtually enjoy for free.
难怪许多低收入人群干脆避开银行
It’s no wondering then, that a lot of low-income people avoid banks altogether —
但即便是这样
but even that comes
也要付出高昂的代价
at a steep price.
在没有银行账户的情况下兑现薪水是要花钱的
Cashing a paycheck withouta bank account costs money.
买一张汇票
Buying a money
来付电费是要花钱的
order to pay your electric bill costs money.
如果账单几天后就到期怎么办?
And if that bill is due in just a couple days? Well,
好吧 你可能会收到滞纳金
you can either get hit with a late fee,
或者使用联邦快递来邮寄汇票
or FedEx it — an extra expense that someone
这是一项额外的开支 拥有借记卡和互联网的人从来不用担心
with a debit card and an internet connection never has to worry about.
如果你认为使用信用卡是不好的
If you think that dealing with credit card debt is bad,
感谢你的幸运星
thank your lucky stars you’ve
你从未与发薪日或汽车租赁公司打交道
never dealt with a payday or car title lender.
对于没有信用卡的人来说
These businesses are often the only recourse
这些业务往往是唯一的选择
for people without credit cards,
且他们的年利率达到800%以上
and their interest rates reach upwards of 800 % annually!
穷人不仅仅是借钱和花钱成本更高
Not only does it cost more to borrow and spend money,
花钱的对象也通常更为昂贵
but what you spend it on is often more expensive!
如果你不得不靠吃紧的预算养活一个家庭
If you have to feed a family
在超市大批量地购物
on a tight budget, buying in bulk at a supermarket
通常是最佳选择 但对许多穷人来说并不可行
is usually the best option — but not one available to many poor people.
即便他们有现金
Even if they had the
一次买几周的食物
cash on hand to buy weeks’ worth
可如何让一个坐公交的人
of food in one trip, how is someone who depends on
带着沉重的食物回家呢
public transportation supposed to get it home?
在公交上把东西都放大腿上吗
On their lap on the bus?
有足够能力提供低价的大型食品零售商们
Big food retailers — ones with enough purchasing power to offer low prices —
以规避贫民区
are notorious for
而臭名昭著
avoiding poor neighborhoods,
生活在这些所谓“食品沙漠”中的穷人们
and people who live in these so-called “ food deserts ”
往往不能在城里四处逛以买到便宜货
often lack the mobility to cruise around town bargain-hunting.
相反
Instead
他们困在当地的便利店和街角商店中 而那里的价格要高得多
They’re stuck with local convenience and corner stores, whose prices are much higher.
又或者
Or
他们依赖看似较便宜的快餐
They rely on fast food, which can seem cheap in comparison,
但实际上没有在家里做饭划算
but is actually more expensive than cooking at home
更别提存在长期的健康隐患了
to say nothing of the long-term health risks.
租房也可以更昂贵
Rent can also be more expensive.
许多房东会收取500到1000美元的保证金才能入住
Most landlords require a security deposit between $500 and $1000
对于勉强过日子的人来说根本支付不起
to move in–an impossible sum for people barely scraping by.
在这种情况下
In that case,
你的唯一选择(假设你不是无家可归的人)大概就是住一个低端的延长住宿的汽车旅店
your only option (other than homelessness) might be a low-end extended stay motel,
这通常不需要押金
which typically don’t require deposits,
但长远来看成本远远超过一套公寓
but cost way more than an apartment in the long run.
而且它们往往缺乏厨房用具和洗衣机等
And they often lack amenities
可以节省公寓居住者时间和金钱
like kitchen appliances and laundry that save apartment-dwellers time
的便利设施
and money.
人们说“时间就是金钱”
They say “ time is money, ” and the less money you have,
你拥有的钱越少
the more time you have to
你花在日常事务上的时间就越多
spend on everyday tasks.
在公交车站前等待 在自助洗衣店内等待
Waiting at the bus stop, waiting at the laundromat, waiting at
在人满为患的诊所和公共办公室里等待
over crowded clinics and public offices.
这样就没有那么多的空闲时间来照顾自己的家庭
This leaves much less free time to take care of one’s family,
接额外的工作
pick up extra work,
或制定一个脱贫计划
or strategize a way out of poverty.
事情变得更糟了 通货膨胀
It gets worse. Inflation,
即总体物价上涨
the general increase in prices,
往往会对食品 汽油和房租之类的东西
tends to hit things like food, gas,
造成最严重的冲击
and rent the hardest.
你的收入越低 这些东西所花费成本
The lower your income, the greater percentage of it goes
的比例就越大
to those costs,
因此一个穷人将看到他的年开支增长速度
so a poor person will see their year-over-year expenses go up at a higher rate
比富人更快
than a wealthy person.
这些都会给穷人的心理带来负面压力
All these pressures take a toll on one’s psyche
只会让事情变得更糟
that only makes things worse.
假设你需要不断作出艰难的选择
Imagine having to constantly make tough decisions
权衡该如何花剩下的一点钱
about where to spend your last few dollars:
是交水费还是买晚饭?
Pay the water bill or buy food for dinner?
是给车加油还是看医生?
Put gas in the car or see the doctor?
这种对精力的不间断消耗
This relentless burning of mental energy leads to a deterioration
导致一个人的判断质量下降
in the quality of one’s judgement
心理学家把此类现象称为“决策疲劳”
a phenomenon psychologists call “decision fatigue.”
这就是为什么穷人都知道发薪日贷款不好 却依然趋之若鹜
It is why someone might visit a payday lender when they know it’s a bad idea —
他们太累了
they’re so exhausted
只想着能先快速安顿下来
that they’ll settle for a quick fix even
即便未来贷款会导致更多的问题
if it will lead to more problems down the road
和”决策疲劳”密切相关的是“稀缺陷阱”
Closely related to decision fatigue is the “scarcity trap”,
它是指我们倾向于
which is our tendency
把注意力集中于我们拥有的最少的资源上
to fixate on the resources that we have the least of,
以至于忽略了全局
to the point that we lose sight of the big picture.
比如 孩子的纸尿片快用完了
Running low on diapers, for instance,
会让家长产生恐慌感
can create a feeling of panic
这迫使一个贫穷的母亲屯上半年的好奇牌纸尿裤
that compels a poor mother to buy 6 months worth of Huggies —
但后来才意识到
only to realize afterwards
她没有足够的钱来交房租
that she didn’t set aside enough money for rent.
有些人可能会认为 穷人只需要更努力工作 更理性消费
Some might think that poor people just need to work harder and spend smarter.

Well
好吧 改善你的财务状况确实需要做到这些
it’s true that improving your financial situation requires these things,
可还需要
it also requires
至少有一点额外的现金来周转
having at least a little bit of extra cash to move around,
以及拥有适当的消费选择
and access to decent spending options.
如果你无法选择你的购物地点 你住的地方
If you can’t choose where you shop, where you live,
或者你的银行
or where you bank, you become a
你就是商家眼中的理想猎物
captive customer to predatory businesses.
如果你根本没有多余的钱来储蓄 投资
If you don’t have any extra money to save, invest,
或者预算 你就无法制定财务计划
or budget, you can’t make a financial plan.
当你忙着扑灭今天的大火时
And when are you supposed to think about
哪还有时间想着明天怎么过呢
tomorrow when you’re constantly putting out today’s fires?
下次 当你自嘲为“破产”
Next time you describe yourself as “ broke”,
可得记住 有哪怕一点回旋的余地
remember that having just a little bit of
总比什么都没有强的多
wiggle-room is infinitely better than having none at all.
如果你想改善你的财务状况
It can make all the difference
一点点回旋余地就会有很大不同
if you‘re trying to improve your financial situation.
所以 如果你的确拥有小小的财务余地
So if you do have that wiggle-room,
要心存感激 不要浪费它
be thankful and don’t waste it!
这就是本期《两分钱》
And that’s our two cents!
忘记支付一笔账单可以让人迅速陷入债务困境
Missing one payment can quickly spiral into a pit of debt.
你经历过这件事吗?那你摆脱困境了吗?
Has this ever happened to you and were you able to escape it?
在评论中分享你的故事吧
Share your story in the comments.

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视频概述

为什么穷人的生活成本反而更高?这要从银行的基本金融服务和穷人的隐性生活成本说起

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

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审核员

审核员DB

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLwRZibUqL0

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