Why is being broke so expensive in Philly? - Generocity Philly

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Aug. 6, 2018 4:31 pm

Why is being broke so expensive in Philly?

Reporting collaborative Broke in Philly's #HighCost series exposes the hidden costs to many essentials, from cell phone contracts to bank accounts.

SEPTA costs more when you're broke.

(Illustration by Steve Teare for Broke in Philly)

Anyone who’s ever had too little money to cover what life throws at you, knows one thing: It’s expensive AF to be broke.

There are countless ways in which those who have less end up paying more: buying in small quantities rather than in discounted bulk; ignoring car servicing because you can’t afford it, only to suffer a breakdown (towing + repair = $$$); not having a bank account because of bad credit, or lacking the minimum balance, and then giving up some of your paycheck every time you cash it.

These small and large burdens cause stress and often take more time than utilizing services built for the financially secure. The heavy toll of broke-ness isn’t limited to the financial: It is physical, emotional, and psychological.

Today, Broke in Philly is launching a new series: The #HighCost of Being Broke. In this first installment, we report on eight areas in which this phenomenon plays out, including banking, transportation, cell phone access, food staples and more. Many of these stories also highlight solutions — policies or programs or options that help alleviate some of the cost born by those who can least afford to take them on.

Throughout 2018 and into next year, we’ll keep this series going, and will delve further into the solutions side a little later on. For now, we’ve love ideas from you about what to report on next. What are the costs that disproportionately affect those with less that we cover? What’s a surprising everyday expense that you’re hit by? When you send us your feedback, tell us your neighborhood, too, because we’d like to start mapping what costs feel like a burden in which neighborhoods.

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You can text us at 215-774-3212, hit us up on Twitter @BrokeinPhilly (use #HighCost) or fill out this form.

Thanks for your help. And now check out the links below:

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