Poverty is Expensive: Background information when reading Heartland

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Heartland

A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth

by Sarah Smarsh

Heartland by Sarah Smarsh X
Heartland by Sarah Smarsh
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  • Published:
    Sep 2018, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Renner

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About this Book

Poverty is Expensive

This article relates to Heartland

United Way ALICEContrary to many deeply guarded beliefs about people living in poverty in the United States, most who can't afford the necessities of life are, in fact, employed. The United Way calls these people Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE). More than 34.7 million families in the United States (10.6%) fell into this category in 2018, and their numbers are growing. You probably see them every day. They're waitresses, receptionists, salespeople and cashiers. They get by month-to-month and are able to save very little. This is because poverty is expensive.

Housing
One of the largest expenses for any budget is housing. Across the U.S., the growing cost of rent has greatly outpaced wages. Approximately 47% of renters spend more than 30% of their income to rent a living space, and a full 24% spend at least half of their income just to rent one. These expenses are compounded by security deposits and fees. When people can't afford to rent, they might end up staying in a residential...

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