Unfortunately, the pandemic resulted in a lot of people losing their jobs and housing. And a few years on from the start of the pandemic, many people are still struggling, prompting a Redditor to ask how the average American is coping when 61 percent of them live paycheck to paycheck.
Posting to r/AskReddit, u/asscakesss asked how people were coping given the circumstances. One person noted that for many people, living paycheck to paycheck isn’t a new phenomenon. They wrote, “You see, I’ve been paycheck to paycheck most of my life... Im what you call ‘old poor.’ I know how to make it on the bare minimum (less if needed). I feel for all these ‘new poor’ that are in for a rude awakening.”
Indeed, in mid-2020 it was predicted that COVID-19 could push between 71 and 100 million people around the world into poverty — aka the “new poor.” Back in 2008, “new poor” referred to people who lost their homes or jobs as a result of the Global Financial Crisis. As Mac on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia observed, “Ever since the recession hit, waves of new people are suddenly broke. These people have no idea how to live without money — they’re what’s called ‘new poor.’ We’re old poor.”
It feels like the 21st century has just been major event after major event that has resulted in millions more people joining the ranks of the “new poor.” So, “new money”? More like no money.