I was talking recently with someone about the hidden costs of poverty. The inability to afford necessities is kind of obvious, but she explained what a difference it makes on a practical level.
For example, my weekly shop:
I jump in my car on the way home from work. I stop at the supermarket and do a quick whizz around, chucking in the usual items and a few things that look nice. I'm well aware that taking my time and planning more carefully could result in a cheaper trip, but saving a few pounds at the expense of substantially more time and thought isn't a good deal.
My friends shop:
Her weekly food budget is about half mine, for a family the same size. She avoids driving her car to the shops, because of the extra cost. She has a 20 minute walk each way, carrying heavy bags. When she goes around the shop she takes considerably longer, because she has to shop for bargain, saving a few pounds here and there. Frequently her kids have to come with her, because she her husband is working and she can't pay for child care. Her shopping trip takes twice as long as mine, is far more strenuous, more emotionally exhausting (tired kids in a supermarket is never fun), and more difficult because of how tight her budget is.
This pattern is repeated over and over in all their planning and decision making. They decide where to park based on where is free, so often end up walking a mile to what ever their destination is. They go to multiple shops, instead of just one, trying to save a few pence and buy toilet paper on discount.
I frequently see this type nuance missed from discussions about poverty. The poor work harder everyday, in every facet of their lives, just to participate in things that the more affluent can choose to simply ignore. This hidden cost has a huge impact on health, mental wellbeing, stress levels and general happiness.