Bleats

Being Poor Makes You Age Faster So RIP Our Wrinkle Free Millennial Faces

Do they have a cream for 'low bank balance'?

Being a struggling student/young person is something almost everyone can relate to. There’s nothing fun about going from pay check to pay check with only $20 in between for petrol, coffee (without milk because you can’t afford the extra $1 that costs) and having some kind of social life. 

We’ve all been there at some point. Some of us are lucky to get out of the grind, while others aren’t so lucky. 

The student struggle can haunt us well out of university and into adulthood. 

Fun times. Source: Giphy

Because money struggles aren’t crap enough, apparently they also cause us to age faster. So, not only do we have to watch our bank balance reach dangerously low levels every week, we get early wrinkles and poor health too. 

Like this, but less cute. Source: Giphy

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen conducted a study which found a significant tie between living through periods of poverty and ageing prematurely. 

The study defined “relative poverty” as an annual income at least 60 percent below the median. 

The median income in Australia varies from state to state but, generally speaking, if you’re a full-time worker and you earn more than $1261 a week (before tax and superannuation) then you are earning more than half of all other workers, aged 15 years and older. 

This equates to an income of $65,577 a year – a really decent amount of money. 60 percent below this amount is approximately $28,000 – if you earn this amount or lower, you are considered ‘poor’ (according to the study, at least). 

It really isn’t. Source: Giphy

The 5,500 participants in the study were required to participate in a range of physical and cognitive challenges. Physical challenges included things like grip strength, standing and sitting in a chair repeatedly for 30 seconds, and jumping as high as possible; cognitive challenges included memorising a sequence of items. All of the fun stuff. 

On average, people who’d never experienced any sort of economic hardship performed better in every category.

Researchers ultimately concluded that living in relative poverty for four or more years is significantly associated with “poorer physical capability [and] cognitive function.”

It’s almost hard to conceive – how does less money mean you have bad grip strength? But, if you think about it for a second, the correlation actually makes perfect sense. The less money you have, the more stress you are likely to experience. You’re less able to afford everyday pleasures like dinners out and necessary expenses like health care and debt repayment. 

Missing out on those things is upsetting and worrying, and stress wreaks all kinds of havoc on the body: lack of sleep, headaches, hair loss, elevated heart rate, poor immunity, and more

But improving our health isn’t as easy as just earning more – if it were that simple, we’d all be doing it. So what can we do to look after our stress levels during times of financial difficulty?

The answer varies from person to person. I’m no financial expert but planning ahead and helps me. Having a weekly/fortnightly/monthly budget gives me an overview of things and helps keep my spending in line. I also factor in some $$$ so I can treat myself (within reason) – sure, I can’t afford a $100 meal with friends every weekend, but I can buy a couple of new t-shirts. 

It’s a trade-off. Better a t-shirt and happiness, than nothing and wrinkles. 

If You're Paying $4000 For Jenga Just Give Me The Money Instead, You Don't Deserve It

I could really use a holiday.

If I suddenly won the lottery tomorrow, there’s lots of things I would do with the money. 

I would pay off my parents mortgage, buy a bunch of property and book the longest holiday. One thing I absolutely definitely would never do is buy a $4,000 Jenga set. 

And yet, there are clearly people in the world who would spend thousands on a glorified board game because Louis Vuitton has released exactly that. 

The Jenga set is described as ’refined collector’s piece’, whatever that means, and is made of multi-coloured plexiglass. I don’t care how much you need to life your games night status, nothing will justify this purchase. 

Especially when you can buy the same damn thing from Kmart for $5.50

-gif- 

This isn’t the first time Louis Vuitton has upgraded childhood favourites and added an eye watering price tag. Earlier in the year they released a coloured pencil set with matching leather roll for a casual $1,190. 

Thus, the next Picasso was born. Source: LV
lol jokes. Source: LV

Before the pencils, there were monogrammed teddy bears and a $100,000 toilet boasting the famous LV logo. Because the rich need to sh*t too. 

There’s a whole world of completely normal items you can get for the same price as a home loan. I feel deep down into the black hole and dredged up some pretty insane finds. 

Like this $860 silver protractor from Tiffany & Co. Because maths isn’t bad enough, it needs to put you in debt too: 

This sterling silver tin can baby money bank looks like a soup can, feels like a soup can, but definitely costs more than a soup can at $1,750. 

That’s one way to teach your child to save responsibly…

Tiffany also have table tennis paddles for a totally normal $1,250: 

And – the thing that made me literally scream in shock – a watering can for $61,500

That’s someone’s entire salary dedicated just for watering your plants which definitely won’t know the difference between Tiffany & Co. or Bunnings Warehouse. 

It blows my mind that people are willing to waste money on purchases like this. I don’t care how rich you are, how in the world do you justify buying perfectly normal household items for 10,000x what you could buy them for at a normal pleb supermarket? 

Spend your money on something more worthwhile. Buy another expensive handbag, use that $4,000 to book a holiday or, if you’re really struggling, just give it to me. 

I promise to use it wisely. 

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