It's Hard Being A Hipster : Planet Money A listener says life in a subculture can be expensive.
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It's Hard Being A Hipster

Christina writes:

I, like many young NPR listeners, reluctantly count myself as among those with the slightly pejorative label 'hipster.' When I heard the lady on the last podcast say that one can shop at consignment shops and Goodwill, I thought, "Hey I do that... why am I still not able to save money?"

I think one of the most ironic things about a subculture that loves irony, is that the image, like any image, is difficult to keep up. While most of my friends and I live in a way that would reflect thriftiness, there are still expenses beyond thrift store clothes and couches dragged in from the street.

I'm learning to live like I am indeed the struggling grad student that I am. This means less organic produce, less spices and sauces imported from East and South Asia, zero new music, zero indie rock shows, zero arthouse movies, no more art classes at the local community art center and much less travel. Also, eco-friendly stuff like picture frames made of woven newspaper are so expensive, so I just do without the eco-friendly stuff. Too bad I won't be able to buy those bamboo headphones that I want.

My piercings are gone and since I can no longer afford trendy haircuts and dyes, my mousy brown hair is grown-out and boring.

Fortunately I don't have the expenses some of my friends do, like amps, guitars, pottery wheels and camping equipment.So, apart from school and a side job, I just volunteer and read. It's probably good for me anyway to trade in 'indie cred' for 'normal person actually poor like everyone else cred.'