People Who Grew Up Poor Explain What They Associate With Being Rich
Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

Money isn't everything, but it can change everything.

I think we're far enough along as a society to appreciate the fact that money does indeed make things easier.

I grew up poor and my biggest regret of my childhood is that I didn't grow up rich.

There are just so many things you have access to. No... money is not the cure for everything wrong, and it can cause strife, but it can get you a lot great stuff that makes drama easier to deal with.

There were so many simple signs of wealth I could point out as a poor kid, you'd be shocked. Sometimes it was just three meals a day.

Redditor phiggie wanted to discuss everyone's ideas on being rich, by asking:

"Redditors who grew up poor, what do you associate with being rich?"

Fancy cars. That was always my first clue. And now that I'm older, how you order a drink without care. There is a significant price difference between SKOL vodka and Belvedere.

Need It

give me christmas GIF by TargetGiphy

"Being able to buy something you need without having to ask yourself how badly you need it." ~ Awkward_Name5898

"New Girl"

"There's a line from Nick in "New Girl" that describes being well off as 'filling your gas tank up all the way rich.' That was the rich I wanted to be. Comfortable. Also not having to do math in the grocery store to see what food you can buy. I hated that. I wanted to just go buy necessities like gas and food without worrying. Proud to say that now I usually fill my gas tank all the way and don't do math when buying groceries." ~ Top_Confidence_9177

"next year"

"My parents used to tell us they were saving up to take us to Disney, always "next year." Years came and went and they quietly stopped mentioning it. All my friends and schoolmates got to go, though. I did eventually get to go to Disneyland as an adult a few years ago as an LA local for my best friend's birthday."

"I had 0 in my bank account because of it and had to get assistance paying the following month's bills but it was extremely fun & unforgettable. Oversight on my friend's part that not all of us could afford to go but I didn't want to pass it up either since I never got to go as a kid." ~ bee3056

Count it...

"Not knowing EXACTLY how much money you have at any given time." ~ wrongstuff

"Wow, that resonated with me in a way that actually kind of surprised me. I'd never thought about it before, but it's so true. back when I was struggling, I knew down to the penny what was in my bank account at all times." ~ Sniffs_Markers

"Holy crap this is true. I was poor growing up and was financially insecure until well into my 20s. I knew exactly how much money I had and how to budget it to make sure I could eat until the next paycheck came in. I managed to progress my career to a pretty high level of seniority and nowadays I don't even know how much I earn. I have a rough idea but because of all the benefits and the way bonuses are calculated I couldn't actually tell you a figure. And yet I still buy discounted stuff that's going out of date at the supermarket." ~ fadevelocity


Moving Season 2 GIF by Paramount+Giphy

"Going to a store to pick out furniture. Like, actually buying NEW stuff, not just taking whatever you can find at thrift stores or garage sales. That seems so luxurious!" ~ Nonsenseinabag

So far, all true. How does one shop without looking at the price? That's living the dream.


fridge roommate GIFGiphy

"Those fridges with the water dispenser on it." ~ Siyuen_Tea

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"Not having to worry about food or bills. Paying out of pocket at the dentist." ~ Longjumping-Price-42

"I was poor for a bit and my wife and I would have $100 for food and gas for the month. We had to balance driving too much or eating better food. First time I was able to fill my tank and buy whatever I wanted to eat was the best feeling." ~ allf8ed

"Even better is not worrying or having anxiety to log in to your bank account to see how much money you have left." ~ flimspringfield

Movin' On Up!

"Hiring moving men. Especially if they're the ones who pack all of your crap for you, too. So many times, I would borrow a friend's pickup (and buy my friend's help with offers of pizza and beer) to move from one sh*tty place to another. For my most recent move, my wife and I packed everything, but hired professionals to load and unload it. I felt like a king." ~ KhaoticMess


"Hiring people to either cook, clean, mow the grass or do snow removal in the winter. Showing my age but rich people didn't need lay away to afford back to school or Christmas shopping I don't remember ever having name brand items, food or clothing. It was all generic Kmart. I bought my son a pair of Nike shoes and thought I felt rich for doing so." ~ thatstaceygirl


Alicia Silverstone My Bad GIFGiphy

"Parents buying a car for your 16th birthday." ~ ghosthues

I was mortified...

"Regular doctor's office visits or seeing a dentist at all for anything other than an emergency." ~ didnsignup4dis

This brings back a horrible memory. When I was 19 I had to get my wisdom teeth removed because they were hurting and pushing my other teeth together. I didn't have insurance because I was too poor but also made 'too much money' for state assistance ($10.50/hour) so I had to pay out of pocket. When the HR woman brought up what the bill would be I started crying and she asked if I was sure I could pay it in the most pitying way. I was mortified." ~ f**kit_sowhat


"Having the crayons that have the sharpener built into the box." ~ dahopppa

"I so wanted the big box of crayons with all the beautiful colors when I was a kid. They were so cool." ~ OddTransportation121

'appetizer money'

sign language appetizer GIF by Sign with RobertGiphy

"Getting an appetizer and/or dessert at a restaurant in addition to an entree." ~ Frankfluff

"Growing up we went out to dinner once around Christmas and maybe once in the summer (unless my grandpa came and took us out.) We knew not to even think about asking for appetizers or any drink but water."

"Since we've all left home my dad got a better paying job. My mom likes to say that they now have 'appetizer money' and it makes me really happy for them. We went out to dinner a few years ago when I was home for Christmas, and after we all ordered a single entree my mom asked if we wanted anything else. All of us siblings didn't even know how to respond. It was really weird, but very cool." ~ redsyrinx2112

Money Owed

"Not having debt collectors coming round." ~ alanbastard

"This! I remember multiple occasions where my mum would run into the living room, turn everything off frantically and tell us to hide until she said we could come out. People would knock and look through the windows etc. And eventually leave and i never really thought about that until fairly recently. Was 100% debt collection and my mum not being able to pay." ~ Edmaaate

Good Eats

"Having snacks in the house a week after grocery day." ~ fiftyonions

"Me shopping Saturday morning: I better get two bags of chips so I have some at the end of the week."

"Me 2am: Monday morning: vomiting because I ate both bags over the weekend." ~ transylvanian_witch

Bedding Accessories

"Knowing what a duvet cover is and owning one. I remember when my wife and I were newlyweds and she was telling me how we needed a duvet cover for our bed. I had no clue what a duvet cover was prior as I always though people just purchase sheets and/or the big blankets with the lion/tiger prints. Suffice to say, my mind was blown away." ~ hominian

Being There

"Parents having time to show up in school events or parents throwing birthday parties in school for their kid." ~ UnderTheFishHook

"One of my friends was going through that with her kids' school pre-Covid. She managed to get her kid into an honestly really great elementary school, and her sons teacher was pretty much shaming her for never showing up during school events, specifically the ones that happen during school hours."

"The time of day when she worked. When she tried explaining to the teacher that she worked during the day, the teacher suggested taking a vacation or sick time. My friend tried to explain to her that she doesn't get vacation or sick time at her jobs. The teacher then insinuated that she wasn't caring for her son's education by not being there to support him. So much BS." ~ Diredoe


"Indifference. I realized what real wealth meant in high school when we cleaned up trash from a creek and the rich kids wore their Polo shirts, Guess jeans, and Jordan's because if they were trashed they simply would get new. The poor kids wore their grubby clothes they do labor in. Wealth is shown most acutely by indifference, nothing matters because money will fix it and there is plenty enough to fill black holes." ~ Waxnpoetic


Pizza Pizza Pizza Dancing GIF by Domino’s UK and ROIGiphy

"Eating pizza because you want to not because it's $2. That and mom eating along with us normally instead of pretending that the crust is her favorite part and that's why she'd eat the crust we leave." ~ DirtySingh

Fists Down

"Parents that didn't fight. Mine and my other poor friends' parents were always fighting. Most of the time my parents fought it was over money. You could tell that they were just scared whether or not we were going to make it and that's how it manifested."

"You just never really saw that same type of fighting at the friend's parents who were comfortable. Like obviously there's more factors but there's a unique chaotic tension in poor households that is hard to describe." ~ Elegant_Extreme3268

Why would a 16-year-old need an expensive car? They're just learning. Whatever, spend as you will.

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