It's hard to understand someone outside your economic status. Truthfully, unless they're one class above or below you, you can't comprehend the kind of expenses and lifestyles those people endorse. Someone who owns a yacht can't fathom what it means to only be able to afford a single pair of shoes every year. Coming from that life can leave you with little scars that linger for years.

Reddit user, u/traumstdu, wanted to know what growing up poor did to you when they asked:

What odd or unusual preferences have you developed due to growing up poor?

Is There An Aisle In The Store?

I still prefer poverty food.


I didn't really grow up poor but my dad is a cheap mofo. I love me some Ramen, hot dog sandwiches, and bologna.


It Doesn't Feel Good On The Skin


I still prefer thin, rough bath towels.

Big fluffy towels are too fluffy. It's feels weird when fluffy towels get wet.


Only Enough For One Set Of Clothes

there were 5 of us growing up and so we always had our "good" clothes and our "everyday" clothes.

We changed out of our good clothes as soon as we got home from school and I still have this habit to this day! I change out of my work clothes and into lounge around the house I don't care clothes as soon as I get home.


It's Just A Name

I legit cringe when I buy anything slightly expensive, and I find myself constantly buying the cheap store brand products instead of name brand


Never Use It Only Once

I still can't bring myself to write in mad lib books, or on things that could be reused.

Growing up ultra poor it was a rare treat to get something "frivolous" but mad libs were also semi educational so every once in a while I would get a new mad lib book from my dad. But I felt a lot of anxiety about wasting them by writing directly in them, if I numbered the blanks and then wrote on a separate sheet of paper with the corresponding numbers, I could reuse the books over and over again.

Being really poor made me in live in this awful anxiety driven state of "don't use it up because you might not get any more any time soon" and "you better use it all and not waste anything" which made me overthink and over analyze my actions.

I was confronted by this preference to not mess things up in my masters degree program, because the Prof would expressly tell me it was ok to write on the handouts because she would share the digital copies with us so we would have a clean copy to use in our own classes later... and I still couldn't do it.


Not Enough Miles On Them

I developed a dislike of wearing new shoes.

I prefer old, worn out shoes, the new pairs feel too rigid.


Can't Even Enjoy The Proper Food

I love little caesars $5 pizza more than fancy brick oven pizza bc spending that much gives me too much anxiety to enjoy the food.


Why Buy Something Twice?

Using plastic grocery bags as trash bags. Don't really see the point in using actual garbage bags.


A Mapped Memory Of The Food Aisles

I know where all the cheaper off brand food is and how to make quick dinners :/


There's An Order To The Savings

I eat things weirdly. Since getting food was sometimes hard and couldn't be wasted, we never drank any of our drinks before eating. So we would eat the least filling things first, and work our way up until we finished. Only after we finished eating did we drink something. I also drink very slowly and never order ice with my drinks because of that.

This has carried over to my eating habits today where I live a somewhat comfortable life. People think i'm weird when I never drink my drink until I finish eating, or eat my food in a certain order.


Cold Pizza Is Tops

I enjoy cold food because growing up we didn't have a microwave and we couldn't use the gas stove or else the bill would go up


Never Use More Than You Need

This may be particular to my family, but growing up we were only allowed to use 2 squares of toilet tissue per visit. We didn't use paper towels, and washed and reused ziplocks and aluminum foil. I am still very conservative.


Space Is Precious. It Can't Be Wasted.

Never wanting any gifts. Not in the "oh no you dont have too" but in the " I genuinely dont want that product because I dont see what I would use it for "

Oh and thats an other thing. Everything you have must have a use, sometimes it can be used for multiple things.


No Thank You, I'm Full

My diet. I can eat 1 mac and cheese box a day and be good. When I went to college, eating 3 meals a day was the weirdest experience of my life.


One For The Road

Keeping the extra sauces, napkins, and plastic utensils from ordering take out. Also, getting a refill on a drink to take home right before leaving a fast food restaurant


Five Bucks For A Brew??

I very rarely buy liquor drinks in a bar or restaurant. I just can't see paying $5-9 for each drink when I can buy an entire bottle and mix my own drinks much cheaper.


Not Just One Quirk, But All The Quirks

My ex husband grew up extremely poor. He had quite a few interesting habits. He loved flat pillows and hard mattresses and refused to use sheets. If it wasn't from a box he would not eat it (wouldn't eat anything homemade if he's ever had the boxed version, claims it doesn't taste right).

Absolutely refused to eat leftovers (claimed they were gross) and would gorge himself stupid at a buffet. Refused to own more than two pairs of shoes and would hoard clothes. He would keep clothes that people have given him that only I could fit into (a foot smaller and roughly 100 lbs lighter) and would not throw them out unless made to.

He would much rather buy something super cheap and spend 3x the cost of a new one to fix it rather than buying something new that would last. He was not above trying to con people into giving him free stuff either. As stingy as he was about some things if it was a hobby or toy (motorbike or such) he had no problem spending his entire paycheck on it.

He was terrible at managing money and would just transfer credit card balances to avoid the interest. I know it sounds like I'm b-tching but these are just my observations after 6 years of dating.


It's Not The Fridge

Not sure if odd or unusual but my parents used to tell me "eat all the food served " since we were poor and sometimes they wouldn't eat so I could have a full serving of food.

I'm no longer poor but I still eat the full plate no matter how full I am.

Edit: I'm aware you can put food on the fridge for the next day or it's not the most healthy thing either but it's the (flawed) solution my parents found so I wouldn't be picky with the food or not eat on a whim


Everything Is A Calculation


Even though I don't have to (as much) I still calculate how many hours I have to work in order to afford something to decide if it is a "need" or a "want" ...

Do I want to work 2.5 hours to fill my gas tank, or 2.5 hours to buy a single shirt? I want the shirt... but the shirt isn't going to get me to work. I really, really, really want a switch and several new games. I'll have to work at least 9 days to afford the switch and the 3 games I want. and after I've worked those 9 days... I can't justify spending the money on the switch and the games.


Louis Hansel/Unsplash

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