Studies show you can only truly comprehend the income classes directly above and below you. Meaning if someone makes more money than the person who is already making more money than you, then their lifestyle makes ZERO sense. Money can make things tricky and marrying someone from a different income bracket can make things trickier.
Reddit user, u/knakworst36, wanted people living the life to help us understand when they asked:
Rich people of reddit who married someone significantly poorer, what surprised you about their (previous) way of life?
When You Don't Know What A Vacation Is
I fell in love with my uni best friend who really didn't have any money.
When I got a job, for my birthday I decided to plan a holiday and offered to bring him along. It didn't even occur to me that this was his first ever holiday he'd ever taken. His family could never afford it growing up, and he'd never really thought to do it as an adult.
"I like to look at everything I could have."Giphy
My husband grew up in a family where they were comfortable but on a strict budget. Six kids and mom on disability. My family had no budget.
One day we were at the grocery store and he always insists on walking up and down every aisle. I finally lost it because he was taking so long and asked him why he did it.
"Growing up we could only spend $100 a week on groceries for all of us. I always had to put what I wanted back because we couldn't afford it. Now I can afford whatever I want so I like to look at everything I could have."
Took him 10 years to tell me this. I felt like a terrible person.
This Isn't A Subway
When I made him a sandwich I only put one thin slice of meat in it. He couldn't believe that was how I had sandwiches growing up.
My wife grew up not poor, but not very well off, and a good snack for her was a spoon of just peanut butter. I had never used peanut butter as anything but in combination with at least SOMETHING else, ie bread. It's little things like that.
You Can Do Almost Everything
My experience is from the opposite perspective, I was the poor one. It absolutely floored me how my wife acts when something broke like a car, appliances, clothes, etc.
As a child living below the poverty line, replacing a tire or other necessities was a disaster, requiring tricky trade offs in the budget or just plain acceptance of just how boned you were.
When my wife's phone broke, I went into full panic mode while she shrugged and said: "we can just [get] a new one this afternoon". And then we did.
Sometimes It Can Be Better
I'm from the poorer family (not super poor, but my in-laws have a stupid amount of money so by comparison I'm very poor), but I think I can answer for her.
We have two young kids, and my wife was shocked when I said we should look for clothes and toys for them at local flea markets and garage sales. The idea never occurred to her that we could save money by getting some gently-used items, she had never even been to a garage sale in her life.
She has grown to love them and now questions whether it is worth it to buy any item "new" or not before running to Amazon or a store. Her parents think it's disgusting we make our kids wear clothes that another child had before, but they don't pay my bills.
There's A Reason She Doesn't Like Camping
Honestly, food insecurity.
When we were first married she would get visibly uneasy if the food in the house was running low. She never overate or anything, she was just always concerned about it. A lot of times when she was younger, she went hungry.
On the humorous side though, she hates camping. Her answer is always the same: I [never] camped because it was fun, she camped because they couldn't afford hotels.
When A Meal Reminds You
Hamburger Helper. She hates it because it would be her meal 5x a week growing up.
I had never even seen HH before I went to college and love that stuff. 10 for $10 deals are awesome.
Bouncing Between Too Much To No Control
She grew up in a middle class family where snacks were very rarely bought and foods were often hidden/locked under key for 'important' events/guests.
She is earning excellent money now, extremely passionate (and successfully following a fitness path as a lifestyle) and constantly building a strong, healthy body :)
She is however struggling with food binge. She has periods of times when she is very rational with her intakes and follows her goals. But every few days/weeks she goes completely irrational on snacks and sabotaging all her fitness work.
She also always buys too much food of the same kind on the weekly food shopping and we think it's because of the lack of food availability in her childhood.
When You Just Want To Show Them A Good Time
My wife comes from a very poor family ( no running water, outhouse etc )
My parent's kitchen furniture costs more than their house.
In any case, my wife has never been to a cinema... never been to a mall, never went to a restaurant, only had 1 pair of pants.. it was pretty damn bad.
In the 1st month of me meeting her we must've gone to every damn Patisserie place in the city, always getting their cakes which my then girlfriend loved. I spent over $1200 that month just on deserts, it was absurd but i was in love and didn't care lol.
Amazingly enough she is VERY well balanced now and barely spends money, i spend more than her to the point that i feel guilty. She still asks for permission when she wants to spend a few $... even though i spend huge amounts on hobbies and cars.
( also, her parents are poor by choice pretty much, least amount of effort humanly possible to survive)
"We could have used it in a pasta!"
My husband was/is from a significantly poorer background than I am.
He gets genuinely anxious about food waste to the point that if i throw away milk past its used by date he says "we could have used it in a pasta!" because his mother used to repurpose spoiled milk into a sort of chunky white sauce for their pasta. We both have very successful careers and make plenty of money but he is still stuck in the old ways of his family.
What Can I Afford?
Poor girl here who dated a guy who's family was pretty well off. Went to a restaurant once that they said was casual. In my mind 20$ and up for a meal is in no way casual and I went into full panic mode when I couldn't find a meal under ten bucks.
They bought me like a 30$ steak like it was nothing. It felt weird
Sushi Is Poor
Kinda different but I had a friend who thought that sushi constituted as "poor people food" because that's what her mom taught her and she'd be like "oh I'm slumming it today I'm just going to get sushi". Me, being the youngest of 6 children and part of a lower middle class family, immediately invited her over for some good 'ol off brand ramen noodle.
She took one bite and said "this tastes like being broke". This was also the day she found out that I only have one oven in my house, clean my own bedroom, have never been to a yacht club, and only have 5 pairs of jeans. She was disgusted.
Selling What You Love
I'm late, but this is me and my wife. The biggest thing is just that there are some things that you can so easily take for granted coming from money vs not. My wife had to sell her vinyl collection for gas money in college. I never once experienced that level of need.
It helps keep both of us balanced though and we have our heads on straight for the value of a dollar and not going above our means.
Now a lot of times the conversation turns to time vs money and if someone in her family hits us up for a relatively small amount of money being able to give happily without worrying about ever getting it back. Both of these things have been a huge psychological shift for her.
Just Be As Safe As Possible
The prevailing mindset in his community growing up that insurance was something only rich people had. Not health insurance, mind you (well, not just health insurance). Auto insurance.
Going without it was a way of life for most everyone he knew.
When What Should Be Common Is A Rarity...Giphy
My SO said "Today I made rent" meaning "today I've earned enough/accumulated enough to pay the rent" and I realized that this is a monthly accomplishment to someone with no fixed income/salary.
They See A World In A Different, Better Way
I can answer this one! I did not grow up rich by any means but I would say my family was upper middle class. My husband was born in Nicaragua and eventually moved to Texas where his mother barely scraped by supporting him and his brother. Some of the things that surprised me:
1. He never eats snacks. Ever. They didn't have food in their kitchen and he would go hungry sometimes. He said once they had an egg in the kitchen and he scrambled it and split it with his brother while his mom hungrly looked on. Now as an adult he doesn't understand "snacking". If we eat a banana he thinks that is our next meal.
2. He is very impressed with smaller things in life. He had 1 toy as a kid (truck) and now, anything I get him he thinks is the most amazing thing in the world. He saves everything.
3. He is the hardest worker I know. He never wants to be where he was.
4. He is the most grateful, optimistic person I know. We've been having some problems (family drama, trying to sell our house, work stuff etc.). He is not afflicted by any of it, he is cool as a cucumber. He always says, "did you eat today?", "do you have a place to sleep??", "does someone love you?"..... "then you are better than most people".
I dearly love him. He makes me see the world in a different, better way.