Life when you’re well-off and when you’re incredibly poor is like night and day. The difference in your family’s income doesn’t just affect the quality of your food and how you spend your free time—not having enough money impacts nearly every aspect of your life. In ways that you couldn’t imagine.

One redditor, user Jicta, asked their fellow site users who grew up poor to share the “unwritten social expectations of your world growing up,” besides practical and widely-known money-saving measures. The responses have been heartrending. Have a read through them below, dear Pandas, and let us know what you think. Have you ever had to do anything like this while growing up? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section, dear Pandas.

The creator of the Financial Samurai blog, financial expert Sam Dogen, went into detail with Bored Panda about climbing out of poverty. "One of my main reasons for writing 3X a week on Financial Samurai since 2009 is so that I can help people for free reach financial independence sooner, rather than later. Not only is my blog free, but so is my newsletter," he said. We also reached out to the original poster of the question, Redditor Jicta. Read on for both of their insights.

#1

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Not really a societal expectation, but more of a familial one. I never once knew how closely my family toed the poverty line, thanks to how my parents ran things. My dad, though, he would volunteer me all the time to help friends, family, coworkers in need, if I was able to at all. Never let me ask for a single dollar from them, unless it was explicitly "a job" and for, say, a friend of a friend. I helped his coworker move a handful of times. I cut my elderly neighbor's grass. I helped so-and-so connect their internet, or a friend of his to replace their carpet.

I had no idea what my old man was fostering in both me and them. When I moved out on my own, his coworker called, offered to help. Showed up with antiques from his late mother as a housewarming gift for my wife and I. The man who's grass I cut? He passed away, and left me his piano, since he knew I liked to play. The friend with the carpet? Hooked me up with a decent paying job right out of college. The internet-illiterate ones? Solid mechanics, and know my vehicle inside and out.

He was teaching me something so much more than just an exchange of goods and services. These weren't I.O.U.s coming due. The man knew the value of community and friendship, and just how far people would go for someone else if they just cared, even an ounce.

It bleeds over in my day to day, now, too. I may see someone at the grocery store struggling to find a product, so I take the time to help them out. It costs me only a few minutes, and I may never see them again. Or, I find out the person I helped is the very same one standing behind the counter at the DMV, and makes my time just a little bit shorter as a thanks.

TL;DR, my pops taught me the value of kindness.

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Cecilia Herrera
Community Member
4 months ago

Your dad taught you a lesson that I have a feeling you will pass down to any children you may have or will have. What a wonderful legacy to receive and continue in your family!

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#2

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules If your neighbors were in need—you helped them. Like, Mary’s car broke down again, so my brother would go work on her car for free on his day off, and I’d get up extra early all week to drop Mary off at work and get her kids to school. Swing by in my lunch break to grab the kids after school, too. Basically, when folks are in need—you help them, and the same is done in return.

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Daria B
Community Member
4 months ago

This one is also very important. Solidarity is survival. Also, lots of items get shared. For example, you happen to have a stroller and your baby now has grown out of it? You give it to the next pregnant neighbour you know. Or sell it cheap.

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#3

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Keep your hair brushed, your clothes clean, and be articulate and polite in all circumstances. We were not going to be 'trash' just because we were poor. Also, no wearing ripped jeans, even if it's the style. We're not spending money on new pants that look like old worn-out pants.

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Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
4 months ago

Totally agree with not spending money on new clothes that are made to look like old torn clothes. What is that all about anyway? Are they actually recycled clothes?

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Sam, the founder of Financial Samurai, agreed with us that climbing out of poverty is incredibly difficult. However, there are ways to go about this and, in his opinion, anyone stuck in a difficult financial situation should focus on one thing: financial education.

"The most important thing one can do is gain as much financial education as possible to get out of poverty. If there is no internet access at home or mobile data plan, perhaps there is free internet access at the local library, pandemic-willing. We can now learn anything and everything for free on the internet," he explained, sharing that there are always ways to go around obstacles like lacking internet access.

#4

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules If you use the oven during winter, when you’re done, leave it cracked so that the heat warms up the rest of the house more.

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giovanna
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

I have always done this. Why would I let the warmth go to waste? It's also an environmental thing.

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#5

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Always return anything you borrow in better condition. People will be eager to loan you things.

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Sum Guy
Community Member
4 months ago

That seems like a good rule altogether

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#6

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Overall, independence at a young age. But also responsibility. You cook, clean, and pitch in before you are asked. If you’re waiting for an adult to make dinner, you’re going hungry. Also, poor doesn’t mean dirty. You keep what you have nice, clean, and well cared for.

Seriously, I wouldn’t trade my upbringing for anything in the world.

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Daria B
Community Member
4 months ago

"Also, poor doesn’t mean dirty. You keep what you have nice, clean, and well cared for." This! This is a very important thing to remember. Many poor people don't look poor, so don't be quick to judge.

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Bored Panda also wanted to get Sam's take on what people who are exhausted and live in poverty should prioritize when they're forced between buying food, paying for rent, getting gas, and other important decisions.

"Paying for food is obviously the #1 necessity to spend money on. Fortunately for renters, there is an eviction moratorium in many parts of the world during the pandemic. Many renters don't have to pay their mortgage if they've faced COVID-19 hardship. However, the moratorium will eventually end given landlords have bills to pay as well. Therefore, the second focus is on shelter. Try to either work out an agreement with the landlord or make contingency plans with friends and relatives once the moratorium is over," he advised.

#7

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules People actually order take-out food like every night. I still think that's mad.

Literally once or twice a year for us growing up.

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Joonscrab
Community Member
4 months ago

In my country this is pretty normal? (Not ordering take out everyday ,I mean) but we definitely have it more than twice a year... We just cook amazing food at home and eat that lol... It saves money and makes us happy

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#8

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules My parents where great at hiding that we where poor. They made sure we always had christmas presents and a birthday present. And we would order pizza at christmas. All our clothing came from other relatives or charity shops. But when i started working full time and went to live on my own? Just then i realized truth that we poor. But still looking back i have never had the feeling of being left out when it came too other childeren. And i still thank them for it.

And now all the kids have moved out? There the most generous and loving grandparents you could wish for a kid.

But the biggest lessen i have learned is help others out. So every time i have something that i don't use or want? I give it away for free. Every time my daughter go's up a size in clothes? I give the old clothes to a charity that helps people with childeren who can't afford it. And it gives me a great feeling ever single time i do it.

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giovanna
Community Member
4 months ago

This is amazing. Your parents did a great job

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#9

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules I grew up in a trailer. In fourth grade, a girl was having a birthday party and needed addresses for invitations. The next day she told me her parents uninvited me because I lived in the trailer. That was a new thing I learned I was supposed to be embarrassed about.

I guess just expecting to have to deal with other people's sh**ty parents sometimes.

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Helen Haley
Community Member
4 months ago

Not having any friends over because where you live is too 'poor' and no one elses parents will let their kids stay over. Totally get it.

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Redditor Jicta, the author of the thread who is based in the United States, told Bored Panda that they grew up in a middle-class family but have known people who were both wealthier and poorer than they were. "I was reflecting recently on some of the social expectations of my own background and realized probably everyone experiences variants of that. So I just thought I'd ask," they told us what inspired them to create the thread in the first place.

The responses to the question they posed affected them emotionally more than they thought they would. "The embarrassment people felt as children when they couldn't afford what their classmates or other peers did was really sad to me. It made me think about how many people I interact with every day are probably facing things that they'd be so embarrassed for anyone else to know. That's not limited to financial pressures, but that's definitely one big area," redditor Jicta explained.

#10

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules You never brought the field trip permission slips home because you knew better than to make your mom feel guilty she couldn’t pay the $5-20 fee to let you go.

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howohowo
Community Member
4 months ago

Wait- some schools have parents pay to take students to field trips!?

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#11

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Being raised by a single mother, she instilled the belief that school went elementary, middle, high, then college. There wasn’t a question as to whether or not college was optional. She did everything in her power to raise two boys to live more successful lives.

My brother and I both graduated college and graduate studies (MA) and our starting jobs were both with salaries that were over double what my mom made. Growing up I wish things where different but as an adult, I cherish the values and experiences instilled by my mom.

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Vorknkx
Community Member
4 months ago

Same in my country - unless your parents are hopelessly poor, they would constamntly remind you how important it is to get a university degree, if you want to amount to something in life. Forget about leisure time - you have to study hard and get the best scholarship you can. And when you do go to college, the family would make every possible sacrifice to make sure you can graduate.

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#12

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Eating stale or close to sell by date, food. No brand-name anything. Adding water to shampoo to get it to last longer. Reuse everything. Make-do or do without. Free samples count as a meal. To name a few.

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Ozacoter
Community Member
4 months ago

To be fair we were low middle class and we did all of this too. I still prefer buying white brands unless it is a very specific thing.

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In Jicta's opinion, we can all fight child poverty on all fronts. From providing direct financial support to investing in how we educate teachers. "I really like the bailout's large child credit being proposed, and hope it stays this year and in the future. Also things like educating our teachers on how to ask questions in a way that doesn't highlight the differences between kids' experiences based on their parents' financial situations."

They continued: "And lastly if we can normalize getting sustainable financial help and learning basic financial literacy for adults, that would benefit kids. I noticed how many kids were in that predicament because their parents had such poor money management skills. But basically, we just have to be able to talk about money as a society, not pretend like it's not a thing."

#13

It doesn't matter of you don't like the (food, clothes, shoes, toys etc) take it, say thank you and be appreciative

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Ozacoter
Community Member
4 months ago

This should be a general rule.

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#14

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Turn off all lights behind you. Take as quick showers as you can. Recycle pop cans. Drive slower because it conserves gas. Plan your trip so that you don't have to drive unnecessary routes and waste gas. Be OK with the heat always at 68 or below (use a blanket if you're cold).

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TheGirlFromTheNorth
Community Member
4 months ago

Poor or not poor, you recycle pop cans. In my country at least...

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#15

If someone was nice enough to cook you a meal you better help(or at least offer to) clear the table and wash the dishes after.

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Fylo Meow
Community Member
4 months ago

isn't this what everyone should do though?

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The number of people living below the poverty line in the United States was a whopping 33.98 million in 2019, according to Statista. The number really is huge and speaks volumes about the daily suffering endured by Americans. However, the situation in the country has been getting much better recently, year by year.

Back in 2014, the number of Americans living in absolute poverty peaked at 46.66 million. So for nearly 13 million people, their living situation has improved at least a bit. Unfortunately, these are pre-Covid19 pandemic numbers. We’ll need to wait a year or more to get the full picture of how the lockdowns and massive changes to how society functions have affected the poor. Odds are, the situation might’ve gotten worse.

#16

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules If someone buys you food at a restaurant order as cheaply as possible even if they tell you order whatever you want. Used to get death glares from parents if I ordered something 10 bucks or over at a place where average prices was 10 bucks. If you can get a burger and fries for 8 you better be eating a burger.

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Ozzie Ogawa
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm so lucky to have friend who paid for food back in college, since my allowance was much smaller. I wouldn't survive without them.

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#17

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules We were very poor growing up. You never ate the last of anything without asking first. Portions were small and limited. When I was 11 I was invited over to a then friend's house. I was floored by their house and furnishings. Very opulent compared to mine. Lunch time came. Her mom had set the table for sandwiches. Everything laid out, 3 different breads, all sorts of meats, condiments and fruit. At my house lunch was a sandwich with white day old bread with peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes we would have those land o frost thin sliced meats. We were only allowed 2 slices of the meat per sandwich. So, at this friends house, I make my sandwich with one slice of ham because it was way thicker then the stuff at home. The mom kinda freaks out..."what kind of sandwich is that? You need to put more on it, thats not enough." I explain that's what we do at home. They were horrified. Ended up sending me home with a "care package" of food. My parents never let me go to her house again because they were embarrassed I told them we were poor.

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giovanna
Community Member
4 months ago

Well, I'm sure they meant well, but they shouldn't have sent you home with food. Of course it's embarrassing for the parents. They could have invited you more to their place instead.

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#18

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules The oldest kids babysit the youngest kids.

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White Paper Tsuru
Community Member
4 months ago

And shared bedrooms. 2-3 kids in an apartment bedroom

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The fight against poverty is multifaceted and complex. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple and clear-cut solution to the problem (if only printing more money didn’t result in greater inflation…). But it boils down to society providing support and opportunities for families that aren’t well off, as well as those same families doing everything in their power to get out of the so-called cycle of poverty.

Focusing on financial literacy, improving your education, aiming for a better job, finding a home closer to work and for less rent, reaching out to the community for help, getting rid of credit card debt bit by bit—all of these are small steps that can help move a family out of absolute poverty and into the working, middle, and even upper classes. This is, of course, far easier said than done. When you’re exhausted, hungry, and beaten down, it’s hard to find the energy and willpower to make even small changes—all you want is sleep, food, and a moment of peace.

#19

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Keep your aspirations to yourself. Telling anyone in your household/social strata about your plans to get out and do better may be met with bitterness and downright ridicule. People will call you uppity for wanting to go to school or stupid for having a career goal that isn't modest and local and vaguely dead-end. People will tell you that you have no common sense simply because you refuse to see the world in terms of pure survival.

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David Retsler
Community Member
4 months ago

This is called the "Crab Bucket" mentality. Ever try to pull a single crab out of a crab pot?

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#20

You're not hurt unless you're bleeding.

If you are bleeding, don't bleed on the carpet.

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CATMONSTER2018
Community Member
4 months ago

Gar... this one strikes home...

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#21

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Going to the doctor isn't an option until your fever is sustained at 104, a bone is broken, or the tooth rotted and won't fall out on it's own.

I am in my late 30's with full insurance and still have a hangup about going for medical care.

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k1ddkanuck
Community Member
4 months ago

As a Canadian, this hurts to here. Our healthcare system isn't perfect, but s**t, you guys deserve better. We still pay for ambulances, dental and pharmaceutical care, but not going to the emergency ward of a hospital because you can't afford it is f***ing bonkers to us north of the border.

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Poverty, real poverty, can have massive negative consequences on children as they’re growing up. Lacking access to proper food can lead to malnutrition. What’s more, poverty leads to inadequate health care and means that kids don’t have the same access to education (and later on, employment) as others.

Jicta’s thread got over 56.5k upvotes and over 17.2k comments which just goes to show that the topic is incredibly important to lots of redditors. And it’s a thread full of life lessons for all of us, no matter our background.

#22

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Not eating lunch because it you either "just ate breakfast" or "dinners only a few hours away you'll be fine"

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Ozzie Ogawa
Community Member
4 months ago

Happened a lot back in college, luckily most of my classes started at 1 A.M so i could wake up late.

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#23

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Education is the only way out of the horrible situation. This was made very clear to me right from a young age. I remember everyone in my family checking in on my grades and plans for the future. Almost on a monthly basis! Helped my extensively in the long run.

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Helen Haley
Community Member
4 months ago

Only if you lived near a relatively good school. If it were a school that had completely given up, great grades doesn't do much if you aren't actually learning the topic. Education equality should be a huge focus for this country.

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#24

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Museum, amusement park, skiing,and skating? That’s for rich people.

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Mohammad Ammar
Community Member
4 months ago

Aren't most museums free or really cheap for nationals?

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
4 months ago

LOL. That's such a nice idea. No. Welcome to America. Also, very few of the major free-admission type museums are anywhere near about 1/2 the population, so.... Yep.

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Mica Fiverline
Community Member
4 months ago

when i was a kid, there was this small museum that allowed local kids in for free. You better believe I went there every chance I got, sometimes several times a week. Better than sitting at my friends place, watching all the toys she had and being reminded that I didn't have that... On the upside, I developed a lifelong fascination with dinosaurs, so theres also that^^ When life withholds cool barbies, go for giant lizards *lol*

CincyReds
Community Member
4 months ago

I can understand the skiing, that just seems like a really expensive sport or hobby

Iggy
Community Member
4 months ago

Our museums and galleries are free so we went many times. Wonderful places. If you are ever in Dublin, make sure you go to the natural history museum. National museums and galleries should always be free.

Memere
Community Member
4 months ago

Our family trips were mom, dad, and 4 kids in the station wagon. We'd drive west to Colorado & see Pikes Peak, Royal Gorge, or one of the national parks - all free. Then drive south to New Mexico & visit my mom's brother & go to White Sands Nat'l. Park - free. The next year, we'd reverse the same trip - drive to New Mexico, the up to Colorado & then home. The highlight of my life was when we actually flew to the U.S. Virgin Islands for a week - my dad worked for an airline & we could have flown all over the country on employee passes but he refused to until the year before I graduated high school.

Kendra Miller
Community Member
4 months ago

Check your local library, chances are they have museum passes you can borrow. Mine certainly does and if you are in the library's catchment area, your library card is free.

Kent Sylvester
Community Member
4 months ago

every museum I go to has a free day, heck that's when I always plan to go to make things easier

Petra Schaap
Community Member
4 months ago

we didnt have a lot of money, but we saw every single amusement park and musea when we were young. (but only a few times) We did bring our own food and drinks. Skating? outside our house on the frozen ditches.

Jods
Community Member
4 months ago

Never had to pay to visit a museum.

natie marie
Community Member
4 months ago

museums are free here.. id love to go skiing.. but that is for rich people

あんぱんまん
Community Member
4 months ago

i just wanna touch snow... thats what i wanna do for now...

Isog Sargent
Community Member
4 months ago

Except the free days at museums

Sue User
Community Member
4 months ago

I grew up near washington dc, all the Smithsonians are free. I was shocked when I went on a field trip and they asked for money.

Hailey Scullen-Miller
Community Member
4 months ago

we went to the cheap fairs when we had the money sometimes, but other then that this is true

Jods
Community Member
4 months ago

My mum had a bakers shop in our village and the fairground people used to give her free ride tickets in exchange for her agreeing to put a poster in the window.

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CharliAnn Olney
Community Member
3 months ago

Amusement parks, skiing and skating I can see. City and state parks and museums are usually free or very low cost and are resources that should be used!

Patti Renwick Parrish
Community Member
3 months ago

So are some grade school kids' birthday parties. My granddaughter was invited to a 'theme' party to be held at a ritzy venue. The cost of the party will be more than my single mom daughter makes in a month!

Isabel Care
Community Member
3 months ago

Add cinema, cafe, pub. If it's free it's fine

Marianne Nielsen
Community Member
3 months ago

In Denmark most museums have one Day tricketfree entrance

Rascal Photo
Community Member
3 months ago

Used skates are cheap and local ponds are free

Kelly Hartle
Community Member
3 months ago

The only time I went to the zoo as a kid was in the summer when the library had its summer reading program. If you read a certain number of books, you got to go to the zoo on a field trip. It was always the best part of my summer, and it made me a lifetime reader.

Lola
Community Member
4 months ago

Went skiing last week and it cost around $1000 for both of us for two days. This of course included accommodations and food. But skiing alone was around $600. Amusement parks are not far behind.

InfectedVoice
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Still haven't ever been skiing we went to museums on school trips and skating was for everyone here.

DogMom
Community Member
4 months ago

In high school my friends and I would get seasons passes for the local amusement park every summer and that would be one of our main places to hang out. I remember waiting in line once and overheard a kid ask her dad if they could get seasons passes. The dad’s reply was “seasons passes are what rich people get their kids so they can drop them at the park and leave them there all day”. I was really perplexed since my family wasn’t rich and a little offended because that felt like a dig at my parents.

Andreas Simon
Community Member
4 months ago

I more hate the selfie - madness. Just enjoy!

Andy Mutch
Community Member
4 months ago

Not museums - they're free

Gacha tomboy
Community Member
4 months ago

It truly is because everything these days are so expensive

LJ Robinson
Community Member
4 months ago

I went to one museum during my childhood. My mom and dad scrimped and saved and we all did without so we could go to the Chicago Field Museum for the King Tut Exhibit. 1977. I will never forget it.

Martin John
Community Member
4 months ago

I went roller skating every weekend...it was very cheap to do so and if I hadn't spent all of my allowance, my parents could give me an extra dollar or two just so they could have peace and quiet on a Saturday afternoon!

Robin DJW
Community Member
4 months ago

We took our kids to museums or zoos, never to amusement parks, skiing, skating or movies.

Oskar vanZandt
Community Member
4 months ago

Our usual family vacations were camping trips or visits to family... I can only remember going to the movies a handful of times before I could drive myself and not many more thereafter. Excursions to cinemas/drive-ins, museum, amusement parks etc. were seen as very occasional treats. I do believe people do expect too much nowadays- they're not content with less.

Suebee70
Community Member
4 months ago

Amusement parks - I definitely get that. We couldn't afford that. The one and only time I visited one (Cedar Point) was with our church youth group - and I got to go because my mom was a chaperone & driver for the trip. We could never have afforded it otherwise. Skiing & skating? I grew up in Michigan - we had free ice rinks and ski hills everywhere. There were paid ones, of course, but we just used what was around us!

Caroline
Community Member
4 months ago

Going on holidays too. I never went, while all the other kids in my class/school talked excitedly about theirs after the summer.

Lorelai Dewrell
Community Member
4 months ago

disney land never ever in your dreams

Matilda Haschek
Community Member
4 months ago

i go a few times a year and its super fun but my parents sacrifice so much for those fun things for us kids and i never realised untill now

M O'Connell
Community Member
4 months ago

My personal favorite museum, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has 52 designated days per year when Illinois residents can visit the museum for free. You really don't want to though, because those are the days when school groups of thousands of children come through. Otherwise it is $12 per child, and $22 per adult (plus more fees for special exhibits or their theater).

Winx
Community Member
4 months ago

We didn't even go to the state fair unless we got in for free through 4-H, and we weren't allowed to play games, go on rides, or buy anything.

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Reading through the thread and all of the responses can hit you like a truck. Some of us remember being in those exact same situations. While others (who had the luck of living a comfortable middle or even upper-class life) realized just how emotionally tough you have to be when you’re poor. There’s no room for whining or weakness when you’ve no money, have piling debts, and aren’t sure where your next meal will be coming from or if you’ll end being evicted.

#25

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Homemade birthday cakes, homemade pizza, we NEVER went out to eat. Fast food/restaurants were a waste of money. Soda was a treat, as was sugared cereal. You got sox and undies as stocking stuffers at Christmas. You wore your clothes 2-3 times before washing them unless they were obviously dirty or smelly. You washed and dried zipper bags to reuse. We never used paper towels to clean.

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J. Zingler
Community Member
4 months ago

I would prefer homemade everytime.

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#26

Number one rule of growing up poor. Avoid buying anything nice for yourself and feel absolutely guilty if you do.

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Helenium
Community Member
4 months ago

yeh thats me now, i glue and sew and repair all my clothes but if someone wants anything lol im throwing money at them

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#27

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules In the UK- do not answer the door. Do not answer the phone. When the man is looking through the window, make sure you can't be seen. Do not tell anyone who knocks on the door where the parents work.

This turned out to be doorstep lenders like Provident- no idea how they are still around these days.

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Samantha Comerford
Community Member
4 months ago

God I remember this well . Hiding behind the couch.

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#28

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules You get a job when you’re 15, and it becomes more important than high school.

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Helen Haley
Community Member
4 months ago

At least one. And unofficial jobs before that. Cleaning or delivery or something.

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#29

Keep your hair brushed, your clothes clean, and be articulate and polite in all circumstances. We were not going to be "trash" just because we were poor.

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Tami
Community Member
4 months ago

Take care of your teeth too. Fixing them later is crazy expensive, even if you're not poor.

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#30

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules We weren't allowed to do any kind of extra curricular activities. So, no instruments, no joining any kind of sports or girl scouts or anything that required an upfront investment for uniforms or the season. Walmart shoes.

My dad once said I wasn't really in need of glasses, that I just wanted to look like all my four eyed friends? lol (spoiler alert, totally needed them)

Off brand everything.

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MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
4 months ago

yep, i grew up poor in post soviet country, so no walmart, but can relate to pretty much everything

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#31

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Never fill up the gas tank. You don't want to be in a situation where you have gas in your car but no groceries.

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von Funnyname
Community Member
4 months ago

Never go under a quarter tank because you can't trust the gauges on older cars and it won't cost you as much as when it's on E

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#32

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Generous borrowing and “burning” culture. Everything you own is available to be borrowed by other poor people. My family had an extensive movie collection (especially when we could record movies from cable to VHS tapes), and our neighborhood friends were welcome to borrow what they needed. Games, movies, CDs. We swapped and borrowed a lot. Often times, it was only long enough to burn a copy to have for oneself.

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Vorknkx
Community Member
4 months ago

Story of my life. Also - becoming an expert on finding pirated copies of movies, software, video games (and cracks for them)...

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#33

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Most meals were "experiments" made from the food we got from the food pantry.

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LoveThePanda
Community Member
4 months ago

Survival meals that are still eaten to this day, but not so much as an experiment anymore

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#34

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Going to fast food (with any adult), you only order off of the dollar menu.

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BIG FOOT
Community Member
4 months ago

I always order off the dollar menu no matter how much money I have or if I'm with someone its just better in my opinion

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#35

People-Share-Growing-Up-Poor-Unwritten-Rules Its funny now seeing my leftovers as a bonus snack and not part of the next days meal.

Had some weird lunches packed for me. Like cream cheese and olives in a burrito wrap.

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Vorknkx
Community Member
4 months ago

In SE Europe, that would be liver sandwiches... (shudder)

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