People Who Grew Up Poor Are Sharing The Things They Considered Luxuries

When you grow up poor, a lot of things that others take for granted can feel like luxuries: taking vacations, having functioning appliances, new clothes, and even a door to your room.

On Reddit, people who grew up financially disadvantaged are sharing the things they considered luxuries as well as the complicated emotions that still accompany them when they go to purchase items such as clothing.

Also, some people are just honestly complete jerks to mock children who have no control over their financial situation—and those reactions stay with them, too.  


“Going places during school vacation. The kids would be all like ‘what!? you’ve never been to xyz amusement park!?’ No, Trisha. My family doesn’t even have a car. Which is another luxury to me.” — lillithfair4


“Being allowed to turn on the heat during the winter, and also being able to hire a professional to fix broken appliances, plumbing, etc.” — theabsoluteunit420


“Our oven broke twice and our landlord refused to fix it. We couldn’t afford the repair costs for it, so used the stove only. The oven was only for ‘special occasions’ and if you managed to get it working. I’m still surprised when my oven turns on and I go to other places and people just be using their ovens willy-nilly.” — heavenlyangle


“My Mom had 7 children in 10 years, 1950-1960. I remember having a whole bottle (those smallish glass ones that came out of the machine for 10cents) of soft drink to my self instead of sharing 1 bottle between all 7 of us. I was perhaps 5 years old. I still remember this as the best thing ever.” — someonesgoat


“Parents staying home. I was always alone.” — Public_Personality_2


“I got pretty excited to be given my own bed.” — TheRavingRaccoon


“Staying at someone’s house who wasn’t poor, like a relative or friend. Their house was also so clean, beautiful, pictures on the wall, knick knacks on the counter, and carpet you could play on because it was clean. I spent my entire teenage years hiding where I lived.” — smashingpumpkinspice


“A hot shower. Cold showers were always available, but when you scraped enough cash to get some diesel fuel and get the burner to kick on long enough to have a hot shower man, absolutely nothing better.” — imthescubakid


“New clothes. I grew up pretty poor (no TV, no toys, but had a Sears catalog). My dad got in a serious accident when I was in 4th grade and almost lost his life. He won a small settlement from the community college he was working at and I was able to buy new clothes for the first time in my life. Before this all I ever had were hand me downs from my cousin and donation clothes from the church. Most were worn to the point of having patches on the knees. The worst part about getting new clothes for the first time is I felt terrible the whole time picking out new clothes because I always felt like a financial burden to my parents. I remember going to Miller’s Outpost and picking out typical 80’s clothes (OP, TnC, etc.). It’s funny how growing up poor affects my everyday choices, for better or worse. I’ll never outgrow some of the feelings I had as a poor kid and I feel for any kid who has to endure a childhood of poverty. It will affect them and their choices for the rest of their life.” — pewpewdeez


“Honestly didn’t know that pasta roni was 1$ until I was a grown ass man. I thought that was some gourmet shit.” — debtincarnate

Patricia Grisafi

Patricia Grisafi, PhD, is a freelance writer and educator. Her work has appeared in Salon, Vice, Bitch, Bustle, Broadly, The Establishment, and elsewhere. She is passionate about pit bull rescue, cursed objects, and designer sunglasses.