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What are some of the things that give you an idea of how someone grew up financially? In this article, we will explore how certain indicators can give us insights into someone’s financial upbringing. Childhood poverty can have a profound impact on individuals, shaping their lives and influencing their attitudes and behaviors in adulthood. While discussing this sensitive topic, it is essential to approach with empathy and avoid making assumptions. By recognizing common signs, we can develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the resilience of those who have faced economic hardships.
A user shared, “Planning the grocery shop based on specials and reduced to sell items you can freeze. Buying chuck steak and slow cooking a kilo of that s****t and eating stews for a week.”
One user said, “Adding water to their soap when it’s low and taking paper napkins from every store and restaurant for home or the car.”
Good Care Of Materialistic Items
A reader commented, “My friends say I take really good care of the things I own like my electronics, vehicles, outdoor gear. I grew up really poor with 5 other siblings so anything new was played with until it was dust.”
This reader added, “I kept talking to my wife about repairing a coat, and she kept suggesting that I just get a new one instead of patching an old one. I felt like it was just a hole, no need to purchase a brand new coat.”
A user stated, “Having a hoard of obsolete but still functional hardware, and not throwing away stuff that could plausibly still be used.”
This commenter said, “Any time I buy the meat, I look for the yellow “this is about to expire” tag, purchase it, and freeze it. Growing up poor, we didn’t eat a lot of meat, so I try to keep my freezer stocked because it makes me feel like I made it but still with the cheap stuff.”
A top-liked comment said, “Currently, I make a great salary, but when I get asked if I want to hang out with friends and co-workers, my mind immediately wants to suggest free things to do over anything that may cost money.”
A commenter said, “I still have several items of clothing that were hand-me-downs from friends and family members. I also have a lot of older furniture and older things furnishing my living space with really nothing brand new because “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
Saving and Budgeting
This reader said, “My friend pulls down well over six figures per year. But just try telling him that. I’ve seen him lose his sh***t over a $50 purchase. “Man, I just don’t know if this is in the budget!” I found out that he had nearly $12k in his account. But here he was sweating $50 in groceries.” But he grew up with pretty much nothing. Coca-Cola was a luxury item in his home when he was a kid.”
Repairing and Repurposing
One user shared, “I wear shirts out until they start getting holes. Then they become lounge/shop shirts for a while. Then when they’re too worn for even that, they become shop rags.
Creative Meal Planning
This user commented, “I still have the gift cards for local fast food chains that we were given at Christmas because it’s a meal when I really need it. The thing is, I’ve not been truly food insecure for decades, but the thought of burning a resource I might need while I have the cash to pay right now is overwhelming. I just can’t squirrel everything away.”
Avoiding Food and Resource Waste
A commenter said, “I don’t always eat lunch during the day, and I once told my boss that going through the day hungry is something that you kind of get used to. He stopped me immediately and said, “You grew up poor, didn’t you?”
Utilizing Public Transportation
A top-liked comment said, “This is a weird one, but I once went to a club and saw the next bus was only at 6 am, and it was roughly 3-4 am. Instead of stopping in a cab like everyone, I sat at the bus station for two hours to save money. I still struggle with this habit but I’m working it out!”
Agonizing Over Reviews
A reader divulged, “I don’t know if it’s a by-product of spending several years working multiple jobs and living paycheck to paycheck, but I now research the crap out of everything I buy to make sure I’m getting the most bang for my buck.”
Valuing Education and Scholarships
One user mentioned, “People who grew up poor may have a greater appreciation for education and the opportunities it can provide. They may also be more motivated to succeed academically and professionally in order to improve their financial situation.”
Reliance on Government Assistance
This user commented, “I grew up dirt poor, and I’m very conservative with my spending, savings, and investments as I never wanted to be put in a position to require any type of Government assistance, charity, or to rely on the family to support myself and family.”
Safety In Toxicity
A user shared this, “Being so used to toxic adults, you actually become accustomed to and seek out trauma and toxicity because it feels familiar and safe.”
Appreciating Hard Work
A poster mentioned, “I can afford any night out or meal at a restaurant, but I’m still like, “I work very hard for the money I get. I’m not going to waste this whole chunk for something that is not going to make me ecstatic,” so I drink at home, shop for cheap groceries, make my own meals, etc. Being frugal is a skill learned out of necessity, but it is still great when you actually can see the savings build up in your account because you don’t spend on stuff you’re going to forget about the next day.”
Demonstrating Empathy and Compassion
A user added, “Growing up, I had a lot of good people who bought me food, clothes, toys, and nice things, and now I have the money, I like doing it for friends or family that are down on their luck. I was grateful for it at the time, and now I’m grateful I get to do it for people I care about.”
Finally, a poster shared, “When their birthday comes around, and they don’t receive anything. They’re not upset about it because it’s the way it’s always been. They don’t expect. It’s sad.”
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