People Who Grew Up In Poor Households Describe 20 Struggles That Rich People Might Not Understand

Published 2 years ago

The lifestyle of a kid who grows up in a low-income family is quite different from those who are highly privileged. ‘Buying kids clothes that are big so that they last a few years’ or ‘the feeling of true hunger’ are some things that rich people might not understand because they hardly ever face those struggles.

Recently, a Reddit user asked people, “Redditors who grew up poor, what is something that ‘rich kids’ will never understand?”, and their thread quickly went viral, receiving numerous eye-opening answers. Check out some of the best answers in the gallery below!

More info: Reddit

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Image source: Scared_Difference_24

“I remember coming back from summer vacation and dreading going back to school for the mere fact I had nothing interesting to share about the summer. All my classmates would talk about their vacations and I would make something up so I wouldn’t sound boring.”


Image source: pokemontrainer-anna

“Buying kids clothes that are too big so they last a couple of years.”


Image source: AsexualAccountant

“That it never goes away. I want from homeless growing up to having a very comfy six figure job. I still find myself acting as if I am always living on the edge of homelessness again. Thinking I can’t try new foods because it I don’t like it then I won’t get dinner. That I’m a bad person for throwing out things instead of trying to reuse them. I get serious panic attacks I think I did bad at work because my brain still tells me I’m one paycheck from the street.”


Image source: korbah

“True hunger. I don’t mean that casual “I guess I should eat…” feeling, I mean that hollow, cramping pain deep in your stomach, the hunger that feels like your own body is eating itself from the inside out and that drives you crazy to the point you’ll eat anything you can chew through just to try and keep the pain away.

Nobody should have to feel that, poor or not, especially a child.”


Image source: madeto-stray

“Yogurt and other grocery containers used as Tupperware. A bunch of basins for hand-washing clothes in the bathtub.”


Image source: HermitWilson

“A lifetime of clutter because it’s so hard to throw anything away even when you’re no longer poor.”


Image source: madeto-stray

“I think Western poor houses would tend to be more cluttered. You can’t rebuy things easily, so you end up keeping around doubles of things you already have, or extra things you aren’t using but might need sometime. You don’t know if you’ll be able to afford it in the future.”


Image source: dawnangel89

“Diluted dishwashing soap that doubles as hand-washing soap.”


Image source: dolphinwaxer

“When it’s really hot in the South, it can be hard to sleep. I keep a mister water bottle by the bed and mist the sheet before I go to sleep, and periodically cool off through the night.”


Image source: Nivasha

“Seeing your mother wear 20+ year old worn out clothing and what amount to rags she collected from hospital visits, all so her child could have the best. Then the sadness of not being able to spoil her when you finally have your own money because she passed away too young.

Well… I just made myself sad lol.”


Image source: ModernSwampWitch

“There’s a trick to it’ is a phrase to indicate something is messed up, but not enough to fix it. See also: ‘Ya gotta jiggle the handle.”


Image source: Sekret_One

“I’ve got one: not having vacations.

I’m in my thirties now. Work in tech. Work thing they had some trivia game and one of the questions was both “(senior leaders) A and B went to this same ski lodge last so and so”.

Had been functioning as the team ‘ace’ with the more brainy questions- for that I just leaned back and went “Welp, no help to us here; I don’t know any ski lodges”

My whole team, baffled prodded me going “wait, you don’t know any? Just guess the one you went to as a kid with your family”

So . . . explained to like 3 other adults that poor families don’t do that. I had never had a family vacation. Winter meant hauling firewood.”


Image source: Damionstjames

“This actually is painful to type, but, here goes. Sometimes, only being able to see your mother for fifteen minutes a day when she picks you up or drops you off at school, because she has to work 18 hours a day just to support you. Having to wear shoes from Pay-Less because your mom can’t afford anything better. Having to borrow food from other kids at school because your mom can’t afford food, and the school lunches aren’t free. Having to sometimes go a day or two without eating at all because you lost your food stamp card. Only having 12 channels of TV, and that TV is 30 years old, and only 14 inches. Having to watch other kids get everything they wanted for their birthdays, just so you can kind of pretend its your birthday party.”


Image source: Poenkel

“Watching your mom have to put items back as there is it not enough money to pay for everything.”


Image source: DragonsLoveBoxes

“Having dinner and knowing that your Mum isn’t eating, not because she isn’t hungry, but because she’s making sure her kids have food first.”


Image source: twentythreeturtles

“Why your parents are incredibly strict and won’t let you go anywhere or do anything.

My mom never allowed me to go with friends because she knew I wouldn’t be able to afford hanging out with them. I always thought she was just really strict, but really she just wanted to spare me the embarrassment.”


Image source: BirdGuy64

“When I went to school (in the ’70s). At lunch time we had to stand in line in the hall before going into the cafeteria. they made those of us on ‘free lunches’ stand in the back of the line. It was quite humiliating.”


Image source: Leeono

“Sleep for dinner.”


Image source: cmconnor2

“My ex was wealthy and never understood why I don’t answer phone numbers I don’t recognize. We just never did that at my house, and now I understand it was probably to avoid debt collectors.”


Image source: JohnnyEdwrd

“Back in the Dominican Republic, my mom would lean a chair against each exit door at night and put metal cups on top of the chairs. If someone tried forcing the door open, the metal cups would fall — alarming us of the danger. That was our ‘security’ system for years.”

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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low income homes, low income lifestyle, poor people, struggles of poor people
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