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I Grew Up Poor

Personal Stories, Advice, and Support 3,380 People

    Being Poor

    By John Scalzi Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs. Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV. Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they’re what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on...
    ConfusedInCollege ConfusedInCollege 22-25, F 3 Responses Dec 7, 2012

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    But like hell if I'm gonna let

    that stop me from getting what I want in life!
    joadda joadda 22-25, M 1 Response Mar 17, 2015

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    Always makes me appreciate things more.

    Especially after college, I am very savvy.
    sh4274 sh4274 18-21, F Sep 11, 2015

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    vicjustvic vicjustvic 46-50, M 1 Response Jun 20, 2015

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    It makes me mad when people expect you to have

    all the money in the world, some people do, some people don't But I can say that being poor has made me a lot more creative with stuff. If we don't have money to buy something, we make it. It's so weird when me and my friends hang out, they're more.. Middle class I suppose...
    deleted deleted 26-30 4 Responses Oct 14, 2015

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    I love buying stationery.

    I buy lots of them for myself and I give them away as gifts when my pupils do well in class. Recently, I bought my first set of rubber stamps and was having a jolly good time doing up my 2016 planner. I indulge in these kinds of mindless things quite a lot. I suspect it is...
    novembermoon novembermoon 41-45, F 3 Responses Sep 25, 2015

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    No One Really Knows

    I grew up dirt poor.  For a while I payed the bills instead of my parents.  For a short while I was homeless.  It was bad, but I'm actually kind of glad it happened.  I've always wanted to be the best person I can be, and the experience gave me a lot of...
    Xuan Xuan 26-30, M 9 Responses Jul 1, 2010

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    Mom altered three dresses

    for me. Those were my favourite ones that had grown too small over the years. I wonder if ladies in the same age bracket as me find it hard to get work dresses appropriate for our age. I have always stuck to those few couple of dresses for work. With age catching up with me, I...
    novembermoon novembermoon 41-45, F 12 Responses Jan 29

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    Humble Beginnings

    My parents had very little money bringing up myself and my two brothers and sister. Being the first born clothes tended to be passed down to my youngest brothers. My father worked extremely hard, and my mother did two jobs as well as bringing up us lot. Growing up I began to...
    Grantor9 Grantor9 51-55, M 3 Responses Sep 7, 2013

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    Nobody gets this. I share this with others

    and they respond "me too". Then they start talking about college or studying abroad or being in high school sports. And I'm like NO! My junior and senior year were spent helping my Mom pay the mortgage on the house we grew up in and pay utilities. School was a daily obstacle...
    poorwhitetrash poorwhitetrash 46-50, F 1 Response Sep 14, 2014

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    I think one of the main things I remember about

    being poor was the food. Only when I look back do I realize how food deprived I was. Coffee was the kind where you put the grounds in the cup and then put the water on top (disgusting to even think about). I remember that we rarely had any fruits in the house to snack on. We...
    Sheepdog22 Sheepdog22 41-45, M 1 Response Feb 3

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    But Life Was Good

    I grew up in a poor "Irish ghetto" section of Boston. Think where Matt Damon lived in Good Will Hunting and you'll have a pretty good idea. Third floor of a tripledecker. My folks both immigrated from Ireland in the 50's. My father worked a full time job and two part-time...
    deleted deleted 26-30 2 Responses Dec 1, 2011

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    I didn't realize I was poor

    as a child. I thought a bedroom having two bunk beds for my 3 brothers an I was normal. I though everyone had to drink powered milk and eat canned peaches. I thought that anyone who have two pairs of shoes was wasting money because you couldn't wear them both at the same time...
    Baddayoverdose Baddayoverdose 26-30, M 1 Response Sep 16, 2015

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    I grew up poor moving from house to house

    school to school. Most of the time it was me my mother and my brother living in apartments, rooms and basements of houses. I eventually moved to an attached town house in the crime stricken poverty part of my city. I always had family members or friends of the family living with...
    penetration penetration 26-30, M 1 Response Mar 22, 2015

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    That's why I'm working

    so hard in school... I don't wanna stay like this
    Norial Norial 13-15, F 3 Responses Dec 1, 2015

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    We never had much money

    as a family when I was a kid but we were happy. My mother had to make do and mend all the time when it came to our clothes and we always wore hand me downs or something that my mother had made or knit. We never had mod cons in our house like my school mated did. A fridge was...
    Stillwetshisbed Stillwetshisbed 46-50, M Jan 29

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    We (my mother, me and my 8 years elder brother)

    lived in a very small, tiny flat (2 rooms) and had to share kitchen, bath and toilet with my aunt. I always had to wear my brothers clothes because there was never money to buy some clthes for me. Sometimes there was even no money to buy food so that we often could eat only some...
    Loretta78 Loretta78 36-40, F 2 Responses Sep 16, 2015

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    I remember wearing a lot of hand-me-downs from

    my brother, even though I'm a girl. I remember my parents buying my toys at the dollar store. One time, I got a toy from an actual toy store, and it was my favorite toy, even though it was probably hard for my parents to find the money to buy it. Actually, for the first eight...
    hiddenkitty hiddenkitty 18-21, F 1 Response Aug 22, 2015

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    bmorev bmorev 22-25, F Jun 29, 2015

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    Growing up was tragic.

    . Tragic that I haven't spoken to my family in years for instance my grandma, cousins etc because of this stupid fight we had because my grandma never loved us but my dad's other brother and always supported him. Tragic that my dad was the only one working in the family while...
    emineoz emineoz 18-21, F Jan 18

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    myownbox myownbox 26-30, F 1 Response Jun 11, 2015

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    Ya....right

    I grew up poor, I dress in whatever is on sale. Besides, this was Las Vegas and it was hot outside. I had saved money and took vacation from work so I could party in sin city for my 21st birthday. One night while coming out of the club in one of the hotels, i passed by a high...
    endofseptember endofseptember 26-30, F 2 Responses Aug 5, 2010

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    I'm one of eleven children,

    I'm number ten. My father passed away when I was four.My mother never remarried and she was a house wife she never worked she raised all her children alone.I grew up very poor social security checks and 6 brother and 4 sisters we didn't have much.Many a nights I had cereal for my...
    AfanOfbigNaturals AfanOfbigNaturals 46-50, M 1 Response Apr 5, 2015

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    Real

    I grew up in Perfectville USA, a quiet town with great schools and neighborhood after neighborhood of beautiful houses with manicured yards and pretty cars parked safely out of sight in their garages. Now drive past all those houses and you get to my street, one single ugly...
    deleted deleted 26-30 31 Responses Aug 28, 2008

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    It honestly makes for a much humbler person .

    I appreciate much of what me and my mother been through 💕
    anjellii15 anjellii15 18-21, F 5 Responses Sep 17, 2015

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    My Life, A Horror Story

    Having to lie because of my poor, unhealthy and unstable financial situation. Feeling dirty because we don't have access to warm water in this dirty dumpster home full with hoarder stuff (books, newspapers) (boiler broke) and have to boil water in little amounts. Still can't...
    GenderPunk GenderPunk 18-21 2 Responses Apr 5, 2013

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    Love Is What Matters

    And I have a very dear mom! I won't complain about what was lacking, all what matters is the love my mother gave to me and my three siblings. I remember one birthday, my mother had a sad face. I asked her, what's up? She said, that she hadn't enough money to buy a present and...
    RickiChickie RickiChickie 51-55, F 24 Responses May 18, 2011

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    The Pickle Jar

    I have been wanting to post in this one for awhile but couldn't find the words.  I didn't want my story to come off as a cry for others to feel sorry for me or as me throwing myself a pity party.  I hate pity parties and I don't like being felt sorry for.  I saw this email...
    snowberry75 snowberry75 36-40, F 20 Responses Jun 2, 2011

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    My family used to live in an abandoned shack

    near a dumpster. I had 7 siblings, 5 of them boys. My sister's and I slept on a couple piled blankets in one of the very small rooms. My brothers slept on a similar amount of blankets. We each had a thin blanket to cover ourselves. They were very small. Summer wasn't so bad...
    sugarberrysweet989 sugarberrysweet989 36-40 3 Responses Jun 13, 2015

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    Well, sort of. My parents divorced

    when I was a year old and my mother got custody. I saw my father on the weekends. In my whole life living with my mother me and my sister have resided in 4 apartments, 2 trailers, and my mom got desperate enough that we lived with my maternal grandmother for a good 6 or 7 years...
    TheEnduringSunrise TheEnduringSunrise 18-21, F Mar 7, 2015

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    I Grew Up Filthy Poor

    This is my first story so please understand I very new at this but this is a story I had to tell . Firstly I love my mum and she did the best job she could , but she has made me who I am today but as a child we was very poor and I mean poor not just going with out poor I mean...
    Dirtykimmy Dirtykimmy 22-25, F 6 Responses Aug 2, 2012

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    Dirt Poor

    Growing up we didn't have much money and I didn't have many toys, but that never stopped me from having a good time. When I was 10 my Dad got me my first pocket knife, and I'd go out and find the perfect fallen tree branches to carve toy guns and swords out of. When I was 12 I...
    FordPrefect42 FordPrefect42 41-45, M 89 Responses May 18, 2011

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    I've always complained a lot about not having

    money like my friends, but I know my parents do all they can to support me and my siblings. My dad gets paid around 800-900 dollars every 2 weeks, after paying all the bills, we have around $150 to buy food and stuff. I only remember a couple of times, in the winter, where we...
    deleted deleted 26-30 6 Responses Jun 9, 2015

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    I remember going to buy groceries with Granny

    and when she starts digging in her purse for money to pay, I get worried that she will not have enough. I remember holes in my shoes that I would be embarrassed about. I remember wearing the same uniform for four years and being the only girl in the most faded blue pinafore in...
    novembermoon novembermoon 41-45, F 5 Responses Mar 15, 2015

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    When I was in primary three,

    our art teacher instructed us to 'go and ask your parents to buy brown paper and then make a sewing bag to put your cross stitch piece'. She made it clear that 'those without a brown sewing bag will not get the next strand of thread for your sewing'. She went on to say she was...
    novembermoon novembermoon 41-45, F 4 Responses Sep 25, 2015

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    This is my mother's story told to me in

    Chinese: 'My mother instructed me to follow the hen to the coop. There, she said, you would find the eggs. Bring them back to me because your father needs them to make ormelek (omelette) for the British soldiers at the canteen. So I brought my four-year-old brother and told him...
    novembermoon novembermoon 41-45, F 1 Response Oct 17, 2015

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    I Grew Up Poor So What !!!!

    when i was 5 years old, we used to live with our relatives my father don't have a permanent job that time, our house is empty we don't have a single piece of furniture at our house only our clothes on a box.. i remember my older brother and i used to watch TV at our relatives but...
    deleted deleted 26-30 2 Responses Aug 24, 2012

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    I lived in a trailer.

    ... But my dad got a better job and now I live in a 2 story house.
    AfterFall AfterFall 22-25, F 3 Responses Mar 15, 2015

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    Why the hell would I buy 150 dollar ugg boots

    when I can go to dollar general and buy 5 dollar boots just like them.
    deleted deleted 26-30 3 Responses Oct 3, 2015

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    Relative Terms

    Poor is a relative word.  It all depends on what you put it up against. I have a few oddities from most Americans because of my upbringing. - I have no issues with sharing toothbrushes.  My brother always hides his whenever he stays with me. - I like to cuddle with...
    Krypton Krypton 31-35, F 14 Responses Mar 26, 2009

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    I grew up in a working class household.

    My father wasn't bad off (he was actually a bank manager) but left my mum nearly nothing after he left her for another woman. I was raised by my mom and from that time it was a constant struggle for money for school fees. Fortunately I did manage to get an education, but in many...
    BasilFawlty89 BasilFawlty89 26-30, M Nov 17, 2015

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    It's funny, how some people never realize how

    much money they have, how much they waste on absolutely nothing important, how much they take for granted, because not everyone has money to spend on ****.
    deleted deleted 26-30 5 Responses Jul 4, 2015

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    Nothing like remembering your mom grabbing old

    bread from the bread outlet store marked "animal feed not for human consumption" and telling you to be quiet while she lied that you were going to feed the ducks with it, and you knew it was for your lunch.
    crystalmethane crystalmethane 18-21, F Jul 13, 2015

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    Government Peanut Butter

    A friend of mine asked me to share this story again.  Growing up poor is not necessarily the worst thing that can happen to a person. I am writing this story after reading a moving story about growing up poor.  Because I think I am terminally unique, I like to imagine...
    childoftheland childoftheland 46-50, F 26 Responses Aug 24, 2009

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    I am grateful I grew up poor.

    We are more blessed than those who were handed everything. We know how to rub 2 nickles together to make a quarter & we aren't nearly as wasteful. We are far richer than those who don't have anything besides many expensive possessions.
    Shellybelle713 Shellybelle713 41-45, F 3 Responses Feb 3, 2014

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