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I Grew Up Poor

Personal Stories, Advice, and Support 3,154 People

    Meagaroni18 Meagaroni18 22-25, F 3 Responses Jul 4, 2014

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    I grew up in Detroit with my mother,

    step father and half brothers. My mom worked and my step dad stayed at home. My mother was on food stamps and my step dad on SSC. She always bought generic, never splurged. There was water for cereal when we ran out of milk. Stealing ketchup, mustard and salt and pepper packs...
    kelseysimone kelseysimone 22-25, F 1 Response Jun 15, 2014

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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...
    Bflyboo14 Bflyboo14 13-15, F 6 Responses Jun 9

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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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    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 29 Responses Aug 28, 2008

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    Yeah I grew up a cattle ranch

    that more often cost more to run than it brought in. We did without a lot of the things that the city kids took for granted, things like electricity. We got power on the ranch in the early 1970's and party line telephone. We never had much money but we had the most spectacular...
    Manfromthemountain Manfromthemountain 56-60, M Feb 2, 2014

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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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    vicjustvic vicjustvic 41-45, M 1 Response Jun 20

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    We had to continually get food parcels.

    Which were always expired food and lots of instant desserts and stuff you could never make a meal out of. We survived on bargain deals and no one ever helped us out food wise. We never travelled or ever went on holiday. Mom could never afford for me to attend any groups or...
    1lonelydaisy 1lonelydaisy 41-45 4 Responses Oct 14, 2014

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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

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    I Still Remember It As If It Was Yesterday..

    i grew up poor..my father was a gambler and would constantly put us down financially by gambling everything we had. i still remember not eating because i wanted to give my food to my mom. what a terrible thing to feel and experience at a young age. but it has made me who i am to...
    deleted deleted 26-30 5 Responses Jan 18, 2012

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    When I was a baby, the only furniture my

    parents owned was a crib for me, a mattress for them, and a radio they put by the window to get a signal. My family has always been poor, but my parents taught me that you don't need money to be happy.
    Spyro93 Spyro93 18-21, M Jul 8

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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 2 Responses Feb 3, 2014

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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

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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 1 Response Jul 13

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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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    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 2 Responses Jun 13

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    My parents divorced and my dad got custody of

    me, but still had to pay my mom child support (!). So for about 10 years we were pretty poor. Now we weren't as poor as most others' stories here, but poor nonetheless. I always had enough food to eat, although my dad sometimes went without. No relatives to speak of, so no...
    coverallfan coverallfan 41-45, M 2 Responses Sep 12, 2014

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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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    Well not necessarily poor,

    but I was definitely raised in a "bare necessity" type of home. Hand-me-downs and home cooked meals were a regular, and I have never had all of the latest things. I feel like it's preparing me that much more for success in my future, though. The reason I feel that way is because...
    landhoee landhoee 18-21, M Mar 3, 2014

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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 6 Responses Mar 15

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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 19 Responses Jun 2, 2011

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    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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    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 ****.
    Bflyboo14 Bflyboo14 13-15, F 6 Responses Jul 4

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    I'm not gonna say we had nothing,

    because that's not true, but I'd definitely wasn't good. We had to live without electricity for a while because my mother was constantly drinking and not working. My dad wasn't around because my mom had pretty much separated from him, and he wouldn't have helped anyway because...
    dMajorb dMajorb 18-21, M Jul 17, 2014

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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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    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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    But like hell if I'm gonna let

    that stop me from getting what I want in life!
    joadda joadda 18-21, M 1 Response Mar 17

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    My parents didnt just tell me they couldnt

    afford something, they ranted about how much they already sank into taking care of me if i even asked for a piece of gum. Im now an expert at minimal budgeting. I went to church sometimes so I'd have a meal that day. I have lived in seventeen different homes, with countless...
    coerietheraven coerietheraven 22-25, M 1 Response Aug 1, 2014

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    My family is extremely poor.

    We don't have hot water, heat (not that we need it it's summer but we didn't have it in winter) we have Internet every now and than we'll keep it for a few weeks, have it shut off, get it turned back on, our car is the same deal as internet on and off.
    PinkParisChiffon PinkParisChiffon 18-21, F 4 Responses Jul 16, 2014

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    My mom & dad got separated

    when I was 7. My dad is sort of rich. Not RICH, but he's comfortable. He still lives in an apartment but that's b/c he wants to (his parents own it). I moved to a ghetto area, in an OK town. But, the town is right next to a big & super bad city (it's been on the show Cops). So...
    njgirll njgirll 16-17, F Aug 23, 2014

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    I grew up way below the poverty line,

    growing up with no electricity, running water, and very little food, the only food that i would eat was from the school. For water my family had to travel 2-3 miles to get barrels of water for drinking and was only used for drinking, and for the animals we had, the winter months...
    deleted deleted 26-30 Sep 18, 2014

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    Forgotten Memories

    I don't remember many memories as a child. I remember bits and pieces here and there. Some kids always said I was spoiled.. The truth is, I really wasn't. My grandma had always bought me toys and even my clothes. My parents couldn't afford it. As a baby, we lived with my...
    MeMe0326 MeMe0326 18-21, F 3 Responses May 3, 2013

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    Dad would get paid on Friday,

    and money would be paid back to the relatives. The weekend would be okay. Tuesday, we would get something called family allowance. On Wednesday, we borrowed money from relatives. It was impossible for a poor family to break the cycle, and I think becoming aware of how we lived...
    deleted deleted 26-30 1 Response Mar 15, 2014

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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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    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

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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.
    ZER0RPHEUS ZER0RPHEUS 18-21, F 3 Responses Mar 15

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    Poor From Lies, Greed, And Death

    I read some horrible stories on here:( some people had love at least I wasn't so lucky. I was neglected and raised kind of by my grandparents. My mother cared more about her boyfriends, drugs, and drinking then she did her own children. It finally caught up with her. When I...
    Shaneking Shaneking 31-35 2 Responses Mar 1, 2013

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    I'm really low on funds could anyone help

    and donate to my gofund me page message me for link
    blakangel96 blakangel96 18-21, F Nov 21, 2014

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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 recently started thinking back to how crazy

    my upbringing was. my life is basically a movie... I hope it has a happy ending. I arrived in this country as a refugee and we were placed in detention centre. my mum had to prove that we would very likely be murdered if we were sent back to the war zone where we were also...
    neghleo neghleo 31-35, M 5 Responses Dec 1, 2014

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    One gas fire in the living space,

    no heating in the rest of the house. No hot water and a broken boiler that never got fixed. No washing machine, weekly trips to the launderette. Only one set of clothes for school, worn all week. No sports kit for school. Toilet broken or mended with tape. No telephone. No...
    dispossessed dispossessed 46-50, F 1 Response Aug 17, 2014

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    bmorev bmorev 22-25, F Jun 29

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    From the very beginning of my life,

    my mother had decided that she would take the traditional 50's housewife role in spite it being 90's to 00's. Now this wouldn't have been a problem in most circumstances. But my father was a fry cook. He worked at gimmicky restaurant in Florida off and on when he got sick of it...
    Helmetwarrior Helmetwarrior 18-21, M Jun 26, 2014

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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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    My immediate family (mom,

    dad, and I) were poor because my parents thought that by the time I was born, things would change. We didn't have to much until when I was 3, my parents decided to move back to Rio de Janeiro and be closer to their families for support. My uncles had built a bigger family home...
    Marinho Marinho 13-15, M 1 Response Nov 6, 2014

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