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I Grew Up Poor

Personal Stories, Advice, and Support 3,076 People

    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 3 Responses Oct 14, 2014

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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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    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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    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 Mar 15, 2014

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    truth2b truth2b 26-30, M Mar 19, 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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    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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    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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    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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    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 46-50, F 24 Responses May 18, 2011

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    A Different Kind Of Poor

    I have an older brother and younger sister, My mother was a college educated concert violinist.  My father was a college educated business man who owned his own successful small business.  We lived in a huge beautiful home in an exclusive San Diego neighborhood, and that house...
    nanasixboys nanasixboys 56-60 5 Responses Feb 1, 2012

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    Yep...

    My immediate family (mom and siblings...) was poor. I grew up wearing "hand-me-downs" and my sister and I didn't have many toys, just stuffed animals that cost a dollar. So, we had to make do with very little, growing up. But, it thought me...
    deleted deleted 26-30 4 Responses Jul 25, 2008

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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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    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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    ..

    My mother and father had divorced and my father would send child support at the end if the month. My mom had a low paying job and She had to choose to either pay rent, or buy groceries at times. It was scary and hard, but we got through it eventually. My father wouldn't...
    jennamarie210 jennamarie210 13-15, F 1 Response Nov 3, 2013

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    Well Actually I Did Not, Not In Terms Of Finances But Still Something To Share

    It is an Urdu poem and in my opinion it captures what it is like for people who grew up poor. The Poem is by Ibn-Insha It is my own translation so it doesn't sound that poetic. Aik Chhota Sa Larka Tha Main Jin Dinon Aik Melay Main Pohncha Humakta Hua In times when i was a...
    lazyangel lazyangel 22-25, M 4 Responses Jul 4, 2011

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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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    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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    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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    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 2 Responses Sep 7, 2013

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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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    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 18 Responses Jun 2, 2011

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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 36-40, F 2 Responses Feb 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 7 Responses Mar 15

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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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    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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    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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    We Were Poor

    It was somewhat of a depressing time. Both parents lost their jobs and sold many of their valuables. We ended up in one of them homeless shelters for a little over a year and then we went into a sort of government housing. We had no TV or internet around this time so I started to...
    BornUnderABadSign BornUnderABadSign 18-21, M 1 Response Jun 10, 2013

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

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    Yeah since I was like 7 my mom & dad got

    divorced. We still had a pretty apt then. Then we had a ugly apt, pretty one, & now a super duper ugly one now in a not that good city. But in like 1 & 1/2 years I graduate high school, then I go to college. I can't wait for that.
    njgirll njgirll 16-17, F 2 Responses Jul 28, 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'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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    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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    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 91 Responses May 18, 2011

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    Life Less Ordinary

    aw i was growing up my mother didnt have muuch but she would still make a way to provide for me and my siblings my mother is the nicest person ever and will provide for anybody in need but when the tables were turned no one would do the same for her. When i was just a little girl...
    Pinkmistress Pinkmistress 18-21, F 5 Responses Apr 9, 2011

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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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    At the Age of 8 I started to take care

    for myself. We had to move to another house when I was 9 and my parents didn't have the money so I had to buy furnitures. My mother owes me because she often borrowed my mony for gas for the car, I still buy my clothes with my Money. I think it's ok because I learnt from the...
    BlaBla01 BlaBla01 16-17, F 3 Responses Mar 1, 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 22-25, M 1 Response Mar 22

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    Growing Up Poor In Ohio

    I was a kid growing up diring the sixties and seventies.   I lived in the country, it was pretty rural especially compared to maybe today.  Growing up we really didn't have much.   Our lifestyle was also basically different than many can maybe imagine today as well.  The...
    dairyworld43143 dairyworld43143 46-50 2 Responses Oct 27, 2011

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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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    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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    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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    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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    I lived in a trailer.

    ... But my dad got a better job and now I live in a 2 story house.
    LonelyRollingStar LonelyRollingStar 18-21, F 3 Responses Mar 15

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    I Never Really Knew It At the Time.

    but looking back now i know we were. i never realized it when i was little, i always had plenty of toys and clothes and i know now that that was because my mom sacraficed so much so that i could have the things that i needed. she did without so much for herself so that i could...
    asdfok asdfok 18-21, F 2 Responses Jul 25, 2008

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