I Grew Up Poor

Personal Stories, Advice, and Support 3,326 People

    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, 2016

    Always makes me appreciate things more.

    Especially after college, I am very savvy.
    sh4274 sh4274
    22-25, F
    Sep 11, 2015

    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
    46-50, F
    8 Responses Jan 29, 2016

    I grew up poor as a child

    and that got me to where I am today. Because of my parents low income I knew I had to try as hard as possible at school so when I was older I would be able to help them and not be in the same situation as they were. I am not poor anymore and I can owe it all to lots of hard work...
    rosesblooming rosesblooming
    31-35, F
    1 Response Mar 15, 2016
    geminigirl54 geminigirl54
    41-45, F
    10 Responses Mar 12, 2016

    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
    3 Responses Jun 13, 2015

    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
    46-50, F
    1 Response Oct 17, 2015

    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, 2016
    vicjustvic vicjustvic
    46-50, M
    1 Response Jun 20, 2015

    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

    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

    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


    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

    Nothing's really changed,

    I just know how to sail through it better. Find clever ways to live, and splurge on stuff I really really want. I hope I can get my GED, get off disability, get into a trade or voc to end up where I am comfortable. Not rich, just comfortable.
    Lov3intheasylum Lov3intheasylum
    36-40, F
    1 Response Sep 3, 2015

    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
    46-50, F
    2 Responses Sep 25, 2015

    Not sort of poor, but shoes falling apart,

    holes in the clothes, going hungry and passing out from lack of food poor.
    deleted deleted
    1 Response Mar 12, 2016

    I grew up in Alabama with my mom

    and step dad in an old farm house. That had no doord on the bedrooms or the bathroom. My mom didn't work and step dad was unemployed 2/3 of the year and we grew half our food. We also had no washing machine. Clean underwear was a luxury me and my brother just had to deal...
    AlabamaRednek AlabamaRednek
    26-30, M
    1 Response Mar 11, 2016

    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
    myownbox myownbox
    31-35, F
    1 Response Jun 11, 2015

    That's why I'm working

    so hard in school... I don't wanna stay like this
    deleted deleted
    3 Responses Dec 1, 2015

    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
    4 Responses Jul 4, 2015

    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
    46-50, F
    2 Responses Sep 25, 2015

    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
    2 Responses Dec 1, 2011

    i am glad that i did

    because it made me humble
    statically statically
    26-30, M
    1 Response Feb 18, 2016

    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

    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
    22-25, F
    1 Response Aug 22, 2015

    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

    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
    46-50, F
    4 Responses Mar 15, 2015

    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
    21 Responses May 18, 2011

    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...
    deleted deleted
    2 Responses Sep 7, 2013

    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
    4 Responses Jun 9, 2015

    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
    26-30, F
    3 Responses Dec 7, 2012

    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


    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
    30 Responses Aug 28, 2008

    we weren t relly poor .

    n im not relly poor naow . but iv been sabotaged to sabotage myself n not so able to cross pass wealthy .. i kno many wont believ nor understand . becoz most ppl dont kno how narcisists operate .. or cannot recognize . until they become a victim . its way too late by then . u...
    cdwishimatgurlCalandraBelle cdwishimatgurlCalandraBelle
    36-40, T
    Mar 12, 2016

    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
    82 Responses May 18, 2011

    It honestly makes for a much humbler person .

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

    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

    We were poor, especially

    when my mom was still a single parent. I remember wearing boys' clothes as a kid, because my mom could get them as hand-me-downs for free. We spent a lot of time at the park and the library, both free. I remember seeing one movie at the cinema as a kid, and I don't even...
    FakeIsTheNewReal FakeIsTheNewReal
    36-40, F
    2 Responses Mar 11, 2016

    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
    3 Responses Oct 3, 2015

    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

    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
    2 Responses Oct 14, 2015

    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
    4 Responses Aug 2, 2012

    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
    51-55, M
    Jan 29, 2016

    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
    16 Responses Jun 2, 2011
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