18 Telltale Signs of Growing up Poor

Growing up in challenging financial circumstances can leave a lasting imprint on a person's habits and attitudes, often influencing their choices and behaviors. Here are 15 dead giveaways that someone grew up poor, as shared by members of an online forum.

1. Leftovers Lover

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One Redditor loves leftovers so much that when attending a family wedding with leftover pulled pork, he found a freezer bag in a cabinet and packed three pounds away (with the mother-of-the-bride's permission, of course). And you'll never see someone who grew up poor not ask for a doggie bag when there are leftovers to bring home.

2. Frugal Tastebuds

Rice and Beans
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Learning to stretch the budget with your groceries when you are young doesn't just disappear because you earn more when you're older. Whether because you love the foods or you want to save money, you often see these folks eating the same not-so-fancy foods in adulthood.

3. A Touch of Hoarding

stuffed animals hoarder
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Once you can afford stuff, it can be hard to let go. Some people who grew up poor have a hard time getting rid of things.

4. Free Foodie

Woman eating food
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A user mentions that growing up in such a home themselves, they now always eat free food. He shares that when he grabbed extra sandwiches from a corporate meeting, his coworker responded, “I don't want to eat people's scraps.” This made the user reflect on the difference in perspective between those belonging to different economic backgrounds

5. Reluctant Spending

How to be debt free
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

For many, buying new things is still a difficult adjustment. A user who grew up in a “dirt poor” home shares that they learned to be really frugal as a child. They still struggle to buy things they can easily afford. 

6. Discount Detectives

Sale Grocery
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Such people can not hold back from telling others about their discount shopping. Got complimented on a t-shirt? They will be quick to tell you it was 50% off. You would notice them trying to justify the amount spent on it rather than just taking the compliment.

7. Container Custodians

Storage Containers
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Disposable containers are equivalent to stable storage for them. An individual says they still save disposable containers to store leftovers. Their partner, however, who had grown up wealthy, doesn't understand why they keep “trash” and reuse it.

8. Playing It Safe

Smart Woman
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Such individuals find it challenging to invest their money and would instead store it in a large savings account. One shares the case of his father, who never used a credit card. Perhaps the financial trauma of being unable to afford little things still keeps them refraining from making drastic economic changes despite the available benefits.

9. Bagged Savings

Trash Bag
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Trash bags can be a pain to one's monthly budget. Many share that they save free grocery bags to be used as trash bags. But this is one eco-friendly tip that all must follow!

10. Treasures in Trash

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Users who grew up frugal say they have difficulty getting rid of things. If items were still good, they couldn't throw them away. Another mentions that they can not throw out toiletries if even the tiniest bit is left.

11. Innovative Solutions

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Growing up in poverty and not having access to many things makes one quite innovative. Another says they recently couldn't find a knife at work, so they used the metal edge of a beam till the string wore through. She mentions receiving strange stares from a coworker.

12. Hanging On to Savings

Laundry 2
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Even though one person owns an electrical dryer, they still use the traditional method. Hanging clothes dry is much more economical than using an electrical device.

13. Budget Dining

Tourist eating Hot Dogs
Image Credit: goodluz/Shutterstock.

Ordering the cheapest thing on the menu was once a need for someone. However, this habit continues even though they can order any meal they'd like. 

14. Snack Sharers

Woman Eating
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Some share that they don't find eating open snacks that a person offers them gross. They're also not so picky about the food they're being offered. Any food is good food, and rejecting it is akin to waste.

15. Giving From the Heart

Happy Server
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Those in poverty have felt the worst of conditions and, hence, have massive empathy for others in similar situations. “The poorest give the most.” You may find such people tipping others quite well after gaining newfound wealth.

16. Serving Up Empathy

Dining Out
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Similarly, these individuals also treat those in the serving industry quite nicely. Such people understand the effort it takes to earn a living and can respect any profession. 

17. Thrifty Wheels

Old Car
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One says they always buy an inexpensive used car. They got a great deal for a 2001 Blazer for $1500. The car may have been rusted and had a lot of miles on it. But the car is still getting them around.

18. Embracing Second Chances

Hand Me Downs
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One woman highlights that people with such a socioeconomic background do not look down on hand-me-downs. They got excited when their well-off friends gave them clothes they no longer wore. 


Source: Reddit