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20 People Who Grew Up in Poverty Admit What They Consider to Be a Luxury Today

With a lack of funds to buy necessary things, it’s easy for families to suffer through difficult periods of time. If this happened in your childhood, it’s likely you didn’t notice how hard those times were for your parents. Though in any case, poverty leaves a mark on the life of every person who has ever faced it.

We at Bright Side collected revelations Internet users had about what poverty meant for them and the things that they consider to be a luxury many years later.

  • We never traveled anywhere for a long time (or went anywhere too far) because my parents don’t have the luxury of taking off work. I’ve never been on a plane, to another state, or another country. © ruthlesslymagickal / Reddit
  • I can’t go to expensive shops despite the fact that I earn enough and can afford to buy many things. I feel as if shop assistants will start shouting, “Alarm! A poor girl has snuck onto our territory!” once they see me. I think it comes from my childhood from when we lived a poor life. © Overheard / Ideer
  • I was really into one book series but my local library didn’t have many parts in stock. My mom promised me she’d buy the ones the library didn’t have. It took 2 years to get the missing titles but the thrill of having books to keep was amazing. 40 years later, I still get excited about buying books, and I try to be a better librarian than the one in the local library. © ecapapollag / Reddit
  • My parents had quite a difficult childhood, which is why they realize how wonderful toys are only now. But most of all, they’re in love with Legos and get extremely happy when they get a new set. Once, I was watching them assemble another Lego work of art and joked that they’re likely lacking grandkids. They both got very surprised and said, “Grandkids? What for? They will take all the toys from us!” © Chamber #6 / Vk
  • We had a very poor life in childhood. We always wanted to eat, and sweets were an unaffordable luxury for us. After many years, I live happily with the man I love. But whenever I buy a chocolate paste (my childhood dream), I hide it on the highest shelf so that I can eat it alone. Today, when I returned home, I tried to reach up to the shelf and found that there were 5 jars of my favorite treat there. Turns out, my boyfriend knew about this secret of mine and he never laughed at me. Now I feel ashamed that I wasn’t sharing the paste with him. © Overheard / Ideer
  • I’m married to quite a wealthy man and am sincerely thankful to him for tolerating all of my weird habits. I spent my childhood and teen years in poverty and hunger, which is why I have a habit of stocking things up. There is a storage room in our apartment (200 sq ft) that is filled with canned products, grains, pickles, and many other things. We don’t use these things but the fact that we have them gives me peace. Recently, my husband said to me that he had bought a new house project and included a separate storage house with it. It was at this moment that I realized how lucky I am to have him in my life. © Overheard / Ideer
  • Once, my mother and I went to visit her colleague who had 2 twins. My mom bought 2 packs of yogurt for them. My parents didn’t always buy yogurt for my birthday. That’s why I said to these boys, “Thanks to us, you now have tried yogurt. It’s such a rare thing to eat.” They looked at each other and refused to play with me. When we came home, my mom scolded me. She said I shouldn’t say things like that because people might think we’re poor. However, it was true. Even after having grown up, I look at yogurt as a luxury item in the shop, however, I can afford to buy all the yogurts on the counter now. © Olis23 / Pikabu
  • When I was growing up, we had “toilet paper” and I would say none of it compared to other people’s that I knew. But the kind of toilet paper really sucked. We always had to get the cheapest toilet paper my mom could find, which essentially felt like sandpaper, so I would use the least amount possible because using more didn’t make it any less terrible. When I left for college and started working, the first thing I bought was the softest, most luxurious toilet paper I could find. When I was laid off, I got to a point where I downgraded my toilet paper to ’somewhat crappy but not sandpaper.’ As soon as I got a job 6 months later, I went back to the good stuff. © Kara McCain / Quora
  • A canned all-day breakfast, which was basically beans, mushrooms, sausage, and potato in a can. My parents had little to no money growing up, and for whatever reason, I used to really love these and was the only one in the family who enjoyed them. Every now and then I’d open the cupboard to find one sitting there waiting for me, and the happiness was unreal. Oddly enough, I can’t bring myself to eat them now as an adult. © Neravir / Reddit

  • Air conditioning and color television. My childhood best friend had both, but her parents owned a popular local bar. I never knew anyone else that had either. Buying a little window air conditioner was one of my first proud purchases as an adult. The next was a 21-inch color television I had delivered to my mother on her birthday. © Mary Krupka / Quora

  • My husband always laughs at how much money I spend in lingerie shops. I don’t want to tell him that I was growing in a very poor family, and I was more annoyed not by the absence of tasty food or the necessity to mend clothes, but by the fact that I had to put on thousand-times patched panties and a washed-out bra, and it was extremely humiliating for me. Today, I let the underwear fall out of my closet and pay tons for lingerie, but I know that I’m wearing nice underwear sets and won’t have to remember that girl crying over a miserable pile of rags. © Chamber #6 / Vk
  • I grew up in a village and my family had a difficult financial condition. My childhood finished when I was 7-8 years old. As my friends were watching cartoons, I was working and silently envying them. I would make toys myself, especially cars. I would collect wheels from broken toy cars on the street to use them again. I wouldn’t even dream about having Legos or Kinder Surprises. Now I’m an adult at 26 years old. I work as a research assistant at a research institute and buy a Hot Wheels or Lego car with every paycheck. Many people don’t understand me and think I’m immature but I’ve met a girl who gave me Legos for the second time in a row for my birthday. Sometimes I go to the supermarket with her to choose another Hot Wheels car for me. I’m going to marry her. © MatsurVonabruk / Pikabu
  • Actual real milk. My mom used to buy powdered milk that you added cold water to and shook to make milk. I remember the lumps of it in my cereal. I still find natural milk to be a luxury. © BohoRojo / Reddit
  • My mom would pack my lunch using old food containers like yogurt, sour cream, and salsa jars, and I always got made fun of. It might sound silly, but I wanted to carry my lunches in Tupperware containers. I started packing my own lunch as soon as I was able. © Wagglewood / Reddit
  • Buying new clothes. Some days I justify ordering all kinds of dumb stuff online but I’ve always felt a mental block about buying new clothes. It feels like an unjustified luxury because I always got by on secondhand clothes and free T-shirts. © punnypotatoes / Reddit
  • We used to live poorly during my childhood. We were happy to get used clothes and we couldn’t even dream of culinary luxuries. Prawns were the embodiment of luxury and richness for me. In one word, prawns were the symbol of wealth. Now I’m an adult and live in France. I can’t stand prawns just like other seafood, but I buy them to ensure, once again, that those days are far behind me. © Overheard / Ideer
  • My folks always had 3 meals a day for us but clothes were always a treat. It might be a pair of pants and a shirt but my folks always made sure it was something that we were able to pick out and it always felt so special. They sacrificed a lot for it. In fact, my mom told me a few years ago that in order to provide for us, my parents didn’t buy new clothes (or much of anything) for well over a decade when we were younger. With my first real job out of school, I was able to take my dad to a shop and have him pick out a suit of his choice and get fitted. He’s confessed that it’s one of the moments that’s really stuck with him; he still has that suit and has worn it to both my sister’s and my wedding. © cleardiddion / Reddit

  • Taking a bath. I mean, we bathed every night, but it was by heating up water (that we would go to the park down the road to get in 5-gallon jugs) and filling up a mop bucket to wash off with. Staying over at a friend or family member’s house and getting to take an actual shower was amazing though. © Competetive_beetle / Reddit
  • Wasting food. By that, I mean having any sort of leftovers that are thrown out. Even if you eat a whole meal and have any sort of leftovers, they are reused for dinner or lunch the next day. I have a love/hate relationship with cooking because I adore cooking for my loved ones but the thought of messing it up and wasting a bunch of food gives me so much anxiety that I struggle to cook. I can’t count the number of times I overheard my mom muttering/crying to herself about not being able to afford her medication or her orthotics this month because she had to find a way to put food on the table. Even now that we’re in a better place and aren’t living on the poverty line like we used to, I still can’t consciously waste food. It drives me up a wall when friends waste food or if I’m forced to do it for whatever reason. It haunts me for a little while because all I can think of is how expensive it is. © LSTKAT / Reddit

  • I cried like a freaking baby the first time I pulled my cheap car into the little garage of mine and my husband’s little house. I don’t know why but that was the first moment of my long struggle that I really felt like I did it, I had made it. I feel absolutely wealthy every time I pull my car into that garage. I’m tearing up even just describing that moment. I just never in my wildest dreams thought I would one day have a HOUSE and a CAR. © themix669108 / Reddit

What is a luxury for you?

Preview photo credit Chamber #6 / Vk
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