What is it like growing up poor?

By emilanton

Please tell your stories of what life was growing up poor and how did that affect you!

Discussion - 21 Responses

  • Hated it! When I was growing up my step dad used to pay the bills on hookers, drugs and alcohol. I used to get food parcels from charities and free toys from charities because my mother couldn’t afford it. Then when she got divorced she was in so much debt the bank nearly took away the house and everything in it.
    That honestly scared me.

    Now I work so hard just to become financially stable. I’m aiming to be a psychologist so I won’t be poor.
    I don’t want my children to grow up the way I did so they can have nice things not like me when I was a kid.

  • Growing up poor was ok. I had less demands and expectations on my situation. Found creative ways to save by commuting, depositing bottles and cans for my “allowance”, et al. I didn’t have illusions about food being as significant as it was touted and grew up on what is now called intermittent fasting. For food I just bought fruits at the market with my “deposit money”. Developed ways to have a scholarship (athletic, cultural, academic). My parents should have been so proud because I was a low maintenance kid. Neither did I have illusions about nice clothes, cars, and living away from parents (extra fixed costs) despite peer pressure. Eventually I saved lots of money, developed several skills that allowed me several concurrent revenue streams.

    Fast forward. I still live incredibly frugally. Not as cheap as before. Not the best way to score though, but I manage.
    I’m now “made” but I still practice several things that are touted on the site as poor behaviour like buying on sale, having an old car et al. I never bought a car till my 50’s and it was an old 60’s VW Beetle. My first transport was a hodge podge DIY electric bike that I used to go everywhere. And I bought these when I was already rich.

    All my assets are liquid. I still buy things on sale. If I need them. Splurge a little more now. Travel more (and not just for business). Bought my own condo (resale w/huge discount) in a great location. I eventually plan to get a Tesla (on sale) and an Ipad Pro 12 inch. I could buy them all now, I’m just waiting for a better deal.

    In the final analysis, living “poor” isn’t so bad. Just appreciate it for what it is. Personally, I enjoy living “poor” even if I am rich now. Life has a lot of simple pleasures TV Series, friends, games and tea/coffee. Some people just have strange perceptions of what living rich is like. There are always ways to live “rich” at a discount. I think the term financial freedom is more apt. Even if you live poor, you can still afford to buy a whole building in manhattan. That’s freedom.

  • Growing up poor meant walking to the grocery store 6+ blocks away to either help carry groceries or to push the cart home if it was a big shopping day (aka, when the food stamps came in for the month). It meant taking the bus with my mom to the welfare office when renewal time came. Growing up poor meant hand me down clothing and shoes which made me the target of ridicule and bullying. Growing up poor meant watching my parents constantly fight & argue about money. It was growing up watching my mom go in & out of psych ward’s due to depression. As an adolescent, I was never taught about budgeting & finance. I was certainly never taught how to make my money make me money; only how to spend it the moment it hit the account. By the time I got married and had our son, we were in so much debt we had to live with my father-in-law in order to have a roof over our head. It felt unbelievably hopeless…but then, we got angry, not at the rich & wealthy or all those who “neglected to teach us” the right path to take; we got angry at ourselves for allowing ourselves to get in the mess we were in and for allowing ourselves to stay and wallow in it for so long. We took a budgeting class that really helped us focus. We now carry no credit card debt (we use them every month for the cash back & pay them off every single month too), we have no car payments, no student loan debt, and have paid off all but one medical bill (which we are working on). I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m on my way and that’s ok, because I’m taking steps in the right direction and I know my hard work will pay off! I choose to be rich….it may not happen today, but by keeping one foot in front of the other, I will get there!!

  • Growing up poor can either make or break you. I’m only 16 but for me the experience of being poor is my motivation to becoming rich. Their our days were we don’t have power, cable, or wifi. I don’t mind not having cable though, it takes up far to much of my time when I dopened have it. I try to work out as much as possible but I don’t eat as healthily as I want to. I dream about becoming rich everyday. I want it more then anything. I’m trying to educate myself on the economy, stock market, and real estate. But other then educating myself I’m not sure what other steps I should take to achieving my dream of becoming rich. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    • You’re doing ok for now, you’re started early and the best advice I can give you is: READ!!! Read as much as possible, especially self-help books early on.

      Then don’t be afraid to talk to people and learn what it takes to become “a people’s person”.

      This combination will land you small opportunities in the future which will lead to bigger ones along the way!

      • I personally agree, when I was young I was poor but living rich. I had friends, loving parents(Lived with one though) and a sense of motivation. Even though every day was a struggle with bills, unhealthy eating and not being able to see my dad, live was tough but I read and educated myself so now I can support myself, girlfriend and my mom. I hope this inspired someone.

  • It fucking sucks. I didn’t grow up poor, I was actually rich until I was 11 years old. We had it all, new cars, a multimillion-dollar house, a great life with fun and happiness. My family lost everything in 2008, my parents lost the house, the cars, the great lifestyle, and the income (my parents business was directly affected by the economy at that time). We’ve had to rent out shitty homes until this very day. We’ve also had to move every 3-4 years due to landlords changing plans and either wanting to sell the home or move in themselves. We can’t afford much of anything anymore, and with my parents still, in around $300,000 of debt, things will be unfavourable for a little while longer. My mother is currently an alcoholic (in denial) and has resumed heavy smoking, and my father goes to bars to throw darts with his friends. He says he does it because he enjoys playing, I think he does it because he doesn’t want to deal with his real-life problems all the time. As a result, while my father went to the bar, my mother got wasted and told my little bro and me how we needed to live our lives and how we fucked up if we didn’t do chores and stuff. Basically all the stuff an angry drunk parent will say to their kids when they’re mad at themselves for their own mistakes. It’s really affected my relationship with my mom, to say the least. I’ve adopted a much better, goal oriented, and success focused mindset while she is the same old person that she’s always been, she doesn’t understand why I’m pursuing success so much or why I want to escape this lifestyle that she’s in. She’s super afraid and doesn’t want to take any risks financially, she’s constantly in a glass half empty mindset, and it’s really just kind of ruined my parent’s lives for the most part.

    Honestly, this is the best experience I could ask for as a (now 21) individual who wants to succeed in life. My parents probably won’t understand this but this is actually a blessing in disguise for me, regardless of how my childhood had been. Sure it wasn’t great later on, but I have seen BOTH sides of the spectrum, seeing how life is in BOTH scenarios. And I think if my family went from poor to rich, I wouldn’t be who I am today, I wouldn’t have the mindset that I have today, and I wouldn’t be as hungry as I am today.

    Seeing who my parents (my mother, primarily) have become as a result of their own poor decisions financially, have made me realize the exact kind of person who I don’t want to be. Which only motivates me more. Sorry for the rant, life’s been complicated in my house, to say the least. I’m currently at a community college and working to rent with some buddies of mine so I can get out of this kind of environment.

  • Many challenges is faced growing up poor. As I’m working endlessly to becoming an entrepreneur you have to deal with people that will dough you, criticize you behind your back or even laugh at you. I grew up with a father that is extremely negative, he will call my brothers and I idiots, dumbasses and many other profanities I cant write here. As I was growing up from the age of 18 to my early 30’s I had big dreams in becoming a reggaeton artist and spanish R&B singer, I was go REALLY GOOD, but my dad said and I quote “that as a idiot’s dream and a waste of time, you need to go to college and get a job”…. I was young and weak minded so I quit. I took interest in entrepreneurship, because college is not for me, the debt was going to drive me insane and I didn’t want to be one of them corporate asshole I see every time in walking in Manhattan. So I started reading books on self development, I’m 36yrs old about to be 37 and for more than 6years I’ve losr count on all the books I’ve read. I’ve gotten to a point now that I don’t give a crap what people say, I’m going to make shit happen and I’m unstoppable. Thats a little short story of me right there and how it is to grow up poor, I’ve could’ve gone into more detail but then this would be endless reading about negative bs.

  • Watching my parents act like something they weren’t. Having the electric turned off, sending us to borrow money from my aunt and never paying it back, from pay period to pay period running out of food or little food in the house, house to small for family causing me and my brother to sleep on the floor, and watching my parents fight like cats and dogs. It’s nothing good about growing up poor. I will say that it taught me to seek away out. To be a better provider, and to educate myself. I took me awhile to learn finances but I got it and learned to live within my means. Made me never to want kids if I was not there to raise them. So due to me wanting to see the world and be selfsufficent I never had children. Plus growing up with 7 brothers and sisters and our struggle, I wanted to make sure I was a good provider, I was afraid to have children and only dated and married woman who could not have children. I never argued with my spouse I would not allow it in my home. I always told my wif my up bring and she knew how I felt about it. It was only one way, I would leave and never retutn. No if ands or buts the first time I’m gone. I’m not poor or rich. But a never give up trying to attain wealth. That’s my down fall in marriage. Noone or anything will not keep me from trying to obtain it. I’m determined and believe it will happen until death strikes me I will try and try again. When I was in the Navy it was said a woman was not issued in my seabag. So to this day a woman has never been my priority. Being Fiancially Stable , having the proper health care policies, and Retirement Funds and Old Age resources prepared was my upmost goals. These things I accomplished and are in place. The only thing left is to reach the million dollar status. So here I come !!!!!

  • Hey I’m 16 I’m poor everyday when I wake up I always think about being rich and working hard, when ur poor u have to take what u get ,save on what is necessary, and control on buying fancy stuff, I’m not in a relationship bcoz I’m scared about not having enough money at some point. I want to buy a camera but I put that money to study diploma . I live in a house with one room one hall and a kitchen and don’t want to get my friends home because of this I don’t have proper friends they come to you when they need you.Nobody calls me to hang out very rarely no proper shoes no branded clothes.

    • Read a lot of books, you don’t have to buy them just sit in a library as much as possible. As other people have said before, speak to others to learn from them. Try to model yourself on successful people, Tony Robbins has videos on modelling ourselves on others, worth watching.

      Stay positive, you will get there, it will take time. Btw, there is a site called Steemit where you earn based on views of your content, whether written or videos. It’s worth joining that because you may not get rich from that but it could give you a bit of an income to help you out.

      Good luck

      Steve 😉

  • I’m 56 years old single parent of 2 kids 15 and 16 now ..growing up pore being beat every day by my step dad because I was white and he was black ..at the time that’s what I felt …I’m sure now he cared some we’re in side lol I grew up in juvenile hall youth athority then prison ..hated the world very. Angry..gang member most of my life but my first kid changed all that ..when I saw her I stopped every thing because she will not grow up in the system like me I wouldn’t wish my life on any body ….I’m still broke but it’s the best life I could ever want I sell fake rolexs lol.

  • Living poor can be very depressing, every bit of money that comes in is accounted for. you have to rely on other people for everything, wether it’s a welfare check that you have to report to every month, the food bank that someone else chooses what you eat, or friends and family to drive you to places you need to get to (eg. doctor’s out of town). It makes you feel like you have no control over your own life. You are also very limited to where you can afford to live. It can be a very difficult cycle to break yourself out of. The thing that helped me the most was being told that I am not my paycheck, I am not my situation, and just because that is where I was, doesn’t mean I had to stay there.

  • Motivating! Never wanted to be like my dad. Still love my pops but for my son it’s diff. I show him endless love make him believe he is Black Panther a super hero king! I never knew I was poor growing up had fun playiplaying sports.

  • Me personally, my poor living transitioned into my adult years. I own a cleaning and home improvement business but due to no savings and bad credit it’s hard for day to day things like gas. LOL. But fuck all that. I’m not bitter and don’t throw any type of hate out there on people who are getting it. I’m thankful that I still have a lot of hustle and determination inside of me. For years I blamed my issues on the world… At 33, I looked inward and decided to switch my game up. I still deal with the struggle cuz i have so many years of squandered youth. But one thing I wont do is quit. I say all the time (I’m pretty sure I made this up, cuz I haven’t heard it anywhere else. LOL). But I say “In order to be where I wanna be physically, I gotta get to where I need to be mentally”. That’s the path I’m on.

    Thanks for the good content Alux

Submit reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Sign in to alux.com or create an account

Lost password?


If you already have an account, please sign in

Forgot Password

Please enter your username or e-mail address to recover your password.

Hey there!

In order to submit a post to Alux.com you must be logged in.

Already have an account? Click here to sign in