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17 People Share What Made Them Realize They Grew Up Poor

When you're just a kid, you just kind of assume everyone lives the same way as you, so you don't think too much of it. Then maybe you go to a friends house and realize that it's just a little bigger, or cleaner, or they seem to have a lot more food. Then it hits you. "Oh, man, what is it my mom does for a living?" For some other interesting and somewhat frustrating stories of relative wealth, here are people's craziest encounters with rich kid syndrome.

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  • 1
    Text - bolt1911 212 points 11 hours ago My first semester in college (a year ago) i was invited to go to a bbq and told to bring hotdog buns. I showed up with a loaf of bread not understanding that there were specific buns for hotdogs (we used bread for lots of things: burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, etc) thankfully everyone thought i had just misheard the host and played it as a big joke but it was definitely an "i grew up poor" moment for me
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  • 2
    Text - BolthMC 1.1k points 13 hours ago When I was 15, I went straight to work and most of my paycheck went to the family. No questions, just work. My folks did treat me a lot more like an adult than they did my sister. I got to sleep in on the rare weekends I didnt work, my dad would talk to me about sports like I was an equal, mom would trust me with doing things a child wouldnt be trusted to do, like taking care of my siblings when my parents were at work (which was often). My day was non sto
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  • 3
    Text - pained_expression 451 points 14 hours ago Realising all my friend in primary school did dance and gymnastics together and I didn't do any extra curricular and then the recession hit us hard and we sold our tv for a year or two, my dad selling his mobile phone because he only went to work and came back so he didn't really need one. It's just little things but I never realised it was because of money troubles until I was much older. On the plus side I'm overly frugal as an adult now so I gu
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  • 4
    Text - jannaface 152 points 14 hours ago When I was 4 and I got a handful of chips as a present. Then again when I was in 2nd grade and we were living in our car at a park. And another time that year my art teacher at school bought me a sweater because I was always cold
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  • 5
    Text - BatFace 97 points 13 hours ago Talking to my boyfriend on the phone, at 16. I was telling him some funny stories of my childhood. And a few had details, like one was how often largish critters got in the house cause it had holes. We had a particularly annoying opossum one year that kept getting in My boyfriend said "Wow you guys really were poor weren't you?" "No, we had plenty and we're always happy and....well now that I think about it mom and dad skipped dinner a lot because they had b
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  • 6
    Text - notthatcbailey 1.6k points 14 hours ago When I started working, I earned more monthly than my mother who raised 4 of us and what I earned was shit. When she died, I found her ledger from when we were growing up and she spent, literally, to the penny every month. No vacations, no nights out, nothing. I really don't know how she pulled it off.
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  • 7
    Text - coolerthanurmom 133 points 13 hours ago I remember a group of kids in class talking about how much money their parents had to pay to fill up the gas tank in their cars. It was like 80$ and my parents would only spend max 10$. I remember going home and asking my mom why they wouldn't just get the same car as us bc it cost less and my mom told me " it takes the same amount of money that's just all we can afford to put in it at once"
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  • 8
    Text - Kukantiz 359 points 13 hours ago Neighborhood kids let you know real quick...
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  • 9
    Text - schakerin 387 points 14 hours ago I never had the realization bc I knew we were poor earlier than I can remember. My parents told me the story of how a kid in preschool told me santa wasn't real, and I said back, "Santa has to be real bc mommy and daddy are too poor for presents." My parents shot straight with us from a veeeery young age Imao
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  • 10
    Text - ViridianMelon 132 points 14 hours ago I used to get this feeling in the back of my throat and upper stomach that I never told anyone about. I have never gotten since I've been independent. Those were hunger pains.
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  • 11
    Text - kharmatika 339 points 13 hours ago I went from being destitute poor, living in a rat infested condemnable shack as a kid, to being upper upper middle class, when I was put in the care of my uncle and aunt. First night my uncle takes me shopping for food, and he's like "so I was thinking rack of lamb for dinner" And I was like "uhhhhh is i...Easter?..." and that was the most I've ever realized how the other side lives. Then I got to live on it.
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  • 12
    Text - Lordsofexcellence 114 points 13 hours ago pretty much the first time I went over someone else's house
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  • 13
    Text - DeepDarkMind 319 points 13 hours ago I had a girlfriend that looked absolutely shocked when I told her I'd often had bread and cheese for dinner growing up. Or that the clothes I wore we're never new the correct size. Or that we'd buy the expired food from the local grocery at discount just to have something to eat. She grew up the daughter of a doctor and an engineer.
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  • 14
    Text - Pencilowner 236 points 14 hours ago I grew up working class but the poorest I ever felt was hanging out with a buddy and his new girlfriend and we swung by her parent's house. Which was a mansion with a grounds staff and maids. When I got there one of the maids asked me if I wanted some clothes. She laid out like 20 outfits she was planning on throwing out that day and since I was a "Friend of the family" I got first dibs. They were all new clothes in my size. I just loaded an arm full li
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  • 15
    Text - game-time- 105 points 14 hours ago When I realized it wasn't normal to divide paper towells into fourths.
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  • 16
    Text - feckless_ellipsis 101 points 11 hours ago My single mom packed us all in her AMC Hornet on Christmas Eve to go get a Christmas tree. This was 1977, the first year of my parents divorce, and life had been fairly middle class to that point. I was seven and pretty oblivious to things up until that point. So, everything just sort of felt like an adventure. We got to the farm stand, picked out a tree, and I recall the guy just sizing us all up and let us have the tree for free. My mom was real
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  • 17
    Text - flychinook 240 points 14 hours ago My teenage years, when I found out what "government cheese" is. Up until then I just kinda assumed that everybody went to the town hall monthly for free cheese and peanut butter.
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