People Who Grew Up Poor Share The Things They Thought Of As Luxuries

Ashley Hunte
The end of a large boat as it floats in a body of water at sunset.
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Everyone has a different idea of what a luxury is. For some, it's all about the finest dining around. For other's, it's the chance to go to a good school.

Redditors were asked, "For people who grew up with little money, what always felt like a luxury?" And let me tell you, a lot of people in the thread had things to say.

"After growing up in a home where every unexpected problem was a financial emergency..."

A pot full of coins and the sprout of a plant.
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" idea of wealthy became 'I just want enough money that if something breaks I don't get anxiety about how to deal with it.'"

Speaking from experience, trying to build savings isn't always easy.

"Summer camp, or basically any school trips that had to be paid for."

Students sitting in the seats of a school bus.
Unsplash | Jeswin Thomas

"At my school the kids who couldn't afford to go on trips that happened during school hours still had to come to the school, we just sat in a room and did extra work like it was detention."

"Going out for pizza was a big deal. Those free mini pizzas for reading books were huge."

A person pulling a cheesy slice of pizza out of the pie.
Unsplash | Fatima Akram

Another commenter wrote, "Yes! Did it for the free pizza. Kept doing it because I grew to actually enjoy reading."

I guess it was a win-win situation.

"When my grandma would come pick me up and spoil me."

An older woman smiling while kneading bread with a toddler.
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"My parents didn't have much money and were addicts so when my grandma would come get me I would come back with new clothes, video games, toys, etc. I used to think my grandma was rich but she actually just had a stable income."

"Being able to turn on the heat in the cold and pay a professional to fix damaged appliances, plumbing, and other issues."

An older model thermostat.
Unsplash | Wesley Tingey

Or, conversely, being able to turn the AC on when it's hot outside. Something you shouldn't take for granted.

"Grew up poor and when I was a kid I used to think you were rich if you had a dishwasher and a millionaire if you had one of those refrigerators that have a button for ice."

A kitchen with stainless steel appliances and a large, white island.
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My parents bought one of those fridges after I grew up, and yeah, they feel really fancy.

"A meal out in a restaurant (not even a fancy one)."

An empty restaurant with black chairs and booths around wooden tables.
Unsplash | Jason Leung

If my adult years have taught me anything so far, it's that eating out is expensive. I can't imagine being a parent and paying for a meal for a whole family!

"Drinking clean (and enough) water and just having a decent meal, not just a piece of dry bread and tea!"

A pair of outstretched hands holding water that's splashing onto them from an unknown source.
Unsplash | mrjn Photography

"Yes, I come from Yemen, where we did not have a sufficient amount of water (for drinking or cleaning) and did not necessarily have three meals a day."

"I was overjoyed to be offered my own bed."

A slightly messy bed in a room with a faux concrete wall.
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Having your own bed is one of those things that makes you feel independent. But there are a lot of people living in tight quarters who have to share rooms with lots of people. Don't take your bed for granted.

"A bowl of fresh fruit…you know, like the ones you see in still life paintings? To have food that could go bad before you had a chance to eat it all…that was unfathomable."

A basket filled with various fresh fruit.
Unsplash | Jonas Kakaroto

Knowing that some people might not have fresh fruit at all makes it extra painful when a bunch you bought goes bad...

"Going to the grocery and feeling able to buy pretty much anything I want within reason."

Grocery store aisles lined with different food items.
Unsplash | Franki Chamaki

Especially now with the cost of food skyrocketing, I think we can all appreciate that luxurious feeling of going all-out at the grocery store.

"New clothes. Pretty much had to make everything last and while I'm not proud of it I did a lot of shoplifting as young teen."

A store full of various hats and accessories.
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I think it's kind of funny how thrift shopping, something people did out of necessity for a long time, is now trendy. I can't exactly complain about that, though.

"Kraft Macaroni and Cheese as opposed to store brand."

A gif showing someone pouring mac n cheese into a bowl.

I have to admit, the Kraft stuff hits different.

One comment added, "'But we would eat Kraft Dinner. We'd just eat more. And buy really expensive ketchups.'" Leave it to the Barenaked Ladies.

"Going to a friend's house and seeing they had stairs. An upstairs bedroom? A downstairs basement area? I thought my friends were millionaires."

A fancy house staircase.
Unsplash | Christina DiBernardo

I remember going to a friend's house as a kid and they had a finished basement. I legit thought they were mega rich.

"A motel room. We stayed one night at the Pink Flamingo in Ocean City NJ and felt like millionaires."

A motel lit with neon lights at night.
Unsplash | Daniel Gregoire

It's funny how, as a kid, you might think a motel is fancy. Then all of a sudden you're grown up and dreaming about five star resorts...

"Christmas decorations. We used to just put tinsel on a fan and that was our tree."

A Christmas tree with white ornaments and piles of white and blue presents underneath it.
Unsplash | Taisiia Shestopal

I used to dream about having a big, fancy Christmas tree. But let me tell you, there's something really special about having a tree filled with ornaments you made as a kid.

"Getting to buy something from the scholastic book fair."

Lines of books on a table.
Unsplash | Kate Bezzubets

It's funny how something that, for so many of us growing up, was a small but fun part of school. But for others, it was something they simply couldn't afford at the time.

"Dental and medical care. Dental insurance was a huge luxury. I didn't have an employer that offered that until I was in my late 20's."

A dentist holding up dental cleaning tools.
Unsplash | Yusuf Belek

As someone who's been without dental, it gets expensive. You learn to take good care of your teeth.

"I am from a small island in the Pacific. While I mostly still take cold showers, I have always felt that a hot shower is the finest luxury one can experience."

silhouette of a person taking a shower
Unsplash | Hannah Xu

"I had my first hot shower when I was 22 years old and I can never forget it."

I... definitely feel that I take hot showers for granted sometimes.

"Anything I could live without. Especially skincare. My skin has become amazing since I've had the disposable income to buy better products."

A person wiping his face with his hands while looking in a bathroom mirror.
Unsplash | No Revisions

I'm not going to lie, it's weird to think about using skincare products as a luxury. But it's totally true!

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