Growing up poor will mentally screw you up and the mindset will stick with you for so long even if you do well financially.
A user asked the forum, “What’s a dead giveaway you grew up poor?” Let’s read the top comment from the forum.
“Food hoarding. All the people I know who grew up poor have too much food expiring in their pantries, myself included.”
AFRAID TO USE NICE THINGS
“You’re always afraid to use your nice things because you might ruin them, and then you never get to really enjoy what you do have.”
WASTING TIME TO SAVE MONEY
“Disproportionately wasting a ton of time to save up a few dollars. It’s going to cost $2 less if I go to this grocery store, even though it will take 30 minutes longer to walk there. Sign me up.”
STICKING OLD SOAP TO NEW ONE
“Only using part of a stick of chewing gum at one time. Mom would make us share. We each got 1/4 stick.”
SAVING A MILK JUG
“Saving a milk jug to mix powdered milk in. My brother wouldn’t eat syrup unless it was Mrs. Butterworth, so mom would refill a glass Butterworth with generic syrup and fooled him for about 20 years.”
BUYING EVERYTHING THAT YOU WANTED AS A KID
“Having no control over my spending habits because now that I have money, I want to buy everything I couldn’t as a kid.
Also, apparently hot dogs in Mac and cheese are one of my staple meals.”
SAVING ALL LEFTOVERS
“Never eating out and saving all leftovers. Always having peanut butter and bread and pasta, just in case.
Constantly being scared of losing your money/being overly frugal about everything Excessive couponing. Being scared to invest because you could lose money. Not having traveled anywhere.”
SAVING EXTRA THINGS
“Saving the extra things for eating out. Condiment packets, napkins, and unused plastic silverware all go into the drawer.”
NOT TAKING DENTAL CARE
“Never showing teeth when smiling. I grew up dirt poor and never received dental care until I was well into my twenties. I’m now forty, and only recently (after many dental procedures) have I begun to feel comfortable showing my teeth.”
USING A BAR UNTIL IT IS COMPLETELY GONE
“I try to see just how long it will hold on. It will use a single bar until it is completely gone. Don’t know why. It just amuses me for some reason.”
SEEING PAPER TOWELS AS LUXURY
“You view paper plates and paper towels as a luxury. It is literally throwing money away. I still don’t buy them often even though I am upper middle class.”
PACKING FOOD FOR ROAD TRIP
“Still packing food (bread, deli meat, chips) for road trips. My husband and I can afford to eat out every meal, but when we do a road trip, I still pack “cooler” food for lunches instead of eating out.
Btw, here is a packing hack for homemade cookies. Make them small enough to fit in a cleaned-out Pringles can. They stay fresh and don’t break.”
EATING FAT FROM THE MEAT
“After dinner was over, my grandfather used to fry up gristle and fat that was cut off everyone’s meat and eat it smothered in ketchup.”
COLLECTING SODA CANS
“Collecting pop/soda cans from random places, even pulling them out of the trash because 10cents man.
Edit: my biggest score ever was cleaning out a rich dude’s garage on an island near my house. He would have epic parties and just stick the cans in the garage. It was filled floor to ceiling, and he gave them to my sister and me just over $600 worth in 1984 money, so we lived pretty well that summer.”
ORDERING THE CHEAPEST THING
“Always ordering the cheapest thing on the menu, even if you could now literally afford to buy the whole restaurant.”
TRYING TO RE-PURPOSE EVEN LITTLE THINGS
“I’ve noticed I try to hang on to every little thing in case I can reuse or re-purpose it. Gift bags, empty containers, and old makeup. My family went through some really hard times, and I guess my brain tries to prepare in case it happens again. I have to go through my things and force myself to throw the junk away sometimes so I don’t become a crazy hoarder.”
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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.