People Who Grew Up Poor Are Sharing Subtly Obvious Signs Of Wealth (73 Answers)

In America, nearly 11 million children are poor. That’s 1 in 7 kids, who make up almost one-third of all people living in poverty in this country. After growing up, none of those kids take things for granted, and they can clearly see the obvious prerogatives that the privileged and rich are lucky to have.

So when someone posed a question to people “who grew up poor, what do you associate with being rich?” on r/AskReddit, it immediately turned into an eye-opening thread. Below we selected some of the most interesting and thought-provoking responses that make us question simple things like going to Disneyland, buying new, not used furniture, and not having to dread grocery shopping.

Scroll down below, and after you’re done, be sure to check out our previous post with small subtle things about wealthy people that scream they are insanely rich.


Being able to buy something you need without having to ask yourself how badly you need it

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Vacations that weren't visiting family.

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Regular doctor's office visits or seeing a dentist at all for anything other than an emergency.

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Those fridges with the water dispenser on it

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Eating pizza because you want to not because it's $2. That and mom eating along with us normally instead of pretending that the crust is her favorite part and that's why she'd eat the crust we leave.

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Going to a store to pick out furniture. Like, actually buying NEW stuff, not just taking whatever you can find at thrift stores or garage sales. That seems so luxurious!

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There's a line from Nick in new girl that describes being well off as 'filling your gas tank up all the way rich.' That was the rich I wanted to be. Comfortable. Also not having to do math in the grocery store to see what food you can buy.

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Having nice teeth that don't cause constant, debilitating pain

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Getting an appetizer and/or dessert at a restaurant in addition to an entree.

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Parents buying a car for your 16th birthday

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Hiring moving men. Especially if they're the ones who pack all your s**t for you, too.
So many times, I would borrow a friend's pickup (and buy my friend's help with offers of pizza and beer) to move from one s**tty place to another.
For my most recent move, my wife and I packed everything, but hired professionals to load and unload it. I felt like a king.

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Knowing what a duvet cover is and owning one. I remember when my wife and I were newly weds and she was telling me how we needed a duvet cover for our bed. I had no clue what a duvet cover was prior as I always though people just purchase sheets and/or the big ass blankets with the lion/tiger prints. Suffice to say, my mind was blown away.

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Not knowing EXACTLY how much money you have at any given time.

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Kids that went to summer camp. I got sent to long distant family and worked on family farm.

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A new mattress.

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Everyone having their own room. We all slept in a single room.

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Parents having time to show up in school events or parents throwing birthday parties in school for their kid.

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Having enough money to go to a psychologist for mental health.

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Not having to worry about food or bills. Paying out of pocket at the dentist

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Indifference. I realized what real wealth meant in high school when we cleaned up trash from a creek and the rich kids wore their Polo shirts, Guess jeans, and Jordan's because if they were trashed they simply would get new. The poor kids wore their grubby clothes they do labor in.

Wealth is shown most acutely by indifference, nothing matters because money will fix it and there is plenty enough to fill black holes.

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Hiring people to either cook, clean, mow the grass or do snow removal in the winter.

Showing my age but rich people didn't need lay away to afford back to school or Christmas shopping

I don't remember ever having name brand items, food or clothing. It was all generic Kmart. I bought my son a pair of Nike shoes and thought I felt rich for doing so.

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Showing my age but having a shower in your house. Back in the day only people with money had showers, we all only had baths.

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Paying all your bills without eating Ramen noodles.

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Taking your kids to activities.

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Despite the amount of financial aid some people in poverty can get, the debt, no matter how much smaller it may be, will still strangle you until there is nothing left.

Especially when you're already in a financial class that already struggles with paying for food. That is one of the reasons I never personally bothered going to college; because I knew there was no way I would be able to pay it off without killing myself in the process

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Eating out. Birthday presents and Christmas presents that's not clothes or school supply. New clothes that's not hand me downs. And haircuts at a hair dresser.

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Not having to panic if your car breaks down


Decorating a whole room at once

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Stairs. I've always lived in an apartment, so for me, I really hope that I'll one day have a house with stairs.
Also well balanced meals, three meals a day.

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Have the heating on in the winter

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Having snacks in the house a week after grocery day.

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Ordering whatever you want on a restaurant menu.

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Parents not working 7 days a week.


Having dinners that aren't 90% rice.


Eating meat that actually looks like meat: steak, chops etc. As opposed to sausages, meatloaf, pies etc.


Having proper buns with hot dogs or hamburgers instead of white bread was living high class to me.

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Choosing not to eat food you were given because you don't enjoy it.


Fresh fruit and vegetables. Anything we ever got was frozen or from a can. Frozen and canned last longer too.

People that openly had fruit bowls on their tables was the epitome of lavish for me as a kid.


not knowing how to use public transport.


Having food delivered. $5-$10 mark up?? Are you kidding?

For that matter, just going OUT to eat was a luxury.


Glassware designed for certain liquids (wine glasses, martini glasses, beer steins, etc.). I grew up with plastic cups and coffee mugs.


An in-ground swimming pool


Hand towels for drying your hands in the washroom


Being allowed to go in the fridge and get something to drink or eat without having to ask or worry about being yelled at


People who had marble counter islands in the kitchen

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a) Throwing away leftovers and b) cooking the same quantity again next time.


Garage fridge.


Having space. House is too damn small for all of us and my parents can be pretty toxic


Multiple game systems


Not having debt collectors coming round.


Throwing away the ketchup when it's "empty" instead of putting water in it so you can use what is left in the bottle.


Box Tops for Education. When I was a kid, a whole bunch of food companies ran some sort of fundraising thing where you could cut a little coupon called a box top off of whatever name-brand product you bought and they would donate money to public schools. My elementary school always had prizes for kids who brought in box tops. I remember the lowest tier prize was a scratch and sniff sticker if you brought 5 box tops. The trouble was, at the time my parents had just divorced and my mom was having trouble making ends meet so we could never afford more than the generic versions. I was never able to save enough box tops to get a prize.


Silverware that isn’t plastic. Toaster oven. More than one frying pan


Being able to invest.


Kids who showed up to the dress-up days at school with an actual store-bought costume rather than an old t-shirt their mother adapted. Kids who came to the school disco and not only had the money to get their ticket, but also extra for sweets. Kids who always had the best stories about their exciting holidays and the cool things they did there. Kids whose school uniforms were brand new and had those sewn-in name labels instead of bought from the school second hand store. Kids who had so much food in their lunch boxes that they actually left some because they were full, and they had a snack for morning break.


Automatic payments.


a dishwasher machine, a trash disposal, air conditioning and hot weather


Vacation house


Buying food from the school canteen


Having a kitchen big enough that your gas stove is on an island.

Also a decent bathtub. The kind you can actually soak in if you’re an adult.




Not making payments on a car, just buying it.


Getting cold lunches (parents would pack them lunch that would have a ton of goodies in them)


Not living in an apartment complex


Owning a newer car or holidays abroad.


Playing games and going on rides at a carnival.


Parents that didn’t fight. Mine and my other poor friends’ parents were always fighting. Most of the time my parents fought it was over money. You could tell that they were just scared whether or not we were going to make it and that’s how it manifested. You just never really saw that same type of fighting at the friends parents who were comfortable.

Like obviously there’s more factors but there’s a unique chaotic tension in poor households that is hard to describe.


Going to Disneyland.


Eating dinner at a table.


Buying icecream in the lunch line


Basketball hoop in the driveway.


Having the crayons that have the sharpener built into the box.


Not having to use the oven to heat the house up during winter.