10 Things Most People Wouldn’t Understand Unless They Grew up Poor


Growing up in extreme poverty is an experience many people can’t relate to. People who grew up in impoverished homes have a different view of the world than those from more privileged backgrounds.

An online discussion platform asked its members to elaborate on the problems faced by the socioeconomically disadvantaged that most people couldn’t even imagine, and the responses are heartbreaking.

1. Extreme Hunger

Homeless young man living on the street
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

It’s one thing to feel a slight hunger pang between regular meals. However, living with the type of hunger when your stomach is empty because you haven’t eaten anything all day is quite another thing. After all, there was no food in the house.

This is the type of hunger that a person can’t even sleep to escape from the feeling, a commenter discloses.

2. No Proper Shoes

Man wanting to buy shoes
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

People growing up poor don’t have a sizable collection of shoes to pick and choose from. It’s common to wear the same shoes until they fall apart. A participant from the discussion recounts “putting grocery bags in your winter boots to ‘keep your feet dry’ when the boots have holes in them.”

Having a second pair of shoes is a luxury many impoverished families can’t afford.

3. The Value of Leftover Food

Young boy eating vegemite toast for breakfast
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Financially struggling households find it difficult to put food on the table. There’s no room to waste or throw away food, so eating leftover food until it’s gone is the norm.

One contributor on the thread expresses their disbelief that some people they know refuse to eat leftovers.

4. Government Surplus Food

Two couples helping the poor and needy
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Families living below the poverty level frequently rely on government surplus food programs to have something to eat. Somebody vividly recalls “picking the peanut shells pieces out of the giant tub of government issue peanut butter, those blocks of cheese that turn into a brick if you don’t finish it within a day, and the taste of powdered milk.”

This may sound foreign to people who’ve never struggled financially. Still, the program remains a lifeline for many individuals and families.

5. Housing Insecurity

Unhappy multigenerational family with grandparents and kids having financial problems
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The ability to comfortably make monthly rent or mortgage payments is something many people take for granted.

But for people experiencing poverty, paying rent each month can be a struggle, especially if there’s no one to turn to for help.

6. Everything Old is New

Furniture repair and assembly, handyman fixing table using tool, assembling at home after renovation. Happy millennial handsome guy screwing detail with screwdriver in living room interior, indoor
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Replacing obsolete or broken items is a common occurrence many take for granted. People who can’t afford to spend money replacing broken objects make do with what they have.

Someone in the forum remembers their childhood: “If your toys broke, you glued them/taped them; if you found an old toy, you just got a new toy.” Buying new things is only sometimes an affordable option.

7. Basic Utilities

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Children growing up in disadvantaged homes are familiar with the feeling of coming home from school each day and not knowing if the electrical, gas, water, or cable service will still be on because their parents fell behind in making their monthly payments.

8. Wearing Hand-Me-Down Clothing

Sales time. Confused caucasian guy choosing shirt at shop, free space
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Everyone loves the feeling of getting and wearing brand-new clothes. When a family lives paycheck to paycheck, new clothing is an expense they can’t afford unless necessary.

One of the users on the forum admits to growing up wearing their cousin’s hand-me-down clothing because their parents couldn’t afford to buy them new clothes as they outgrew them.

9. Food Stamps

Young latin volunteer couple using laptop working at charity center.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

For people living in poverty, food stamps often make the difference between whether or not there’s food in the house.

Someone recollects the embarrassment and shame they felt using food stamps to pay for their groceries because they didn’t have any money.

10. Constant State of Anxiety

Boring and sad. Young woman worried, having psychological problem, feeling depression symptoms. Upset frustrated lonely female thinking of trouble.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Low-income people live in a constant state of anxiety because they know they’re one instance away from having nothing to eat, having their essential utilities shut off, or being homeless, says a user in the discussion.

The working poor are one or two paychecks away from financial disaster.

How To Get Free Food With No Money

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos.

If you are short on cash, not eating doesn’t have to be a reality.

There are options out there that allow you to get free food, even if you don’t have any cash. Here is what you need to do.

How To Get Free Food With No Money

How To Save Money When You’re Broke

Photo Credit: ryanking999 via Deposit Photos.

When you have no money, the idea of saving sounds impossible. In fact, for many people, the idea never crosses their mind because they are only focused on getting money to survive.

But there are steps you can take to actually save money even when you are broke. Doing so will help you change your financial life faster than you thought possible.


How To Survive On $1,000 A Month

Photo Credit: Teerasan via Deposit Photos.

Do you find yourself in a situation when money is beyond tight? Are you not sure how you will make it to the end of the month with such limited income?

Fear no more. Here are the steps to take so you can survive on a small amount of money.


How To Get Free Money

Photo Credit: Vadymvdrobot via Deposit Photos.

The idea of free money sounds like it can’t be true. But it actually is.

There are many ways you can get free money, from playing games, to watching videos, and more.

Here are the best ways you can get free money without having to work for it.


Legit Ways To Make $1,000 Fast

Photo Credit: starast via Deposit Photos.

Are you in need of cash fast? There are many things you can do, but a lot of the ideas out there only allow for a limited income.

Here are over 25 great ways to make up to $1,000 in a short amount of time.


This thread inspired this post.

Leave a Comment