It’s interesting how our childhoods affect us and stick with us for so long.
I remember a friend once told me that their grandmother used to save pretty much everything that could be reused or repurposed around her house. And I do mean EVERYTHING.
The reason was that she grew up during the Great Depression and those hard lessons stayed with her throughout her whole life.
Folks who grew up poor, what did you consider to be a luxury?
Here’s what people on AskReddit had to say.
1. No vacations.
“Going places during school vacation.
The kids would be all like “what!? you’ve never been to XYZ amusement park!?”
No, Trisha. My family doesn’t even have a car.”
Which is another luxury to me.”
2. None of that!
“Being allowed to turn on the heat during the winter.
And also being able to hire a professional to fix broken appliances, plumbing, etc.”
3. A big treat.
“My Mom had 7 children in 10 years, 1950-1960.
I remember having a whole bottle (those smallish glass ones that came out of the machine for 10cents) of soft drink to my self instead of sharing 1 bottle between all 7 of us.
I was perhaps 5 years old. I still remember this as the best thing ever.”
4. New clothes.
“I wore hand-me-downs or thrift shop clothes because we couldn’t afford all new ones. At the beginning of the school year, my mom would give my siblings and I $50 to spend on new clothes plus we’d get a new pair of gym shoes.
I struggled to pick out new things because I knew she and my dad were giving up something for us to have new things. Often, I’d get a couple of things and ask her to save the rest for later, then I’d pick out the cheapest shoes I could.
Even now, buying clothes for myself is super stressful and I only buy when it’s on clearance or at Goodwill.”
5. A big moment.
“I almost never even had winter coats since all my older siblings were female. I would just wear a decent hoodie over a ton of layers of old clothes.
When I got my first new coat, I experienced warmth like I had never felt before and it was so amazing.”
6. You gotta see…
“I remember in 8th grade on my birthday at school one of my teachers asked me what gifts I had received. He asked in front of the whole class, I excitedly shared that I would be getting contact lenses.
My parents let me choose one thing that I wanted and I desperately wanted to stop wearing the broken glasses I had, which I usually didn’t wear. One of the boys in class made a comment like “contacts aren’t a present..?”
And my teacher had to explain to him- again in front of everyone- that for some families they were too expensive not to be a luxury. After that experience I worked two and three jobs in high school so I could buy myself and my brothers the things we needed.
The first thing I bought with my money from my first job as a hostess at a diner was a queen size bed because my twin mattress was about 20 years old and at 15 I was having back problems and issues with rusted springs poking me.”
7. Keepin’ cool.
Sometimes we had a jacked up old window unit that would cool down my parents room on the hottest of summer nights and we would sleep in sleeping bags on their floor.
Sometimes it was broke.
Sometimes it just wasn’t hot enough to justify running it.
Never during the day though, that’s what the library was for.”
“Taking a bath.
We bathed every night, but it was by heating up water (that we would go to the park down the road to get in 5 gallon jugs) and filling up a mop bucket to wash off with.
Staying over at a friend or family members house and getting to take an actual shower was amazing though.”
9. Dinner is served.
“It’s a long time ago – but when I was young (about 6-8 years old) back in the early 1960’s we had meat once a week for the family dinner – on Sundays.”
10. On sale.
“Until the age of 12, I thought that you weren’t allowed to buy things that weren’t on sale.
My mom only bought things when they were on sale and/or she had a coupon, so I thought that the “non-sale” items weren’t being sold.”
11. Always working.
“Parents helping out with homework and school projects.
They can’t do that if they always work 3rd shift.
My projects were always notably worse than everyone else’s.”
12. Movie night.
“Renting a movie from blockbuster the first weekend of every month.
My brother and I got to pick any movie we wanted as long as it wasn’t rated R.
On really special nights, we even got a 2-liter bottle of Sprite for the family to share.”
13. Best night ever.
“KFC take out was the best night of the year growing up.
Only got it once a year but man was it the best night ever”
How about you?
What did you consider a luxury when you were growing up?
Talk to us in the comments. Thanks!