People Share What They Thought Was Really Expensive or Cheap When They Were Kids

©Unsplash,Edi Libedinsky

When I was a kid, there was a family in our small town and they drove a convertible…

And I thought they were THE SHIT.

Who actually OWNS a convertible, I used to think to myself. I believed they lived in a mansion, went to country clubs, and probably had maids and butlers.

Looking back on it years later, I think it was actually kind of a middle-of-the-road car (I can’t remember what kind, exactly). The point is that when you’re a kid, you have little or no concept of money and what things really cost.

But it always makes for hilarious stories later on!

Let’s dig into some stories from folks on AskReddit.

1. The good stuff.

“Always had sparkling grape juice as kids but only for New Years.

Seemed like such a lavish bottle. They’re cheap as hell… but only having it that often made it feel so special.”

2. She loves it!

“It never occurred to me that some food was more expensive than other food. I 100% thought my mom made spaghetti all the time because it was her favorite.

I was much older when I realized it was because it would feed a lot of people very cheap.”

3. Three flavors.

“I always thought Neopolitan ice cream must’ve been the apex of ice cream decadence and expense because you got not 1, not 2, but THREE flavors in one tub!”

4. Well, it turns out…

“Food colouring and fondant icing for baking. Thought it was sooo expensive and that’s why only fancy cakes used them.

Turns out they cost like £1 each.”

5. A painful lesson.

“The dentist.

Didn’t think I’d be in debt from getting teeth fixed.

My husband and I are having to take turns with the dentist this year. He needs more work so I’m going to let him go first once things open up, because we can’t afford for us both to go.

Luckily I just a need a few fillings, he needs a root can*l and a crown.

He had a bunch of work done last year too. I don’t even know why we have dental insurance if it covers so little.”

6. Costs a fortune.


Honestly I didn’t really have a guess on how much a ticket was but we got to go every couple of years so I figured it was no big deal.”

7. Getting fancy.

“Going out to anything other than fast food was an expensive night out.

Even Applebees.”

8. You must be loaded.

“Disney movies.

I grew up poor and my dad would always get the forgettable off brand versions of popular cartoon movies. Instead of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, for example, I’d get to see The Secret of the Hunchback. Lots and lots of that.

When I saw a kid who owned a REAL Disney movie on VHS I assumed they were very rich. I didn’t realize you could buy several in one month and not have to declare bankruptcy even without being rich.”

9. It adds up.


Never thought of them being valuable.

Guess what, if you have someone make them fit your place they cost a fortune.”

10. Don’t throw those away.

“Those self-stick bows you put on gifts.

I used to think they were super expensive because everyone in my family used them over and over. We had a few that we used so much, they were recognizable. We had a few “fancy” ones. Wrapping paper too!

Based on how careful my family was about not tearing it and how my grandmother would fold it, I figured it must be really expensive…yeah, both are super cheap.”

11. Everybody’s doing it.


My oldest brother and all his friends went to college, never mentioning the expense.

As a kid, I thought it must be cheap because “all the guys are doing it.””

12. We’re staying in tonight…

“Going out to eat.

I think I thought it cost like $10-20 or something. I never understood why we didn’t go to more restaurants when I was a kid. Thought my mom was just cheap.

Turns out feeding a family of five at mediocre restaurant can easily cost over $100.00 if people get drinks, appetizers, and dessert.”

13. My life is over!

“I stood on our toilet seat and broke it when I was around 10. I was so upset thinking that it was the biggest mistake of my life and would cost my parents so much money.

I replaced my toilet seat last week and it cost me $6.”

14. Only for the very wealthy…


Such an extravagance! Once a year only, for your birthday party – and even then you get just one each. Be careful, don’t pop it!

I prized that thing – it provided entertainment for days.

You can buy 100 for a fiver.”

15. Moms do that kind of stuff.

“Always thought clothing was cheap.

Wasn’t until I was in college that I realized I always had new clothing because my mom never bought anything for herself for life 15 years.”

16. That’s all I’ll need!

“Ten dollars is a lot of money for a kid.

I thought I could run off to California, pay for the flight, food, and downpayment for a celebrity mansion with ten dollars.”

I don’t know why, but I got a HUGE kick out of those responses.

Now it’s your turn!

In the comments, please share the things that you wrongly thought were really expensive or really cheap when you were a kid!

We look forward to hearing from you!