People Who Grew Up Poor Are Sharing The "Small Things" In Life That They Now View As Luxuries, And It's A Good Reminder To Not Take Anything For Granted

·6 min read

If you're someone who grew up in a household that was struggling financially, now as an adult you might find yourself appreciating certain things in life that others most likely take for granted.

Reddit user u/Jensey311 asked, "If you grew up poor, what item do you buy now that feels like a luxury?" and a lot of the responses are pretty surprising. Here are some of them.

1."Nice towels. There are seriously 30-year-old towels at my mom’s house. You can imagine how thin and useless they are."

White towels folded on a bed
John Keeble / Getty Images / Via Getty Images

2."Fruit. We only had apples or bananas growing up. Now we’re able to try all different kinds of fruit. I just discovered how much I love mangos at the age of 28."

A bowl of fruit
© Santiago Urquijo / Getty Images

3."Any meal at a restaurant. Growing up, even eating at McDonald’s was a special thing."

—u/lupuscapabilis

Joey eating in a nice restaurant in "Friends"
NBC / Via giphy.com

4."Literally just normal food, no off-brand shit or little-to-no food in the pantry. I’ve never seen my pantry full before; now it’s so full that it’s hard to choose."

—u/MIGHTYMOUSE2005

5."It's the little things, right? Trashcan liners. Body soap AND bar soap. Shaving cream. Fresh razor blades. Washing machine cleaning tabs. The heavy-duty scrubbing brush for the really caked-on stuff. Detangling spray for my hair. Separate toothbrush and toothpaste for the counter AND for the shower. Air freshener. A pretty candle. Fabric softener. Non-cardboard tampons or a quality menstruation cup.

Someone lighting a candle

"All of the mundane things that make life easier, cleaner, more convenient, suddenly become luxury items when you're trying to feed a family of five for a week and you have $20 in your bank account. Now that I have my own kids, I'm painfully aware of the small luxuries I'm able to gift them that they'll really never understand.

"I bought diapers for my daughter's baby doll the other day. They were less than $5 from Target, but goddamn, I wanted diapers for my doll so bad when I was little. My parents were stretched so damn thin, though, I knew it just wasn't happening."

—u/ernieball

Iuliia Pilipeichenko / Getty Images/iStockphoto / Via Getty Images

6."Bedding. Having sheets that aren't torn. A blanket that's not scratchy and pilling. Pillows that aren't flat or useless. I always had a lot of sensory issues, and I swear I didn't get a good night's sleep my whole childhood."

Someone holding a clean sheet
Cris Cantón / Getty Images / Via Getty Images

7."Books. I used to just get books from the library and wish that I could own them. Now my house is filled with more books than I could possibly read."

—u/PhillipLlerenas

8."Any heating or cooling system; most of the time I had to sit in a freezing cold or extremely hot trailer. It wasn't enjoyable. So ACs and heaters feel like a luxury."

FOX / Via giphy.com

—u/avocadorable_13

9."Good shampoo and conditioner that's specific for my hair type. Growing up, everyone used the same cheap brand. Same bottle for the whole family. Since I had the longest hair, I would always catch shit for ‘using too much.' Now I can buy whatever brand or type I want, and it makes me feel like a princess."

A woman washing her hair
Rattankun Thongbun / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10."Whole coffee beans. My family either drank instant or the cheapest grounds they could find, nothing more than a stimulant to suffer through. I now have the funds to enjoy coffee as a beverage, with preparation steps."

A woman pouring a cup of coffee
Juanma Hache / Getty Images / Via Getty Images

11."For me, it’s good toilet paper. Growing up we could only afford the single-ply, cheapest stuff they had. Now I always buy the 'fancy' kind, which is probably normal for everyone else but still feels like a splurge to me."

—u/Jensey311

12."Having a dishwasher. It's baffling to me how people can complain about having to load one."

A kitchen
Dpproductions / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13."The internet speed. Nowadays, I take it for granted."

Cyberwar / Via giphy.com

—u/Euphoric_Armadillo15

14."Vacations. My mom would never take days off work because she needed the money, and she would often work overtime. Now it feels wrong for me to take vacation days at work to go on a trip. I feel guilty for taking time off even though I’m doing fine financially. The 'poor person' mindset is tough to shake off."

—u/Burrito_Loyalist

15."Eating peanut butter AND jelly sandwiches. Growing up I had to pick one because my parents wanted to make food last. It's my secret little pleasure."

Marvel / Via giphy.com

—u/Key-Lie250

16."Being able to go to the grocery store and not being worried about being able to afford it. Not cutting coupons from a stolen Sunday paper and going through the store calculating if the milk, eggs, bread, and lunch meat would make the check bounce. Sadly, I find having fresh produce a luxury. Strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, onions, and garlic are all luxuries I didn’t have growing up."

—u/azorianmilk

17."Makeup. Even if it's a drugstore, when I put it on, I feel all fancy and ladylike."

Essence / Via giphy.com

—u/LocaCola1997

18."Chocolate. I grew up behind the iron curtain, and chocolate bars (especially foreign) were a wonderful rarity. To this day, opening the package and peeling off the silver foil is one of my dearest small joys in life."

—u/BueRoseCase

19."Literally, any sit-down restaurant. That was a BIG deal growing up, and we knew to buy the cheapest thing on the menu."

—u/Vintagepoolside

20."Paying to have my yard mowed and my house cleaned. It seems like a luxury, but to me, it's the fact that I worked hard to make that money to make time for myself on the weekends. I grew up poor, so I mowed yards for money as a kid and still had to mow my parent's yard for free because I was forced to. I've hated yard work my whole life, so as soon as I was comfortable financially, I decided that those hours that I worked during the week to pay for the services were the hours I would get back on the weekends. It's something that my wife and I have decided is important enough for our work/life balance that we will budget for it if the money gets tight again. It's the little things."

A lawnmower
Daria Nipot / Getty Images/iStockphoto / Via Getty Images

21."I leave my thermostat at whatever temperature is comfortable. Growing up we hardly ever used air conditioning or heat because it was too expensive. I counteract the extra cost by never eating out."

—u/wrecklindos

22."While eating out, ordering wine or appetizers. My boyfriend always does this, and at first, I felt embarrassed to eat or drink it."

—u/Square-Guide-7846

23."Somewhat higher-end makeup, like Urban Decay or Tarte. After a lifetime of drugstore makeup, I'm amazed at the difference."

An assortment of makeup on a counter
Meaghan Skinner Photography / Getty Images

Is there anything you could add to this list? Tell me in the comments below!