What does the word luxury mean to you? For some, it means lobster dinners and five-star hotels, but for many, it could be the difference between having your own bedroom growing up vs. sharing with your siblings. A thread was started on Reddit titled, “For those who grew up poor, what did you consider a luxury?”
Depending on how you grew up, some of these answers may be completely relatable. Many are a little shocking and sad. We think most of the things listed on this list should never be considered “luxury” for any kid. Have a look at some of the answers that stood out most.
So, For those who grew up poor, what did you consider a luxury?
1. Clean Carpets. When staying at the home of someone who had money. “Like a relative or friend. Their house was also so clean, beautiful, pictures on the wall, knick-knacks on the counter, and carpet you could play on because it was clean.”
2. Soda. Imagine sharing a tiny bottle of cooldrink with seven siblings? “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 myself instead of sharing 1 bottle between all 7 of us. At the time I was perhaps 5 years old. I still remember this as the best thing ever.”
3. Hot Shower. The luxury of a hot bath or shower. “Cold showers were always available, but when you scraped enough cash to get some diesel fuel and get the burner to kick on long enough to have a hot shower man, absolutely nothing better.”
4. Help with Homework. For this user, their reply was simply to have help with homework. “Parents can’t do that if they always work 3rd shift. My projects were always notably [worse] than everyone else’s and it’s not like the teachers cared about how much effort I put into them.”
5. A Comfortable bed. I think many of us had the worst beds growing up. No wonder we all have back problems today. “Slept on an old futon for about 10 years as a kid. I could feel the metal bars through the mattress. My sister had a double-sized bed, however. I only got to sleep in a double-sized bed once I moved out of my parent’s place.”
One person’s normal is another persons magic
6. Entertainment. We take for granted how easy it is today to access entertainment. “I saw a grand total of, like, three movies at the theater when I was in high school. My classmates would be discussing movies that had just come out and I never knew what to contribute to the conversation because I had not seen them yet. Finally started seeing movies at the theater when I started earning my own money.”
7. Privacy. The basic need for privacy should never be considered a luxury, not in our books. “I literally got a door to my bedroom for Christmas one year. It probably still was the best gift I ever received.”
8. Airconditioning. Here’s one I do not have! I wish! “Sometimes we had a jacked-up old window unit that would cool down my parent’s room on the hottest of summer nights and we would sleep in sleeping bags on their floor. Then, sometimes it was broken. Sometimes it just wasn’t hot enough to justify running it. Never during the day though, that’s what the library was for.”
9. Tasty Breakfast. Growing up, do you remember having name-brand cereal? I know we never had that luxury so I can totally relate. “Every time I saw Reese’s puffs on top of the fridge, I knew tomorrow was gonna be a good day.”
10. Eating Out. This one is a luxury for most of us. “We got to eat out five times a year, for everyone’s birthdays. I chose Pizza Hut for the endless dessert bar.”
Your version of luxury might be so different to another’s!
11. A New Winter Coat. Buying a new coat – no greater feeling. “I don’t remember having a new winter coat until I was probably 14 or 15, they had always been hand-me-downs from my cousins. They were usually at least ten years old by the time I got them and the stuffing would be all clumped up.”
12. A Meal. Basic needs like food should never be a luxury. Sadly, for many people, this is a reality. Our hearts broke reading this one. “It’s gotten to the point where I can’t eat in the morning because my body is so used to waiting.”
13. New Things. I feel like we all had that one friend who had parents who made money in a settlement. “I grew up pretty poor (no TV, no toys, but had a Sears catalog). My dad got in a serious accident when I was in 4th grade and almost lost his life. He won a small settlement from the community college he was working at and I was able to buy new clothes for the first time in my life. Before this, all I ever had were hand-me-downs from my cousin and donation clothes from the church. Most were worn to the point of having patches on the knees.”
14. A kitted home. The luxury of having working appliances or not having to try fix your own plumbing – I can relate. “Being allowed to turn on the heat during the winter, and also being able to hire a professional to fix broken appliances, plumbing, etc.”
15. Vacations and Travel. No vacations and no car. Sounds familiar. “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.”