January 19, 2023 at 4:22 pm

What Did You Think Only Rich People Could Afford Until You Realized You Grew up Poor? People Responded.

by Matthew Gilligan

I grew up in a household that was solidly middle-class. We were somewhere in the middle and that was just fine with us. It meant you had all your needs met but there was nothing extravagant going on.

But I do remember there was a family in my small hometown that had a convertible and it totally blew my mind.

What kind of person drives a convertible?!?! They must be loaded, right?

Well, I have no idea because that was a long time ago, but it’s pretty funny to look back on how my young brain worked back then.

Check out what AskReddit users thought only rich people could afford when they were young until they realized they were poor.

1. Traveling.

“Vacations. Like actually going somewhere.

We’d go on car trips once in a while.”

2. No reason at all.

“New clothes for no reason.

I was confused when I got to high school and girls would just suddenly have the new, trendy clothes.

I didn’t understand why they were just allowed to have them.”

3. I’m with you!

“I dated a guy in my early twenties who scoffed and made me feel like the biggest idiot for saying I would know I made it in life when I had a fridge with a water/ice dispenser.

Now I have one and I do feel pretty great about it.”

4. You have more than one?

“Two pairs of shoes.

I thought only rich kids had more than one pair of shoes.

I didn’t realize we weren’t poor, and when I told my dad, “I want another pair of shoes but I know we can’t afford it” he IMMEDIATELY took me to the shoe store and bought me a pair so I could be “rich”.”

5. What is this?

“Takeaway food.

My first experience of it was having a sleepover at a friends house. We were, apparently, set to have Chinese food that evening. I was asked what I wanted. I had no clue. So the parents just recommended something. I just said OK.

I was staggered to NOT see the mother cooking. She was just mooching around the house doing nothing. Where was this food? Why wasnt she preparing it?

Then a knock on the door. And some person delivered a box of food. With more boxes in it. One box was for me…


Such wealth to get people to make and deliver your food. That display of vast wealth stayed with me for a very long time…”

6. OJ.

“Orange juice.

As a kid, I vowed to be able to afford as much orange juice as I wanted when I got older. Started working in high school and used my first paycheck to buy a gallon of orange juice.

I drank it all in one day and got horrible diarrhea.”

7. I remember…

“Things at the book fair.

You could probably buy a good hoard of stuff from the book fair for 30-50 dollars looking back.

I was given $7 one year to buy something and I couldn’t afford a book.”

8. The good stuff.

“Jam/Nutella spread all over your bread.

I grew up with a spread that can only cover half of my bread and is very thin in an undeveloped country.

After I move to a developed country and got my first paycheck, I legit buy 5 nutella jars and spread it like a madman on my bread.”

9. The rich kids.

“Target clothes.

Apparently, clothes from Target are considered cheap?

I grew up thinking that’s where my rich classmates got clothes.”

10. Who is Cap’n Crunch?

“Name brand cereal!

I was looked at crazy in first grade when I said an off brand name cereal was my favorite.”

11. Mind = Blown.

“I can vividly remember thinking my friends were rich because they had an answering machine (mid ’80s).

I even mentioned to my mom how they must be really wealthy…she asked why and I told her my logic of the answering machine.

Reality was we had enough money for one, mom just didn’t want one. I think the one we finally bought was less than $20. I felt like we had arrived!”

12. They have toys?

“I didn’t even know Walmart had toys until 2 years after my parents divorced.

We only went there when it was back-to-school times and if I was lucky I’d be able to put either a pair of shoes or 2 pairs of lower-tier “Rustler” brand jeans on layaway and maybe get them by picture day.

The clothes would barely survive the school year, but they HAD TO. I knew we were poor. Getting anything NEW was crazy — like unbelievable.”

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