Growing up poor can teach you valuable lessons that will help you become better at making, spending, and saving money as you get older. You might not realize or appreciate these lessons at the time, and you could think that poverty is the worst thing to ever happen to you. But looking back now, you might realize that growing up poor was probably a good thing.
If you come from a poor background, the numerous success stories of people who managed to escape poverty and become who they are now should motivate you to view your situation; not as an obstacle but as an opportunity to learn and succeed. You only need to have the right mindset and be willing to learn and put in the effort to escape poverty.
Here are some lessons you can learn from growing up poor that will help you get your priorities straight, become better at managing money, and be a better version of yourself.
Lessons Learned from Growing Up Poor
- To practice gratitude
When you have too much of something, it is not unusual for you not to think much of it and take what you have for granted. On the other hand, if you don’t have a lot, you learn to value and appreciate every little thing you have because you know what it is like not to have it.
The importance of having an attitude of gratitude is one of the best lessons you could learn from growing up poor. When you become rich and successful, you will likely maintain this positive attitude and never take what you have for granted.
- How to live frugally
One of the incredible lessons learned from growing up poor is the art of frugal living. You learn how to do without things, spend money intentionally, and save a percentage of your income for a rainy day because you know that day will surely come if you are poor. You learn to differentiate between needs and wants, thus, opt to spend on things that add the most value to your life and forgo those that don’t matter as much.
After growing up poor, you know how to get the best prices and alternatives to the items you wish to buy. You also prioritize quality over quantity because you know how much more expensive low-quality items end up being due to unsatisfactory performance, repairs, and replacements.
Learning how to live frugally is one of the best things growing up poor can teach you. You could become the best at managing your money.
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- The importance of a budget
If you grew up in a poor family, the importance of budgeting and spending your money wisely is another incredible lesson you must have learned. You likely observed how your parents or guardians had to be careful with spending to avoid running out of money before their next incoming payment.
Since they didn’t have much, they had to create a spending plan each month to ensure that all your basic needs were met. When they failed to make a budget or when they didn’t have enough, they probably had to get loans, which would make your situation worse due to all the debts that needed to be repaid.
Now that you are older, you know the importance of creating a budget and sticking to it because you are aware of the consequences of running out of money before the end of the month. You also want to spend wisely in order to achieve financial freedom.
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- To thirst for more
If given the chance to choose the kind of living conditions you want to grow up in, you most likely wouldn’t choose poverty. After all, who would want a life where they are always lacking? Thus, one of the lessons learned from growing up poor is that it motivates you and makes you thirst for more.
You know that to escape poverty, you will need to get out of your comfort zone and put in the work required to change your situation and get the things you want. You, therefore, become ambitious and goal-oriented, determined to get out of poverty and working hard to avoid ever being poor again.
- How to use your imagination
One of the best lessons you learn from growing up poor is how to use your imagination and think outside the box instead of wallowing in self-pity. So, you don’t have money; what can you do to make some? Can you make what you want instead of buying it?
For example, when you were younger, you probably had to tap into your creative side and make your own toys or costumes because your parents couldn’t afford them.
When you grow up, you will have the ability to use your imagination and come up with creative solutions whenever you have financial problems as well. When you look for them, there are always alternatives and opportunities to make some extra money. That is why you often hear people say that being poor is a choice.
Growing up poor is a tough experience. You may go days without food, live in places that no human should be living in, feel embarrassed and get bullied for going to school in torn clothes, and many more circumstances that make you doubt whether you will survive and get to adulthood. But here you are now. You somehow survived. Thus, one of the best lessons learned from growing up poor is how to build resilience.
If you ever go through a difficult time because of finances in the future, you know that you will find ways to survive because you have already experienced the worst in your earlier years. You will not give up even when life gives you lemons because you have the necessary survival skills.
- How to make the most of the few available resources
Since you will not be taking things for granted, other incredible lessons learned from growing up poor are how to make do with what you have, how to take care of things that are valuable to you, and how to make the most of the available resources.
For example, you could cut your expenses by reusing, reducing, repurposing, and recycling things instead of throwing them away. You could also resell items you rarely use to earn some extra cash when you are struggling financially.
You can do a lot with the little you have. Growing up poor can help you learn how to make lemonade from lemons.
- The importance of a support system
Another great lesson learned from growing up poor is the benefits of building a strong support system that can help you when things get bad. If you are poor with no friends or close family members, you can feel alone in the world because there is no one to help you. However, if you have family and some close friends who can help you when you are struggling financially, the experience may not be as bad.
It is true that many people will usually desert you if you are poor because they assume you only want their money. Those that remain by your side through all this are your true friends. When you grow up poor, you learn to value such people and do everything you can to keep them in your life by staying in touch and supporting them whenever they need you as well.
Additionally, growing up in a low-income household with only your siblings and parents to count on makes you learn teamwork and how to share what you have. It helps in strengthening your bonds with each other.
- Comparison is harmful to you
When you don’t have much, it is natural to feel envious if you compare your situation with others who have more. However, this social comparison can harm you as it could make you feel unhappy and dissatisfied with your life and may even lead to mental health issues such as depression. It could also result in you engaging in criminal activities while looking for a shortcut to get the riches and lifestyle you covet.
Almost everyone will seem to be in a better situation than you when you are poor. To survive, you must learn how dangerous comparison can be and focus on looking for legal ways to escape poverty instead.
If you want to be happy and satisfied with your life, stop comparing yourself with other people. Accept that there will always be someone who is doing better than you. Even when you become rich.
- It is okay to seek and accept help
Being poor and having to ask for or accept help from charities and other people can feel horrible. But what other choice do you have? Die from starvation? Sleep in the cold? Growing up poor teaches you to be humble and seek or accept help if you want to survive. Knowing when to admit you need help is a valuable lesson you can use even when older whenever you are struggling financially or mentally.
Growing up poor doesn’t have to be the worst experience of your life. If you are willing to, you can learn many lessons from growing up poor which you can use to improve your current life and feel more fulfilled. If you are currently in poverty, don’t lose hope. Stay strong and keep working hard to change your situation. The above lessons learned from growing up poor can help you change your mindset about poverty and motivate or inspire you.