(Closed) Rich or poor — how did you grow up?

posted 4 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: How would you describe your family's financial situation while you were growing up?
    Poor : (48 votes)
    17 %
    Lower middle class : (71 votes)
    26 %
    Middle class : (81 votes)
    29 %
    Upper middle class : (67 votes)
    24 %
    Rich : (10 votes)
    4 %
  • Post # 76
    179 posts
    Blushing bee

    Well I thought we were poor when I was a kid. We had minimal pocket money, spent the weekends and holidays working on the farm, didn’t have flashy holidays and drove a bomb. All four of us went to the local public school. 

    So I now realise we weren’t poor as such, my parents were just very careful with their money, and are reaping the rewards now.  They were able to send each of their four kids (including me) to uni over the last 8 years (paying for rent and a few other minor expenses only, but enough to get us through), to drive a better car these days, and to generally relax a bit.

    They invested back in their farm and business for most of my childhood, meaning there wasn’t a great excess of spare cash about then. But this has set them up a sucessful investment, and they could comfortably retire now and gain an income from for the rest of their days, still leaving a decent inheritance for my sisters and I (which obviously we don’t expect (their money to spend while they can is my view), but that is what they have told us they aim to do).

    Post # 77
    310 posts
    Helper bee

    Carolsays:  a lot like you, except my dad was disabled and my mom didn’t have a college degree so couldn’t earn much.  My parents also weren’t very…responsible.  So sometimes they didn’t earn enough to pay all the bills so we wouldn’t have electricity, or wouldn’t have phone, etc.  They both college a lot and both my sister and I have graduate degrees and earn good salaries now.  (well, not now-now because I’m looking for a job after taking a year off, but I assume I will soon!)  I agree it gave me ambition, I swore I’d never be poor and I’m a good saver etc now.  I still sometimes have a hard time relating to people who grew up on easy street financially.  It’s also impacting how much I want to spend on this wedding tho… we earn more than average but both want to spend much less than average on our wedding day.  let’s hope that can be done!

    Post # 79
    889 posts
    Busy bee

    I think feeling “rich” or “poor” is relative to one’s surroundings and their individual feelings related to their economic situation – how secure they feel.  I was very fortunate (and unfortunate) to grow up in an upper middle class community where education was the priority, which is why we were there.  My mom was Stay-At-Home Mom, we took vacations, college was paid for for all 4 of us kids.  We had everything we needed and then some but we were never spoiled and my parents made sure we worked for extras/”luxury things”.  I didn’t realize how unusual it was at the time but all of my parents’ friends were professionals with advanced degrees, I never knew anyone from a single parent home or whose parents were divorced or didn’t go to college.  There were definitely down sides to that, our “reality” was not accurate.  I also wish I had more diversity growing up – ethnic, financial, different life experiences, view points, etc.  We were the “poorest” family in an upscal community and growing up I really thought we were poor because unlike my friends who never worked and spent summers in Europe, we did not.  My friends all had trust funds and well established family names, they were upper class.  I am  not feeling bad for myself in anyway, I am so grateful to my parents for the opportunities I had but I also think that feeling “rich” or “poor” is not necessarily equivalent to how much money you have but more of a feeling of contentment and security relative to what you know.

    Post # 80
    1956 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    There were times when we were poor, but growing up, we were mostly lower middle class. My mum was a stay at home mum trying to find a job, but because she’d been out of employment for so long, it was harder for her to find work. My father was a qualified plasterer who chose not to work because why should he? -.- So admittedly we did struggle often, but mum made sure we never went without. Sure, our clothes were from the Salvos, and we didn’t always get what we wanted, but I think because of our situation, I learned to appreciate what it was that we had.

    As for my husband and I, I like to think that we’re middle class. We have savings (which was such a weird concept to me when we started dating), we’ve got two cars (although it does run, one does need fixing, which we have the money already set aside for) and we can afford to lash out every so often on things that we want – for him it’s a video game, for me it’s makeup/clothes, etc. We live comfortably.

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