18 Habits of Someone Who Clearly Grew Up Poor

Growing up in a low-income family can make a person develop some interesting and positive habits. Which habits are we talking about? You’ll find 18 examples of them in this article.

Great at Saving

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According to U.S. News & World Report, “the median savings account balance for all families in the U.S. was $8,000 in 2022.” People who have been raised in frugal families may not have that much in the bank, but they always save.


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A person who has come from a poor family will know how to prioritize. They will always buy the essential things that they need first before they start looking for extras and treats. This kind of person will always make sure they have enough money for life’s necessities.

Seeking Out Value

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Someone who grows up poor will likely value the gifts they are given more than those who have always had money. This person will understand how much a gift costs and how much a person had to sacrifice to give it to them. This gives the gift a special place in their hearts.


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Someone who grew up poor knows how to make food stretch in the kitchen. They can make a meal to feed many mouths without adding expensive ingredients to the mix. They can cook for a large group of people with minimal ingredients, which will surprise talented cooks.


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“Ambition is important because it drives you to set impressive goals and do everything in your power to achieve them,” says BetterUp. People who come from low-income families have plenty of ambition and are motivated to do what it takes to improve their financial situation.


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A person who has never had a lot of financial resources to back them up is adept and knows how to get by with less. They are creative in finding solutions to problems that do not involve spending money. These kinds of people think outside the box.

Having Good Memories

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A person who grew up poor knows the prices by heart of products they normally shop for. So, when they see a product at the supermarket that is a fraction cheaper than what they would usually pay, they take advantage. They remember exactly how much each item should cost and will not pay more.

Smart at Avoiding Debt

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The figures from Business Insider from 2024 show that the average American debt is over $103,000 per person, mostly in mortgages, credit cards, and student loans. That’s a lot of debt. But people who grew up in poorer families try to avoid debt at all costs.

Savvy Shoppers

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When a person is used to sticking to a strict budget, they will not settle for the first item they see in a store. This kind of person will likely visit many stores and compare the varying prices of the same item before committing to the purchase.


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Positive Psychology says that “gratitude helps people focus on the positive aspects of their life.” A person who grew up poor focuses on the things they do have rather than the things they don’t. They openly express that they’re grateful for the things they have.


woman happy money
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A person who has never had a lot of money is often very frugal, even when they start earning more. This kind of person might find it hard to get used to spending money because they have never had that luxury. They might always be looking for deals, even when they can afford to pay more.


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“Giving makes us happy… Giving is a much more important element of happiness than receiving,” says Intelligent Change. People who grow up poor are often very generous. They know that happiness doesn’t come from acquiring possessions, but rather from sharing what we have with others.


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A person who grew up poor knows how to be happy with what they have. They do not need to spend lots of money or get new things to feel happy. This kind of person will avoid unnecessary expenses and only purchase the things they need.

Careful Planners

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The statistics from Gitnux show that “approximately 84% of Americans have indulged in impulse buying at least once. Impulse purchases account for 40% of all the money spent on e-commerce.” But someone who was raised in a low-income family will not waste money on impulse buys. They will make a shopping list and stick to it.


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When a person is used to counting every dollar, they appreciate the things they have and are given. When something breaks, they try their best to repair the item because they know how much it cost and how hard they had to work to get it.


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People who grew up in low-income families have never had a safety net. So risk-taking is all they have ever known. Because of this, these people are ready to take a gamble in their adult lives. They are not afraid to risk it all and are confident when making big decisions.

Skilled DIY-ers

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A person who has never had a lot of money is great at DIY. When something in the house breaks, they do not jump to replace it; rather, they do their best to fix the problem. When they can’t fix the problem and they can’t afford to replace the item, they know how to do without.


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Many people who grew up in poor families see the value of getting a good education. They want their children to break the poverty cycle and have a better future. Many are keen to study a skill rather than get into debt with an expensive college education.

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