Have you ever thought grabbing a box of Kraft Mac n Cheese, munching on Oreos or slipping on a pair of Vans was considered luxuries? For many people, they are.
We’ve gathered some stories from around the web that share what luxuries were for people who grew up underprivileged.
Take a look – they may give you a new perspective on how fortunate you are. Or, you may relate!
New Clothes: My Own Style
Growing up poor, new clothes were a luxury that I rarely experienced. Most of my clothes were hand-me-downs from my older siblings or bought second-hand.
My mother used to mend our clothes often to make them go the extra mile.
But I remember the feeling of joy when I finally got new clothes, especially ones that were not worn out or faded.
It was a special moment, and I felt proud to wear them to school.
Electricity: And Then There Was Light
As a child, I lived in a small town in a developing country where electricity was not always available.
When we finally got electricity in our home, it was a game-changer. It changed the way we lived.
I could read and study after dark, and my mother could cook with ease.
It made our daily lives much more comfortable.
A Hot Shower: Squeaky Clean
Taking a hot shower was a rare occurrence in my childhood.
We had to heat water on the stove and then carry it to the bathroom.
But I never complained, I knew my father was working hard for us.
When I finally had a hot shower, it felt like a luxury spa experience. It was something that I never took for granted.
Chocolate and Sweets: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
As a child, I didn’t get to eat candy or sweets very often.
We couldn’t even buy proper groceries for a staple diet like oil and rice, so sweets were not an option.
When I did get a treat, it was a special moment.
I remember savoring every bite of a chocolate bar, feeling grateful for the small but sweet indulgence.
Going Out to Restaurants to Eat: Fine Dining
Going out to eat was a rare treat when I was growing up.
I remember feeling excited to go to a restaurant, even if it was just a fast-food joint like McDonalds.
It was a special occasion that made me feel like the other spoiled kids in school.
I also felt like a grown-up with my own meal.
Going to Fancy Malls: Keeping Up With the Joneses
When I was a little girl, going to a fancy mall was a rare treat.
I loved the bright lights and the variety of stores. My mother rarely had much leftover for extra gifts, but we were master window shoppers.
I actually miss the fun and imagination the mall trips taught me.
It was like stepping into a different world. I remember feeling like anything was possible when I was there.
Going to the Movies: Larger Than Life
Going to the movies was another rare treat that happened maybe once a year.
I remember feeling so excited to see a new film on the big screen. It was the dawn of a new age.
My dad would get all our cousins together with sandwiches and cooldrink.
It was a special experience that I never forgot.
Buying Jewelry: Fancy Me
Buying jewelry was not something that my husband could afford when we first got married.
His parents never agreed to our elopement and cut us off financially.
When he finally got to buy a piece of jewelry for me, it felt like a significant accomplishment.
I wore it with pride and cherished it for years.
Buying Name Brands: Expensive Taste
I loved watching FTV as a teenage girl and would often play model on the runway.
Wearing name-brand clothing was a luxury that I rarely experienced as a child.
When I finally got to buy a pair of designer jeans or shoes, it felt like a big accomplishment.
It was a status symbol that made me feel special.
Ice Cream: Simple Pleasures
This may sound silly, but as a child, going out for ice cream was a special treat.
I was not allowed much sugar and I remember the excitement of picking out my favorite flavor and savoring every bite.
My mother would always get us two wafer cones.
It was a small but sweet indulgence that made me feel happy. I miss those days.
Having a Cellphone: Dangerously Disconnected
My parents did not allow me to have a cellphone when I was in school.
So, owning a cellphone was not something that I could afford until I was an adult and earned my own money.
When I finally got one, it felt like a significant achievement.
I felt connected to the world and to my loved ones in a way that I never had before.
Having a Flat Big Screen: Home Screen Viewing
Owning a flat big-screen TV was a luxury that I never thought I could afford.
After I bought one, it felt like a dream come true.
I enjoyed watching my favorite shows and movies in high definition.
It made me feel like I had arrived.
Dentists Visits (Or Any Doctor for That Matter): Self Care No Option
I don’t know anybody that likes going to the dentist but it was a personal health luxury we couldn’t afford.
Going to the dentist was a rare treat when I was growing up.
We couldn’t afford regular checkups, and dental problems often went untreated.
When I finally got to go to the dentist as an adult, it felt like a significant accomplishment.
Owning a Pet: Daddy Can I Keep Him?
Growing up poor, owning a pet was considered a luxury.
I remember begging my parents for a dog, but we couldn’t afford to take care of one.
One day, my neighbor’s dog had puppies, and they gave us one.
It was a blessing, and we all learned to take care of it. It became a loyal companion and made us feel like we had something to love and take care of.
Having Satellite TV: Cable Woes
Having satellite TV was a luxury that we couldn’t afford.
We had a small TV with only a few channels that we had to move around to get a clear picture.
But when we finally got satellite TV, it was like a dream come true.
We could watch our favorite shows and movies without any interference.
Buying Facial Products: A New Me
Growing up as a teenage girl, my family never had the extra money to buy facial products.
I had to rely on the cheapest soaps and lotions.
When I was finally able to buy some good facial products, it felt like a luxury.
I could take care of my skin, and it made me feel confident about myself.
Owning a Car: On My Own Way
Owning a car was always a luxury to me.
My family never had a car, and we had to walk or use public transport to get around.
As a man, when I was finally able to afford my car, it was a significant achievement.
It provided me with independence and allowed me to explore and travel.
Having Health Insurance: Covered From Head to Toe
Growing up poor and without a stable income, we didn’t have health insurance.
We had to pay for medical bills out of our pockets.
When my father finally got a job that provided us with health insurance, it was a relief.
It allowed us to take care of our health without the worry of medical bills.
Having a Fridge Full of Food (Grocery Cabinets Full): Balanced Diet
I remember when we were kids, our fridge and cabinets were never full.
My dad had passed away. We had to rely on food donations and government assistance.
Soon my mother got a job that allowed her to fill our fridge and cabinets with food, it was a luxury.
It made me appreciate every meal and not take anything for granted.
Owning a Property: Our Own Space
Owning a property was always a dream to me.
We had to rent houses and apartments, and we moved around a lot. My parents struggled to raise us.
After graduation at university, I finally saved up enough money to buy a house, it was a significant accomplishment.
It provided me with security, stability, and a place to call home.
Going to Parties: Uninvited Attendees
I don’t want to sound like a brat but I hated being stuck at home on the weekends.
Going to parties was always a luxury growing up poor. We couldn’t afford fancy clothes or gifts to bring.
It was only when I started working that I was finally able to attend parties, it was like a new world had opened up to me.
It provided me with social connections and a sense of belonging.
Going to School: Pull Your Weight
This is bad but going to school was a luxury growing up poor.
My parents had to work long hours to support us, and they couldn’t afford to send us to school.
I had to take a part time job as a paper boy so I didn’t attend school every day.
When I finally got a scholarship to attend college, it was like a dream come true. It provided me with opportunities to learn and grow.
Having a Computer (Internet): No Dial Up Connection
Today everybody had access, but for me, having a computer with internet access was always a luxury.
Growing up poor meant necessities first.
We had to rely on going to the library to use their computers.
I finally got a computer and internet access when I started my first job, it provided me with opportunities to learn, explore, and connect with others.
Going on Holiday: Thank You Mum
Going on holiday was always a luxury growing up poor. We couldn’t afford to go on vacations or trips. the idea of going on holiday was a distant dream.
However, when I turned 18, I managed to save enough money to take my mom on a weekend trip to a nearby beach.
It was the first time we had ever stayed in a hotel, eaten at a restaurant, and swam in the ocean.
It was like a dream come true. It provided me with a chance to explore and unwind. The experience was priceless and we still talk about it to this day.
Flying on a Plane: Defying Fears
As a child, I never even knew that taking a plane was an option.
But, when I landed a scholarship to study abroad in college, I had the chance to travel by plane for the first time.
Sitting in the plane was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.
From the food to the in-flight entertainment, it was like stepping into a new world.
Soap: Life’s Daily Habits
Growing up, we could only afford the cheapest soaps, which left us with dry skin and rashes.
It wasn’t until I started earning my own money that I realized the value of high-quality soap.
My first luxury purchase was a bar of handmade soap that smelled like lavender.
It was the first time I felt truly pampered and it taught me the value of investing in oneself.
Expensive Perfume and Beauty Products: A Refined Taste
As a woman, I always longed for expensive perfumes and beauty products but could never afford them.
It wasn’t until I started working as a makeup artist that I could splurge on high-end cosmetics.
The first time I bought a bottle of Chanel No. 5, it felt like a rite of passage.
Now, I wear it on special occasions to remind myself of how far I’ve come.
Microwave: Nuke It
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of appliances, let alone a microwave.
It wasn’t until I got my own place that I realized how much time and energy it saved me.
Being able to pop leftovers in the microwave instead of having to cook a whole new meal was a small luxury that made a big difference in my life.
Electric Stove: Modern Times
As a chef, having a high-quality stove is essential.
However, growing up, we could only afford a basic gas stove that was always breaking down. It was my job to help my mom fix it.
It wasn’t until I landed my first cooking job that I had the chance to work with an electric stove.
The precise heat control and consistent performance made cooking a joy rather than a chore.
A Bed With a Mattress: A Peaceful Sleep
As a child, I slept on a thin mattress on the floor. My family all slept in one room.
It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I could finally afford a proper bed with a comfortable mattress.
The first night I slept on it, I woke up feeling like a new person.
The feeling of waking up well-rested and pain-free was a luxury I had never experienced before.
To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.