11 Essential Life Skills Gained from Growing Up Poor vs. Wealthy

by | Jun 24, 2024

Life skills are important to learn regardless of age. However, those who are lucky learn the majority of their life skills at a very young age. It’s easy to think that wealthy kids have an easier time learning and understanding things in life, but this isn’t always the case. Here are 11 essential life skills gained from growing up poor vs. wealthy.

Coming Up with Meals with Whatever Is Leftover

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Working with limited ingredients fosters resourcefulnees and innovation in the kitchen. If you can prepare meals with just a few things it says something about your ability to create and to find solutions to real life problems.

How to Use and Repair Everything

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People who grow up poor learn that they can’t just run out and buy a replacement for something whenever they need it. Instead, they need to learn to repair. Repairing takes self-reliance, reduces dependence on professional services, and saves both time and money.

Not Being Picky with Food

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When there is only so much food to eat, you learn not to be picky. People who grow up with less money learn to appreciate and eat whatever they have in front of them. As adults, this makes them more open-minded about trying different types of food.

Knowing What It Takes to Stay Out of Poverty

Save Money Grandpa and Grandson

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Some people are closer to poverty than they realize. For those who grew up without money, the financial struggles were experienced firsthand. This created a deep understanding of how to manage finances and the importance of saving and budgeting.


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When you don’t have much, you quickly learn to be grateful for what you have. Even the small things start to matter in life and allow you to have a positive outlook on your life.


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When life is easy, you’ll struggle when something difficult comes your way. People who grew up experiencing hardships have learned to be mentally tougher and bounce back from those difficult situations. Resilience is something that is easiest to learn from experience.

Strong Work Ethic

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When you grow up without money, you have to learn to work hard from a young age. The necessity of working hard for every achievement instills a different approach to life and makes people more task—and goal-driven.

Not Wasting

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Everything from toothpaste to fruit is valued when you grow up with no money. You’ll learn to make the most of limited resources. As an adult, you’ll have an easier time creating a sustainability mindset. Wasting is a problem, but those who grew up poor know how important it is not to waste.

Being Nice to People Regardless of Their Position in Life

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Those who grew up poor tend to understand the struggles of various socioeconomic backgrounds. They can see what it takes to have nothing, and because of this, they tend to be more empathic and kind towards others who may be in a similar situation.

Knowing You Can Lose or Gain It All in a Day

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The concept that wealth can come and go helps to keep life in perspective. When you have times in your life with very little money, you’ll learn to prepare for life’s uncertainties and become ready for anything that comes your way.

Status and Happiness Are Not the Same

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Finally, learning that true happiness comes from relationships, experiences, and time spent doing the things you love. Material wealth is not where happiness is born. Sometimes, those who grow up with very little tend to live happier lives because they are not as concerned with status.