Rich People Who Married Poor Share The Cheapest Thing Their Partner Does

When you’re poor, sometimes you have no choice but to do things the cheap way. It’s how you survived, and perhaps the only way of life you’ve ever known. However, marrying someone rich will change that in a flash. That doesn’t mean the habits you picked up while living in poverty will immediately disappear though.

Sometimes, the rich side of the relationship finds their partner’s cheap habits annoying, other times amusing, and sometimes, they even learn from them, realizing they’ve been living their whole lives in a bubble. Many of those juicy stories are told here from internet users around the globe. Whether you’re rich or poor reading this, you’ll likely be able to relate to at least a few of these from one side or the other.

Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#1 Living For The Months With Three Paychecks

Making financial decisions based around the three paycheck month. If you’re paid every two weeks, most months you’ll get two paychecks, and all of your monthly bills and budgeting is based on those two paychecks. But twice a year, there are three paydays in a month, and that’s when you can actually solve problems. That’s when you can get the car registered, or fix the dryer, or get the cat spayed. The other 10 months, you’re doing maintenance and trying to scrape by. With three paycheck months, you can actually try to fix problems.

#2 Family Hold Back

A had a friend whose family would often host dinners. If they ended the prayer before the meal with “F. H. B., Amen,” it was a signal to let the children know that they didn’t have enough food for everyone, so they should take smaller servings and let the guests get a regular serving. FHB stands for: “Family, hold back.” They were always generous to their friends.
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#3 What If The Food Runs Out?

Honestly, food insecurity. When we were first married, she would get visibly uneasy if the food in the house was running low. She never over-ate or anything, she was just always concerned about it. A lot of times when she was younger, she went hungry. She also hates camping. Her response is always the same: “You camped because it was fun, I camped because they couldn’t afford hotels.”

#4 Community College On Credit

She and her mother lived with her grandfather in order not to be homeless because her grandfather owned a house. She was putting community college payments on her credit card and building debt with it. I paid off her credit cards when we were dating and she cried from the gesture (it was only like, $1,300). I bought a condo, then we got married, then we bought a house. I never really considered myself rich until I started dating her and learned that during a trip to Wendy’s.

#5 The Luxurious Oranges

My wife was born and raised in the Soviet Union. She still goes crazy for fresh fruit like it’s the most extravagant luxury.
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#6 Insurance, Who Needs It?

The prevailing mindset in his community growing up was that insurance was something only rich people had. Not health insurance, mind you; auto insurance. Going without it was a way of life for most everyone he knew, despite the fact that it is illegal to do so. They figured, as long as you drove carefully, you’d never get caught.


#7 When Frugal Becomes Ridiculous

I am not well off, but my stepfather is. I was raised by a single mom who spent money on everything and our bills were always behind. She just couldn’t manage her money at all. In her 50s, she met and married a multi-millionaire. They gave themselves $10,000 a month to live on, and they own their home. Anyway, once my mom met him and they got all her finances paid off, she wouldn’t spend a penny.

He, on the other hand, spends like it is going out of style. He has actually begged me to take her shopping to get clothes and accessories. She won’t do it. She spent more when she was a single mom with nothing. It makes no sense to me. At least buy a new outfit. She is stubborn in that she won’t use a penny of his money. They barely even have any groceries. If they have anything, it is because he buys it for them. She is a retired nurse, so she gets a retirement and social security, but she won’t spend anything. She lives poorer now than in any other time in her life.

#8 Eating Like She’s Never Eaten Before

I didn’t marry this woman, but when we started dating, she always wanted to chill at my place, never hers. Which was fine. But she gained 35 lbs in just a few months of dating (she was 100 lbs when we started dating). Not that it was a bad thing, I am a chubby man myself. Anyway, it turns out, her family couldn’t afford dinner sometimes, so suddenly she had a place to eat every night and she gorged herself.


#9 What’s A Life Without Vacations?

I fell in love with my best friend who really didn’t have any money. When I got a job, for my birthday, I decided to plan a holiday and bring him along. It didn’t even occur to me that this was his first ever holiday that he’d ever taken. His family could never afford it growing up, and he never really thought to do it as an adult.

#10 A Balanced Breakfast Of Rice And Sugar

I’m from an upper-middle-class American family and my husband is from a poor southeastern Asian family. It is hard for me to wrap my head around how poor they really were when he was growing up. He told me they would sometimes eat only rice with sugar for meals because they couldn’t afford meat. They were probably living off less than $0.50/day for a family of five at times.

#11 Like A Kid In A Candy Store

My husband came from a very poor Mexican village. He told me he used to shower outside because there was no in-house plumbing, and he also used leaves as toilet paper. He’s been living in the US for 12 years now, but when we first met it was so interesting seeing life through his child-like eyes. Going to the cinema was a huge event for him. Heating food up in a microwave was a totally foreign concept. And staying at fancy hotels when we went on vacation was like, WOAH. I still see him surprised by things now and then and it just reminds me how much I take my class for granted.


#12 Cheap Dinners Are Off Limits Now

I’m with a partner who was raised by a teen mom and grew up poor. Sometimes, I just want rice and vegetables for dinner. That’s a no from her. She won’t go back.

#13 He’s In Love With The Grocery Store

My husband grew up in a family where they were comfortable but on a strict budget. He was one of six kids and his mom was on disability. My family similarly had no budget. One day, we were at the grocery store and he insisted on walking up and down every aisle. I finally lost it because he was taking so long and asked him why he needed to do that. “Growing up, we could only spend $100 a week on groceries for all of us. I always had to put what I wanted back because we couldn’t afford it. Now I can afford whatever I want so I like to look at everything I can.” It took him 10 years to tell me this. I felt like a terrible person.

#14 Credit Card? No Way.

Credit cards were avoided. When I was growing up, we were encouraged to get a credit card in our name and use it as much as possible in order to build credit. There was always money to pay it off each month, so it made sense to 1) build credit, and 2) collect airline miles or whatever the reward was back in the day. When we got together, she always used cash or a debit card. She had a credit card “for emergencies” and avoided using it otherwise. It took a long time to get her over her skepticism (we were fortunate to have two good paying jobs), though it also taught me a healthy appreciation for what it means to have a financial cushion.

#15 A Sweaty Past

She lived in the desert without air conditioning. Once she moved into the city, she refused to turn on her air conditioning because she wanted to “save” on her electrical bill. She said that she got so used to living in the heat that she no longer felt the need for air conditioning. That’s great for her, but what about me?

#16 How To Deal With A Broken Television

I’m from a wealthy family and my partner grew up poor. A couple of months ago, our new TV from a big box store broke suddenly. He had bought the warranty (which I never do, I didn’t think they worked). He spent like five hours on the phone over three days and got us a replacement TV, which is not something I would ever have done or thought of doing.

#17 A Life Without Snacks

My husband was born in Nicaragua and eventually moved to Texas where his mother barely scraped by supporting him and his brother. Now, he never eats snacks. Ever. They didn’t have food in their kitchen and he would go hungry sometimes. He said they had an egg in the kitchen one time and he scrambled it so he could split it with his brother while his mom hungrily looked on. Now as an adult, he doesn’t understand “snacking.” If we eat a banana, he thinks that is our next meal.

#18 Comfortable In Filth

Their place was always filthy. I mean, there was dog mess everywhere, the dishes were piled up, and the floors were grimy. One time, I used the bathroom at one of his parent’s places and had to spread my feet while sitting on the toilet to avoid stepping in blood. I mean, it was so disgusting… my significant other was baffled when, after we first got married and moved in with each other, every day he would come home to a spotless home.

#19 Picking Up The Tab Is A Parental Thing To Do In Some Families

I grew up in an upper-middle-class family and was making three times as much as my now-husband when we met. He grew up extremely poor, and his family is still living that way. He’s surprised that my parents pick up the check when we go out to celebrate a birthday or a graduation, and that my parents ask him to pick whatever restaurant he wants. To his family, a big meal out is going to McDonald’s and not eating off the dollar menu (I’m serious).


#20 Life Is Better With Full-Coverage Insurance

I’m 40 now. I met now-wife when I was in my early 30s. I grew up in an upper-middle-class family and was making a few bucks shy of six figures by the time we met. She grew up in poverty and her dad went AWOL when she was 10. She had gotten an associates degree working full time but was making bad money in a horrible paying field when we met.

We both learned a lot of lessons about how the other half deals with finances, but our first co-owned car was a serious trip for both of us. We weren’t married yet but we were headed there. I suggested we buy a new car and she thought I meant a 10-year-old, injury-trap to replace her 20-year-old junk-on-wheels. I, on the other hand, was imagining a shining chariot of airbags  and anti-lock brakes.

She was telling stories about how she was once bullied by car salesmen into buying the only thing she could afford up front because even if she could get a loan for something better, the interest rate would basically be usury. When we went to go buy it, she experienced what it was like to buy a car when you have high credit, high income and the ability to walk away.

We basically walked in and I said, “This is what I want. This is the price that my credit union pre-negotiated with your boss. If you want me to finance with you, tell me your best rate and I’ll tell you if it’s good enough.” We ended up walking out with a 0.9% loan. The real lesson was still to come six months later.

There was a nasty storm and she was in an accident. The car was totaled, and so was the car of the other party. In her world, life was basically over. My phone rang and she was sobbing. “I crashed the car. I ruined it. It’s broken. Everything is ruined.” I was instantly put in an adrenaline-fueled panic machine. I could hear a siren blaring in the background. She was still sobbing. She must be injured, I thought.

Over and over, I asked where they were taking her while running around the house my wallet and keys. For a good minute, we were just talking past each other. Then, she heard what I was asking. “I’m at Drexel lane. The car is ruined. The other car is ruined. I’m not hurt. I might have a bruise on my shoulder tomorrow. My glasses are broken.”

That’s when it hit me: the only insurance she’d ever dealt with before is state minimum liability. She was worried about the cost. But when we got the car, we added collision and 250/500/250, and I added her to my liability umbrella. Approximately 8,000 barrels of adrenaline coursing through my bloodstream vaporizes. This is fine. “Call the insurance company. They’ll pay for everything. Make sure you tell them about the shoulder in case you have to go to the doctor. They’ll probably pay for new glasses too. I’ll be there in 20 minutes.”  We had a new car in the driveway a week later.


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#21 Passports Are Not A Priority When You’re Poor

My husband wasn’t dirt poor, but his parents split and so his mom was raising him on just her income and things were tight. A few years ago, we moved to a border city (in Canada, close to the US) and so my husband and I would frequently go across the border. When his brother and kids came to visit, I told him to remind them to bring their passports so we could take them across and he told me that they didn’t have passports.

I was astounded and said something stupid along the lines of, “Well, how do they travel” and he pointed out that they didn’t have the money to go on nice vacations, let alone ones that required international travel. It’s strange what things you don’t think of as “luxury.” Getting a passport costs $200 a person, so that’s not a priority when you’ve got three kids and small incomes.


#24 She Was The Definition Of Living On Credit

When we moved in together, I found out that she was putting her share of the rent on her credit card, with no real plan for how to pay it off. She had been living on credit this entire time. I confronted her one day about it as politely as I could and she just broke down in tears. She was genuinely struggling and she kept it from me because she was embarrassed to ask for help.

#23 Who Needs Tissue When There’s Toilet Paper?

My wife instinctively uses toilet paper instead of going to the box of tissues to blow her nose. She had never had boxes of tissues growing up.

#24 Throwing Food Away Is A Sin To Some

She wouldn’t waste any food, ever. We went through a few rounds of her getting sick from eating month-old muffins before I convinced her it was okay to toss old food and go shopping. She grew up having almost nothing to eat, so I don’t blame her for not wanting to waste any food. It’s going to be a learning process for her.

#25 Notes From The One Percent

I come from a family that’s comfortably seated just above the top 1%. I was walking out of my spouse’s garage and I saw a lawnmower. I asked her why they owned their own lawnmower if they weren’t in the landscaping business. That was the day I learned most people don’t hire other people to mow their lawn. I was 20.


#26 She Who Fails To Plan Plans To Fail

She just ignored things and didn’t plan. Does the car need to be registered? Well, it has a service light on and can’t pass inspection so she’ll just drive it unregistered. Do student loans need to be paid? She doesn’t have the money for it, so she won’t open her mail from the servicer and ignore the problem. Need to fly somewhere for a big personal event? She can’t really afford the plane ticket so she’ll push it off until the ticket is twice as expensive. It drove me crazy since I’m the opposite. Luckily, I was able to change her worldview on these things and her credit score went up a few hundred points. She got back on track and now I can’t believe her other family members still act similarly to how she did.


#27 Maybe She’s Just Into Recycling

My wife isn’t even significantly less wealthy than me or my family, but they were less stable middle class. She saves yogurt cups and butter jars as Tupperware. It drives me bananas. We make a six-figure income in small-town Colorado.

#28 An Immaterial Girl

Her family used the same cup for everything. Each person’s cup was used for everything from coffee to wine. Obviously, they’d wash it after each use, but it was still humbling to see. I’ve come to appreciate many aspects of my wife’s previous lifestyle. I find I’m much less stressed now knowing how unimportant material things are.

#29 It’s Actually Expensive To Be Poor

I married an immigrant from a poor family. I was surprised at just how expensive it is to be poor. Planning ahead to limit long-term costs tends to cost more up front, and his family just didn’t have enough money in a given month’s budget to do that. For example, his family would go through paper towels like crazy, yet they didn’t own any cloth kitchen towels.

At first, I found this horribly wasteful, but it’s because a single roll of paper towels is much cheaper than a couple of kitchen towels. Even though you’ll end up paying a lot more for the many rolls of paper towels you’ll go through in the time it takes the cloth towels to wear out, you just can’t justify the initial expense. And it became a habit, so even when they were at my house, they would reach for the paper towels.

Normally, a roll of paper towels lasts me a month or two because I use cloth for most things. They’d easily go through a roll or two a week. Same with pots and pans and any other durable household item – they would buy the bad pans that only last a year or two, while I have Revere Ware pans that I inherited from my great-grandmother.

They also didn’t treat these items well, which caused them to wear out even faster. I’m not sure why that was, maybe just because they had every expectation of needing to replace them, so squeezing out an extra couple of months of use wasn’t worth the time it takes to be careful. It was insightful to see how different they lived compared to me.


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#30 He Missed Out On A Real Childhood

My spouse grew up in poverty. He spent a lot of his childhood in a trailer park. The big one for me is that he started working at 13 and was paid under the table. His parents bought him an old Saturn and made him drive to work and school at that age too. From that age on, he was financially responsible for anything beyond food and the roof over his head. School supplies, clothes, etc. were all things he had to pay for. If the Saturn broke down, he was responsible for paying for the repairs.


#31 Stability Is Not Overrated

My fiancé grew up extremely poor. We’re getting married this month. Anyway, I grew up pretty wealthy—I had two cars in high school, went to private schools, and had anything I could ask for. We snowboarded every winter and went boating every summer. I traveled the world with my family. She grew up without a bed, eating rice every day, sometimes with no food, or no home for a long time, couch surfing with different families and stuff.

She had no insurance or anybody to watch over her from very early on. She didn’t sleep in a bed that was hers until she was 18. It’s kind of amazing she survived. But now that we’ve been together a long time, there something that really stands out. She’s very insecure. It makes sense though, she had zero security her entire life.

Now she panics thinking I’m going to leave her over the smallest thing and it scares her because this is the steadiest things have ever been for her. She still is reminded every day of how poor she was. She still thanks me constantly for giving her a normal life. She’s so happy every day that we just have furniture and a car and food in the fridge. It’s kind of nice to be able to give her that. It’s something I don’t think I’ll ever really understand, but I’m glad I have her in my life.


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#32 Movie Theaters Are A Real Treat For Some

I live in Taiwan and most movie theaters play just action and comedies. I kind of roll my eyes when my wife and I see ads for movies. I’m more into dramas and art-type films, but I’m also a huge Disney fan. So, in the past two months, we went to see Avengers, Dumbo, and Aladdin. I was super excited talking about Aladdin and how other remakes are coming out.

She asked if we would see those in theaters too. I said of course and she told me that was her fourth time seeing a movie in the theaters. It hit me that her first time was on one of our first dates. She was just too embarrassed to say anything. I never saw seeing a movie with popcorn, drinks, and snacks as a luxury.


#33 Finally Able To Take A Real Bath

After we married, I found out until she was 23 and married to me she had never bathed in more than two inches of water. I filled the tub and bathed her myself. She cried.


#34 She Got Milk

The first night my girlfriend moved in, she asked if she could have a glass of milk. I said “Sure, you can always have anything. This is your house too.” She then poured this very small bit into a tumbler and sat back to talk. I must have looked at her weird because she said, “Did I pour too much?” I told her no, drink all the milk you want. She then asked, “What if you run out?” I told her I’d just get more. I could see those two things didn’t coexist in her world… All the milk I want? Really? Over the next two days, she demolished the best part of a couple of gallons. I’ve never seen someone so legit happy.

#35 Quality Over Quantity Please

The stuff he buys… like, don’t buy a $1.50 vegetable peeler because it’ll break the third time you use it, duh. And if a pair of shoes is $19.99 then its because they’re bad quality! He buys so much stuff because it’s cheap, that he hasn’t yet got the hang of “quality over quantity!”

#36 She Can’t Kick Her Dry Cereal Habit

My wife grew up in a very poor house. She lived homeless for four years from the age of three to seven. She now does stuff like eat cereal without milk because she didn’t like to eat it with water.

#37 Splurging On Hot Dog Buns

It’s a celebration when a hot dog bun is used for your hot dog instead of a slice of bread.
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#38 Her Possessions Are Always Prized

I grew up being handed everything. My wife grew up pretty poor. Something I’ve noticed over the years is the attachment and care she puts into things she owns. If she bought it with her own money, no matter how big or small, she treats it like it’s the only one she will ever have. Don’t get me wrong, I treat my own things well too, but in the back of my mind I always think along the lines of “If I crash this car or if I break this phone, my parents will get me another one”. To this day, I still feel like I have a safety net no matter what happens.

#39 One Person’s Ketchup Is Another One’s Bisque

He referred to ketchup that had been mixed with water and heated “tomato bisque.”

#40 Forever In The Hole

I had no idea how much debt my guy was in until I was placed in charge of the bills during his deployments. He’d max out one card, then open another. Insanity! Two cars in the lot, label clothes and all the appearances of having it together. I was able to pay off five of his credit cards while he was away using his income that he’d normally just blow on useless things. I thought it would convince him to cut his cards upon his return. When he came back, however, he just resumed using them and made his situation even worse. It got so bad that at one point, he had to foreclose his property and sell all of our cars. He even lost me in the process. He’s someone else’s issue now.

#41 Poor People Can Be Stingy Too

My wife is not a generous gift-giver. I know this is not typical of poor people (who, on average, give a higher percentage of their income to charity than any other group in the US) but she is very stingy. I had to explain to her that she’s a doctor in a small town now, so she should tip 20% instead of exactly 15% down to the penny.

I showed her how much I was giving to my friend for his wedding ($200) and she was shocked I was giving that much (it was an expensive wedding and I got to bring a date). All of our pet peeves about each other’s spending just built up over time. I didn’t know if we were going to make it.

One of the best things about being upper middle class is that you can afford to be generous with people, and I think that she had a problem doing that because she worked very hard for everything she ever got, while I see myself as just a fortunate person for being born into a family that helped support me. Luckily, we had a long and hard talk about it, and now we’re working on finding some middle ground when it comes to gift-giving.

#42 Spending Money Hurts

My husband grew up in a dirt poor household, like beans and rice for every meal sometimes. Spending anything over $15 with him, I can see him cringing out of habit.

#43 An Extreme Level Of Preserving Paper Towels

Paper towels. I just grab what I need, wipe, trash, done. But she will tear off the tiniest pieces just not to waste any.


#44 People Save For Retirement?

She thought a 401k was a very long run.

#45 At Some Point, Generosity Can Become Irresponsible

She will give anything to anybody who needs it, the most generous person I know to the point of financial irresponsibility. At least that’s how they would perceive it in the circles that I come from.



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