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.
#1 Living For The Months With Three Paychecks
#2 Family Hold Back
#3 What If The Food Runs Out?
#4 Community College On Credit
#5 The Luxurious Oranges
#6 Insurance, Who Needs It?
#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?
#10 A Balanced Breakfast Of Rice And Sugar
#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
#13 He’s In Love With The Grocery Store
#14 Credit Card? No Way.
#15 A Sweaty Past
#16 How To Deal With A Broken Television
#17 A Life Without Snacks
#18 Comfortable In Filth
#19 Picking Up The Tab Is A Parental Thing To Do In Some Families
#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.
#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
#23 Who Needs Tissue When There’s Toilet Paper?
#24 Throwing Food Away Is A Sin To Some
#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
#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
#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.
#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.
#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
#36 She Can’t Kick Her Dry Cereal Habit
#37 Splurging On Hot Dog Buns
#38 Her Possessions Are Always Prized
#39 One Person’s Ketchup Is Another One’s Bisque
#40 Forever In The Hole
#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
#43 An Extreme Level Of Preserving Paper Towels
#44 People Save For Retirement?
She thought a 401k was a very long run.
#45 At Some Point, Generosity Can Become Irresponsible