It also meant that school friends wouldn’t come over, and I’d spend most summers or school breaks alone. Extracurricular activities were often too expensive and required difficult to obtain transportation. Even attending birthday parties was a minefield because I didn’t just need to buy a gift but also …
I can completely relate to everything you mentioned regarding a childhood in poverty; spending most breaks alone, not being able to be involved in much due to expense and transportation, the scarcity of food as well as clothing, toiletries, etc.
The experience of growing up in abject poverty, abuse/neglect has certainly had an impact on how I manage things as an adult (emotionally, financially, other). I’ve spent most of my life being the adult (the responsible one) in nearly every situation, including with family. My parents weren’t exactly there or when they were they didn’t actively make an effort to enrich my life for the better. Quite the opposite. I don’t understand people who aim to make their kids’ life hell. Honestly, I wish they’d been the type of people who were wealthy enough to provide but were never around. I could have lived with absent parents. Instead, I had to deal with parents with avoidable financial drama, their abusive mind games, their respective mental illnesses, etc.
I’ve gone out of my way to NOT be anything like my relatives.
Yeah, if I was making $25k a month, I promise you it would make a huge impact on my life and the lives of those around me. I don’t know anyone who it wouldn’t unless they were already well-off. Hell, an extra $5k a month would be incredible simply because I know I wouldn’t be in any kind of debt (remaining student loans, that sort of thing). I would travel more. I would buy a ‘better’ quality of the day to day things I use. I would invest more, save more, give more. I wouldn’t take on anything extra like a larger house than needed or a brand new car.