“You Know You’re Poor When…” Poor Folks Share the Biggest Clues You Know You’re Poor

The poor live a life that the rich can’t fathom. But at least they have a sense of humor about it!

One optimistic yet financially hindered person came to a popular forum for people lacking wealth, asking folks to share the best “You know you’re poor when…” jokes. 

Leaving the Oven Open

A woman opening her oven.
Photo Credit: Lolostock via Shutterstock.com.

You know you’re poor when you refuse to waste the sweet heat from an oven in winter. Keeping that door open while the oven cools will help spread that heat throughout the house. 

Damp Clothes

Upset senior woman holding up a shirt that shrunk in the laundry. The washer is open behind her.
Photo Credit: Ljupco Smokovski via Shutterstock.com.

People without their own laundry machines all share the frustration of damp clothing. Sometimes, the laundry mat dryer doesn’t get everything dry, but you don’t have enough money to run them through again. 

$20 Bucks!

Woman with her arms up and a pile of money in one hand glowing with happiness.
Photo Credit: Dean Drobot via Shutterstock.com.

Twenty dollars is nothing to some, but finding a spare twenty-dollar bill can improve a poor person’s entire month!


A woman sitting cross legged on the ground holding a single candle.
Photo Credit: Zolotarevs via Shutterstock.com.

Rich folks use candles for the scent and the ambiance, but poor folks use candles to see at night without paying for electricity. 

We are not the same. 

Free Condiments

Bowls of assorted condiments and dips on a table.
Photo Credit: Goskova Tatiana via Shutterstock.com.

Why pay for condiments when you can collect the ones that come free from fast food restaurants?  Though most folks have random ketchup packets, low-income people have special storage places to ensure they always have some on hand. 


A hoarder sitting in a garage with all his stuff.
Photo Credit: ronstik via Shutterstock.com.

Poor people can’t stand to part with things because they never know when they’ll need it. Empty jars, old possessions, random cords, and spare parts all might come in handy someday, and they won’t be able to afford to buy it if they need it. 

Getting Every Last Drop

image of generic shampoo bottles
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Poor folks know how to make things last. Mixing water with detergent and shampoo can make these costly necessities last an extra week. 

Zero Waste

woman throwing away a pair of glasses
Photo Credit: Jasen Wright via Shutterstock.com.

Zero waste may be the hot new trend, but poor folks roll their eyes at these new influencers “discovering” the secrets they’ve used for decades. 

The poor stick with reusable products like diapers, plates, and towels because washing and reusing is far cheaper than using disposable products. 

Gas Money

hands filling a car's gas tank
Photo Credit: alvarog1970 via Shutterstock.com.

Some folks scoff when people use food stamps to purchase things like soda but don’t realize the second-order benefits. Pop provides a ton of calories and sugar to help people get through the day, and people can recycle cans and bottles for gas money. 

Flags as Curtains

A pretty window with a light over it and some flags hanging inside.
Photo Credit: Tony Quinn via Shutterstock.com.

Sometimes, people decorate with flags because they can’t afford curtains. You know you’re poor when you must rely on flags, sheets, and blankets to block the windows. 

Winter Recipes

plate of mouthwatering pot roast with potatos and carrots.
Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker via Shutterstock.com.

Poor folks don’t use the oven in the summer. That would heat the house too much. Many things can only be cooked in the winter. 

A Special Treat

A woman enjoying a fast food cheeseburger.
Photo Credit: Prostock-studio via Shutterstock.com.

Poor kids celebrate their birthdays at McDonald’s because that’s all their parents can afford. You know you’re poor when your weekly special treat is a fast food dollar menu meal. 

Taking Extra

man holding 7 roll of toilet paper in his arms
Photo Credit: Lazy_Bear via Shutterstock.com.

Toilet paper is a necessity. You know you’re really poor when you take a bit extra every time you use a public toilet for use at home. 

Free Tupperware

Assorted selection of reusable containers.
Photo Credit: patpitchaya via Shutterstock.com.

Why buy Tupperware when you can use sour cream canisters and take-out containers? You know you’re poor when you’re entire Tupperware collection was sourced from takeout and grocery items. 

Frugal Hacks from the Experts That Still Work

happy woman holding cash in both hands
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Frugal experts are always coming up with innovative ways to save money. These frugal hacks still work!

Save Money on Basic Living Expenses

An anxious looking woman turns the pockets of her jeans inside out to show she's penniless.
Photo Credit: ViDI Studio via Shutterstock.com.

You have to live, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here’s how to save money on living expenses

Use the Triangle Method To Achieve Your Goals

image of a triangle with money inside and sides labeled with savings, debt repayment, and investing to represent the triangle approach to finances
Photo Credit: Created in Canva by Partners in Fire.

Should you save, invest, or pay off debt? Gurus have tons of different answers, but the triangle method works for everyone

Realistic Money-Saving Tips for Everyone

Happy woman holding a fanned out wad of cash in her hand.
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Need to save more money? Check out these tried and true tips that nearly anyone can implement

How Much Does Life Cost?

An oblivious woman shrugs her shoulders like she doesn't know and doesn't really care.
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With rampant inflation, the cost of living is higher than ever. Here’s how much it costs Americans to live on average

Source: Reddit