People who grew up in financially unstable households typically display these 10 behaviors as adults

Growing up in a financially unstable household can really shape the way you view and interact with the world as an adult.

This is because our early experiences with money, especially during times of scarcity, can deeply impact our behaviors and attitudes later in life.

You see, adults who experienced financial instability as kids often exhibit certain unique behaviors. Now, these behaviors are not bad or good per se; they’re just different.

In the coming sections, we’ll delve into the 10 common behaviors typically displayed by adults who grew up in financially unstable households. Let’s explore together.

1) Frugality

Growing up in a financially tight household often instills a sense of frugality.

For those who’ve experienced financial instability as kids, every penny counts. This mindset sticks with them well into adulthood, and you’ll often find them being extremely careful with their spending.

They know the value of money and understand that it’s not something to be wasted. They’re likely to budget meticulously, always hunting for the best deals, and avoiding unnecessary expenses.

But it’s important to remember that this frugality is not about being stingy or cheap; it’s about making the most out of what they have and ensuring financial security.

This behavior is deeply rooted in their past experiences and is a direct reflection of the financial struggles they’ve witnessed or endured during their formative years.

2) Resourcefulness

One behavior I’ve noticed in many of my friends who’ve grown up in financially unstable households, and in myself too, is a heightened sense of resourcefulness.

Take my personal experience, for instance. Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money. We had to get creative to make ends meet. I remember using old newspapers as book covers, turning leftover dinner into creative meals for the next day, and mending torn clothes instead of buying new ones.

This early life lesson in resourcefulness has stayed with me into adulthood. Now, I find myself applying it in various aspects of life. Whether it’s finding a way to fix a broken appliance instead of immediately replacing it or coming up with cost-effective solutions at work, that sense of resourcefulness is always there.

This behavior is not just about saving money; it’s about learning to adapt and make the most of what you have. It’s an incredibly valuable life skill that often stems from growing up in a financially unstable household.

3) Delayed gratification

Adults who grew up in financially unstable households often develop a strong ability to delay gratification. This is a habit born out of necessity, where immediate desires had to be postponed in favor of more pressing needs.

In a study conducted at Stanford University, it was found that the ability to delay gratification is one of the most effective traits of successful people. They’re able to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later, often bigger, benefit.

This behavior, while challenging to cultivate, can lead to significant long-term advantages like better health, higher grades, and greater financial stability. It’s a trait that can be particularly pronounced in those who’ve faced financial difficulties early in life.

4) Appreciation for the simple things

Another common behavior exhibited by adults who grew up in financially unstable households is the ability to appreciate the simpler things in life.

When money is tight, you quickly learn to find joy and contentment in non-material things. A peaceful walk in the park, a good book, or quality time spent with loved ones often hold more value than expensive outings or material possessions.

This mindset often carries into adulthood. You’ll find these adults deriving happiness from life’s simple pleasures and experiences, rather than chasing after material possessions. This way of living can provide a sense of fulfillment and contentment that money can’t buy.

5) Greater empathy

Experiencing financial instability during childhood can often lead to a greater sense of empathy in adulthood.

Having faced hardships themselves, these adults are often more understanding and compassionate towards others who are struggling. They know what it feels like to go without, and this understanding can make them more inclined to lend a hand when they see others in need.

This heightened empathy isn’t something that’s learned in school or from books, but rather, it’s a behavior nurtured by experience. It is a testament to the resilience and strength of those who’ve faced financial adversity early in life.

6) Resilience

There’s a certain resilience that’s often born out of financial instability. It’s a deep-seated grit that comes from having to persist and endure, through thick and thin.

Growing up in financially unstable households, these individuals have weathered storms, made do with less, and faced many a hardship head-on. This shapes them into adults who are not easily deterred by difficulties. They’ve seen the worst and know they can survive it.

This resilience is more than just a survival mechanism; it’s a testament to their strength and tenacity. It’s a powerful trait that enables them to face life’s challenges with courage and determination, making them not just survivors, but fighters.

7) Fear of debt

I have a confession to make. I have an almost irrational fear of debt. This fear originated from my childhood, growing up in a financially unstable home. The constant worry about money, the stress of unpaid bills, and the fear of losing our home left a lasting impression on me.

As an adult, this fear has translated into a strong aversion to any form of debt. Credit cards? No, thank you. Loans? Only as a last resort. I always strive to live within my means, even if it means foregoing certain luxuries or conveniences.

While this fear can sometimes be restrictive, it also acts as a safeguard against potential financial pitfalls. It is a common behavior amongst those who grew up in financial instability and serves as a protective mechanism against repeating the cycle.

8) Struggle with money management

Interestingly, despite the frugality and resourcefulness often found in adults who grew up in financially unstable households, some may struggle with money management.

You might think that growing up with less would automatically make these individuals financial wizards, but that’s not always the case. The lack of exposure to proper financial management or the absence of positive financial role models can leave them ill-equipped to handle money matters as adults.

This isn’t to say that they can’t learn these skills. Quite the contrary. With the right guidance and resources, they can become excellent at managing their finances. It’s just that their starting point might be a little behind.

9) High value on education

Many adults who grew up in financially unstable households place a high value on education. They understand that knowledge and skills can greatly impact their financial future.

They often view education as the key to breaking out of the cycle of financial instability. As a result, they are likely to prioritize and invest in their own learning or the education of their children.

This behavior is driven by the belief that through education, they can secure better job opportunities, increase their income, and improve their financial standing in the long run.

10) Determination to break the cycle

Perhaps the most poignant behavior exhibited by adults who grew up in financially unstable households is their determination to break the cycle. They’ve experienced the struggles and hardships first hand, and they’re driven to build a different life for themselves and their future generations.

They work hard, save diligently, and strive to make wise financial decisions. They’re not just determined to survive; they’re determined to thrive. And this determination is a powerful force that can propel them towards financial stability and success.

Final thoughts: The power of resilience

The behaviors exhibited by adults who grew up in financially unstable households are often a testament to their resilience and adaptability.

These individuals have had to navigate challenges and adversity from an early age, and these experiences have profoundly shaped their behaviors and perspectives in adulthood.

However, it’s crucial to remember that these behaviors aren’t set in stone. They’re not an inescapable destiny but rather a starting point, a foundation upon which one can build.

Financial educator Dave Ramsey once said, “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” This quote eloquently encapsulates the journey many of these adults embark on as they strive to break the cycle of financial instability.

Each struggle faced, each penny saved, each sacrifice made – they all contribute to the making of individuals who are resilient, resourceful, and determined. And therein lies the power of resilience. It’s a force that propels them forward, shaping their present and molding their future.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

10 things highly productive people do that lazy people don’t, according to psychology

9 signs you have exceptional character, according to psychology