Wealthy People Reveal When They Knew They Were Spoiled As Kids
You truly do grow up in a different world. Other options are available to you immediately, and you very rarely don't get what you want. So then how do you know you're rich?
Let's ask Reddit. lilsunflowers wanted to know:
Here are some of the luxurious answers.
Poor Unfortunate Souls
Not so much the same, but didn't realize until way later in life that the reason our neighbors kids had dinner with us every night was because their parents couldn't afford to feed a family of 5 and keep the power on. My dad did their taxes and it was his way of helping them without ruining their pride. We also had the parents over for BBQ almost every weekend and sent them home with all the leftovers. Didnt find out until I took a college class with one of the kids years later.
A Full Childhood
My parents put me through so many classes, I just thought it was a normal thing that everyone did (although not necessarily as many as I did).
When I moved out and discovered that I had to budget to be able to afford to replace my violin strings and bow hairs, it hit me that my parents must have been spending an actual fortune on me. On top of the actual classes (of which there were many) and getting there, they were buying equipment (my instruments and music books), maintaining/upgrading/replacing as necessary, paying for me to take music exams, paying for me to travel with my youth music group, I think a year of my extracurriculars in high school must have cost at least as much as a year of an undergrad degree in Canada.
I owe my parents so much money if I ever get rich.
Some kids make more money than their parents, even when they don't make a lot of money.
My coworker and I make the same salary. She took her parents out to eat for her birthday because to them she makes a lot of money. My parents take me out to eat for my birthday because to them I don't make a lot of money.
When I was 13 I brought over a friend who was really, really impressed by my parent's automatic garage door opener. That was a huge shift in perspective for me
Find Your Silver
Early on in our relationship, my empathetic, socially aware, and compassionate wife said off-hand "Well, but you must have had SOME silver growing up, right? I mean, everyone has SOME silver."
Pretty middle class, but lived in an expansive suburb with almost zero apartment complexes. Always just assumed everyone had a house and didn't really understand the concept of renting a house or an apartment until I was 13-14 when I heard them talking about it on friends or something.
Spare A Dime?
This is going to sound silly but, money. Like spare cash. I didn't realize until i went to college that everyone doesn't have extra spending money to spend on silly things like movies or a non cafeteria lunch.
My family was never overly wealthy, but my parents provided an abundance of toys for me and my sister. I had a huge imagination, and I played with every single one of them. But I would be flabbergasted when I went to my friends' houses to see that they didn't have as many toys, or any toys at all. I used to think that some kids just didn't like toys.
Costs Of Living
I teach teens whose father makes millions a year. They were very upset that a doctor only makes $200k a year and they weren't sure that was enough to live comfortably on. We did the math one day and realized he makes more in a day than a minimum wage earner does in a year.
To be fair, it's pretty hard to understand how money works when everything is done for you. Most of the kids I've taught have no concept of income and cost of living. Parents! Teach your kids how to pay for things and what life costs!
I thought it was standard to take a limo to the airport or funerals. I actually thought my friend was lying when she told me she had never been in one.
When I was like 10 or so, the airline screwed up our tickets flying home from England. My dad was pissed, but he went and bought 4 tickets for us home on the Concorde. I had an idea we were well off, but didn't realize until I was older that our flight home cost almost $50k.
I thought everyone had a vacation home somewhere, and had a maid who cleaned the house. I came home from college my first year and looked around my neighborhood and saw it through different eyes. Suddenly I realized how big the houses were, and how most had three car garages. That just felt normal to me until I went to school with people who didn't have those things.
Can I answer for someone else?
A past partner grew up much more privileged than I did. His house was one-level and he warned me that his family was poor before we went in and my response was, "Oh, it's okay, I grew up in a trailer." I walked into this beautiful, completely renovated house with all new furniture and one of those fridges that was touch screen. He thought he was poor because he was technically low-income for the neighborhood he lived in. The whole thing looked like a Rooms-To-Go magazine. It even had skylights.
He also apologized for his family's cars. They were older but they were both Volvos and they still were pristine. I grew up with a 2001 Monte Carlo that didn't have AC and smelled like cigarettes.
The main thing that bugged me was he kind of chastised me for not being in sports or activities when I was younger. I so wanted to play soccer like he did when I was a kid but my family couldn't afford the uniforms.
Also, music lessons like he had, I really wanted a piano and a violin as a kid but, again, my parents couldn't afford a piano like his family's beautiful Yamaha. Nor could they afford the lessons for violin or piano.
His mom ended up making me feel bad for my "diseased" thrift store clothes and eventually it got to him too and one of the many reasons he broke up with me was because his parents had convinced him that me having grown up poor, I was going to be a leech on his future finances. It made me really insecure about my social status that rich people would look down their noses at me because I had no choice in how I grew up.
House servants. Seriously, they do all your chores and EVERYTHING around the house.
A friend of mine had a maid who lived with them as a fulltime job and had a room in their poolhouse.
It was only until later in life that I realized going out to restaurants, daily, isn't typical.
I just figured that is how people normally ate. I thought home cooked meals were the special ones.
A private jet. We would always charter a private jet when flying for vacations or to visit relatives in other states. I would see all of the other jets at the airport, but just assumed that they were just much bigger private jets. I would actually be pretty jealous as I would imagine my family flying in such a large plane and having all that room. Turns out those were commercial flights with very little room at all. I was 15 when I finally realized this.
Never Feeling Discomfort
At college I asked my pre-med roommate if it was safe to go to sleep hungry.
Growing up, my family was considered by the government to be below the poverty line - my siblings and I qualified for free school lunches. But, we lived in a safe part of town. We would often put a fan in the window to bring in cool air on Summer nights. One evening, I was giving a ride to some teenagers from church to another youth leader's house who lived in a similar neighborhood to mine. One of the youth commented, "This is one of those neighborhoods where people don't lock their windows at night." I was in my early 20s at the time. I was ashamed that I'd never realized leaving my window open to enjoy a cool Summer breeze at night was something people a couple miles away from me couldn't do.
Cruises Ain't For The Weak
For years and years when I was a kid I would look down on people who hadn't traveled well, particularly people who did the same Disney cruises every year. In my mind I was thinking, "Expand your horizons! Go to Europe or China or Peru like my family does!" \
Financing The Stone
I had a roommate once. His father was a multi millionaire. Anyway so I was sitting at the table paying my bills. He asked what I was doing and upon mentioning I was making a car payment his mind was blown away. The idea of financing a car was very foreign to him. he asked so many questions and he could just not understand why anyone would do that. When we got to the topic of car insurance that was another thing he could not get.
He always paid cash for vehicles and he was self insured, everyone in his family and all his friends did this.
I felt oh so very small.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.