Only 20% of the worlds population belongs to the wealthy people. Rich children are being served by maids and butlers; hunger and poverty are unknown to them; and they do not know the concept of having to sacrifice something in order to get what they want. Bubbled in a world of luxury, most rich children is unaware of what life really is, except for these affluent kids from the AskReddit community who broke the ice and learned that life has its ups and downs.
Comments have been edited for clarity. The source can be found the end of the article.
My dad is a HUGE believer of “live beneath your means” so he drives a pretty cheap car and we live in a safe but not super fancy neighborhood. However, I go to a great school and horse back ride, so that’s a little different, but I sometimes think he has a lot more money than he tells us.
I honestly think that his philosophy is the best lesson he could’ve taught me because he has shown me that you get more satisfaction from working for something and you can do so much more with determination, not just throwing money at an obstacle.
When I was a little girl my mom set up some playdates so I can play at my friends’ houses. I went to private school so everyone pretty much came from a well-off family. I was amazed when I saw how amazing their houses are, how cool their toys are and how their parents able to send them to cool extracurricular activities (think about golf or horse-riding). When I was in middle school and everyone got the hottest gadgets, my parents made me stick to my old Nokia phone until I save enough for a Samsung Mini Galaxy.
Then I learned just how my parents love to live as humble as possible. Our family can live in luxury but they save as much money as possible. My parents trained me to work hard on things that I want. I am very thankful for that.
I knew this girl in high school who said her mom made her apply to a dozen or 2 scholarships every month starting in junior year. Seemed crazy to me and I didn’t really understood why until 4 to 5 years later (when most people I met in college had tens of thousands in loans). I didn’t grow up “wealthy” per se, but it was ingrained in me from a fairly young age that I’d be going to college, along with the understanding I wouldn’t be paying for it (or associated expenses).
Probably once I realized we were doing a big family trip every summer – like a two to three-week trip, and my parents would let me, my brother and my sister each bring a friend.
Had a kid who verbally fought me about that, but again… WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WHEN I’M 13 YEARS OLD!
I became friends with some kids at school. They always talked about how they couldn’t go out to eat because they didn’t have money, so I bought their lunches for them every day. Every summer they’d stop talking to me, and every school year when I’d buy the lunches they’d talk to me again. It finally hit me that I was being used for money when a girl got upset that I spent more money on someone else’s birthday present than I spent on hers. This was after she didn’t even say happy birthday to me. I’m a recluse now.
Most of the things in this thread are real differences, but not things that ever made me feel like the lives of other kids were totally alien. My family lived fairly modestly in a wealthy area. I certainly knew that we didn’t have money problems growing up, but it was reasonably grounded.
The moment I really realized I am really in a different position in life was when my peers in college were looking for jobs. “Don’t you know someone who could put your resume in?” “No.” “Oh…”. It had never really occurred to me that most people don’t have some big list of people they can turn to for help getting a job, that you don’t know anyone at that company you want a job at or even in a high position in any company that hires your occupation.
I have a huge number of useful connections simply by being born into my family and growing up where I did, and I now realize it’s a safety net that makes my existence much more secure than it is for most people.
Didn’t grow up super rich or as my parents called it “middle class” but when I found out that it wasn’t normal to get $30 a tooth from the tooth fairy.
Second time, was the first time I learned about mortgages/debt in the 8th grade. I had no clue what it was because my parents had paid for the House and the cars all in cash and had no debt.
Yeah… Took a while to realize these plus a few other “normal” things I grew up with were not the norm.
Honestly it didn’t really click until I was an adult. I always knew I was well off but my parents didn’t talk about money and outside of paying for my college didn’t treat me or my siblings as more than middle to upper-middle class. Sometimes even lower, since they are immigrants and grew up fairly poor. I also grew up in an affluent area so everyone was at least upper middle class (professional parents, a lot of lawyers and doctors)
However I eventually figured out that my dad was making ~$1M/year. What actually helped me figure it out was my girlfriend (now my wife) telling me it was weird I had no idea how much money he made. I had just never thought about it.
I grew up with a poor single mom in a typical Norwegian suburb. When I was 12 we won a trip to Turkey (she entered a competition through a temporary job- agency). I saw a bunch of really poor kids on the street in Turkey and realized my life was completely different from other kids.
I was an only child and didn’t have friends before going to primary school.
I was repeatedly told by my parents that we were really poor and had to be thrifty. The thing is, my family lived in a corner terrace and we had 2 branded cars. My dad had his own business that is quite big.
When I started school, my classmates started pointing out how ‘rich’ I was to have such a big house and my dad driving such an expensive car (since he always drove me to school).
In my mind, I didn’t see these material stuff as a status of being ‘rich’, I literally couldn’t grasp the idea of being ‘poor’ and ‘rich’, I just knew I was ‘poor’ because mom said so.
So I kept denying that I was ‘rich’ and because of that, I didn’t make a lot of friends. (cause may be they thought I was being stuck up?).
I only became more aware of my financially stable life when my high school friends started complaining that they couldn’t afford to keep eating at lunches that cost around $35, twice per week.
When I was 16, my parents had me get a job at a grocery store to build character. But my parents covered all my expenses and I didnt spend much extra money on myself, so I didnt have any particular need for my salary. I would get lazy and accumulate 6 to 8 weeks worth of paychecks before going to the bank to deposit. Once, a wad of my paychecks fell out of my pocket while I was at work, so my coworkers found out that I wasnt bothering to deposit my paychecks. That was an awkward day.
I did eventually deposit all the paychecks and later I used that money as part of a down payment.
When I was 11, a classmate asked who the guy who dropped me off at school was (she knew he wasn’t my dad) and I told her he was someone my dad hired to drive our family around to places. She ended up running around and screaming to everyone that I had a chauffeur, and everyone kept staring at me wide-eyed. I didn’t think it was a big deal but it was the reactions I got that jolted me.
Anyways, after that when I graduated from that school into pre-university, I always made sure I was dropped a block away so I walked into my pre-university school like everyone else.
I went to a government-run primary school in the suburbs, with students from all walks of life. After the winter school holidays in grade five or so, we discussed what we did during the holidays.
Plenty of kids visited relatives, or watched TV, or played video games, some went camping, and most played games with friends.
Me? I had a terrible winter break. I didn’t see any friends or do anything fun – I HAD TO hang out with my parents. I spent most of the three week period in the outback, travelling on our plane between oil & gas wells and other mining ventures my parents had a stake in – and then I spent a week in a suite at the Sheraton in Perth and THERE WAS NOTHING TO DO AND I WAS SO BORED.
That was an eye-opener.
Not rich in the sense of exotic cars or holidays, I was more the kid in a upper middle class income family living in a lower / lower middle income area.
It was a cumulative thing for me. The biggest three things that stand out in my mind are. Getting new computers as soon as our current one couldn’t cope. This was during the 90’s so pc’s were becoming basically becoming obsolete every year and whenever it happened we would just get a new one for each of my family members (4 of us at the time).
I found that this was not the norm when completing my first writing assignment. I did it using a PC and printer whereas everyone else used good old pens and paper. I had marks deducted for using the PC to print it, so I started asking other kids if they also had the same treatment and found out that I was the only one that printed the assignment because i was the only one who had their own PC.
The other two that served as stark reminders where going to university without taking on any debt. Getting a car (Audi A4) the same day as I completed my drivers license.
When my classmates started to make fun of me because my dad drove me to school in a Porsche. Kids can be mean. I was 10 back than. At one point, when a girl made fun of me i told her that she’s just jealous because my parents have money and she doesn’t. She started to cry and I walked out of the class. Good times.
Not me, but when I was managing a Taco Bell in the early 2000s, the franchise owner’s son wrecked a car so his dad made him work in one of the restaraunts to pay for it.
He was 17. It was his first job. And he was absolutely floored at the low pay. It was a true Lucille Bluth “How much does a banana cost? $10?” moment.
He had NO CONCEPT of the expense of living, paying rent, paying for car insurance. That kind of stuff was just a given for him. Once he realized that every single one of his co-workers, including people he was becoming friends with, were literally paying for their entire lives on $1000 a month, he had a huge change of heart.
He had no interest in the business until then, but he spent months telling everyone that he was gonna take over and raise wages as soon as he could.
I’m sure his dad is still kicking, as rich old guys with great insurance tend to do, so I have no idea how his plans ever came to pass. I don’t live in the area anymore. But I do hope he one day makes good on his life lesson. It’s also a nice insight into Trump, for me. The kind of person who cannot relate to 90% of the people is running the country. Scary.
I was kinda in a weird spot between both worlds. Looking back now, I can tell you my dad in particular, made a good deal more than most, and my mom made a decent salary too, but we always lived well below our means. We were never worried where the next meal was going to come from, but we never did “rich people” things either. We had a pretty average size house considering there was six of us, and didn’t have much in the way of what most would consider luxury goods or fancy cars or anything like that.
The one exception was that my parents paid for private grade school for me. As most of the people there were very much rich, my friends generally lived far more extravagantly than I did. Huge houses, all the toys and stuff I lusted after as a kid, etc. I went to a private high school as well, this time on an academic scholarship. It was downtown in a much less well-to-do area and had a much broader mix of people. Some folks were there on financial aid whose families were legitimately having trouble making ends meet at home. That’s when I kinda started to realize that although they generally didn’t act like it, probably qualified as “rich” from a pure numbers perspective.
My school had this trip to Singapore, but my dad (much to my dismay) didnt want me flying economy with the rest of my classmates because apparently our family is too high class for that or something, so he paid for me to get a first class ticket on the flight instead.
I had a fender bender in college and met with the insurance guy. He asked me who held the “lean” on the car. I had no idea what he meant, and he repeated himself. I finally said something along the lines of “no one leaned on the car, another car hit me.”
He then, very slowly, said: “who do you write the check to when you make payments each month?”
Me: “Oh, no. We just paid for it all at once.”
I know now that he was saying “lien.” But at the time I was 20 years old and had NO IDEA that people financed cars. I saw commercials for it on TV, but I thought it was a terrible financial decision, like renting-to-own your furniture or TV. My family had never carried a loan or mortgage on anything, including real estate.
A friend of mine once said, “You know at one time, we were so poor we had only 3 cars” I can assure you he was very genuine about this and almost teared up thinking about those times. I had no clue whatsoever about how to react to this, so I just kept silence.
When I switched to an alternative high school because I was at risk of dropping out. A lot of the kids there came from families that were low income and I remember my first Friday there and seeing kids begging the administrators to let them take food home for their families because they wouldnt be able to eat for the weekend.
A friend of mine once said, “you know at one time, we were so poor we had only 3 cars” I can assure you he was very genuine about this and almost teared up thinking about those times. I had no clue whatsoever about how to react to this, so I just kept silent.
When I went to the movies with my friend and her parent didn’t buy me candy a coke and popcorn like I expected (but didn’t voice) and instead ordered me a small shareable popcorn/candy deal and a water cup.
Upper middle class, but having your parents buy you a lifted truck for your 16th birthday. Really hit home when driving to school and it was the nicest student vehicle in the lot. Lost a lot of friends after that, and it’s constantly thrown in my face when talking to the friends I do have: “Not everyone has parents that can afford to buy them a $20000 truck.”
I couldn’t tell the difference until I realized none of my friends had ever traveled internationally. Still incredibly grateful to my parents for instilling, in me, a love of traveling.
When I realIzed my friends bedroom was roughly the same size as my bathroom.
I was 13 or 14 and was invited over to a friend’s house after school. It had never really registered that people lived in apartments or trailers or even that such a thing as homelessness existed. My buddy, his brother and his mom lived in a one bedroom apartment with his mom taking the couch to sleep. I was gobsmacked, looking around once I got there thinking, “what the heck, my closet is bigger than this place.” I started paying more attention to my friends and the world in general after this.
When my friends and I started hanging out on cafs in the local mall after school (we were like 11-12 years old) and they sometimes couldn’t go because they didn’t had enough money. I grew up in a wealthy family and I never had to pay for my own clothes or food. In my country it’s free to go to the dentist until you turn 18. My parents still continued to pay my dentist bills even after I turned 18, they paid all my driving lessons and I don’t have to pay anything even though I live home until I find the right apartment.
I’ve always had a lot of privileges that many of my friends never had and I’ve always been embarrassed about never having to do anything by myself. My parents raised me to be humble and they still require that I had/have a job besides high school and college so that I can learn to raise my own money and get awareness of how to spend it properly even though my family can get me out of a lot of financial issues. I think that my financial state should never be on their shoulders and I always feel bad when I have to ask for money even though I know it’s not a problem.
I was 15/17 when I realized that everyone doesn’t go abroad every year (or twice some years) and that some people my age had never been in a plane or gone further than the neighboring country.
When my brother told me that most people live in one floor houses or apartments. I thought everyone lived in 2-3 story 7.500 sq ft houses. I thought our house was pretty regular size. Of course this is when I was a young kid like 8-10 years old.
I only truly realized how well off my childhood was when I invited my cousin over to my parent’s new place. It was on a lake, they had a boat. I was driving it, and my cousin remarked “You know you’re rich when you can dig your own beach.” My cousin grew up poor. He couldn’t afford any luxuries, that sort of thing.
When I heard that I thanked my parents for everything.
When I realised most families have at least one parent who has a full-time job and both of mine had been retired, stay-at-home parents since their early 30’s.
When I realised that other college kids worry about student loans and actually work a part time job. I live alone with no loans or part time job… Im graduating soon though so that will probably change.