In Discussions, Discussions, Life, Money, Parenting, Wealth

Most of my friends are Privileged Rich Kids

I came to the realization the other day that most of my friends are Privileged Rich Kids (PRK).

Not all of my friends are PRKS, to be sure, but I always thought it was just a few people I knew, not 75%!

I did a mental count of people I knew, and came up with 75% of them being PRKs.

Then again, most of them are from my business school, which makes sense if you consider tuition alone, cost $20,000 a year in my day, when other colleges were only charging a measly $2500 – $5000 a year.

While I knew a lot of the people I know from my business school were rich, some with famous parents as well who have millions of dollars, the group I hung out with, was considered a little less wealthy by those kinds of standards.

So I just assumed… like me and my parents?

But they’re very far from my situation when I first started school.

To be fair, I wouldn’t really know for certain if my friends’ parents are millionaires, but I’d say ‘Yes’ as a guess, in the low millionaire-range, not not in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

I mean, they have summer homes in Europe, and their parents retired (comfortably, not on $500 a month or any kind of extreme retirement) at about 40, which I only just learned about from casual conversation.

SOME TIP OFFS AS TO HOW I REALIZED THEY’RE RICH KIDS

My friends all own houses or condos near to downtown cities.


(Or are able to buy them if they wanted to, with the help of Mom and Dad).

They don’t really work for the most part and aren’t actively searching for a job (unlike me as a freelancer, they aren’t freelancers and aren’t waiting for a contract.)

They are always in the middle of ‘finding themselves’, like taking a year off to travel to really amazing cities, stay in 5-star hotels, etc.

… or taking on MBAs at Harvard, Yale or Stanford, financed by the Bank of Mom & Dad.

graduate-school-education-tuition

They’re always starting and stopping businesses as part of their ‘search for themselves’.

They’re not concerned at all about money, and go out to eat 3X a day, and just wander around the city, meeting friends, and having drinks.

They also casually say things like: I’m just going to fly to Paris and hang out for a while., as if everyone does it.

They all paid off their student loans in cash, having borrowed $200K over 4 years for free, and just writing a cheque right before the grace period ended.

They have parents who invested their money and taught them how to do the same.

DON’T GET ME WRONG! THEY AREN’T BRAGGING AT ALL

It’s just simply their life.

There’s no bragging at all because it is their norm.

They’re NOT snobs at all, so don’t get me wrong. They’d never rub anything in anyone’s faces, or lecture people about working when they themselves are bumming around.

That’s just the way their life is.

It sounds marvelous to me because I don’t have parents who can finance anything I want to do. I’m fascinated.

If I want to take time off, it comes out of my savings and my pocket and I take the financial hit.

I didn’t have parents (and still don’t) who know the basics about investing and money management, so I had to learn everything on my own, and make all the mistakes on my own.

I don’t have a financial cushion of Mom & Dad to fall on, other than what I have saved.

..and even I think my own life and lifestyle is rather abnormal, especially for someone my age, and I acknowledge that.

stock-photo-money-cash-coins

IT IS ONLY BY READING BLOGS THAT I KNOW WHAT THE REALITY IS FOR THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE

Honestly, it’s only by reading personal finance blogs about other 20-somethings, that I know what the reality is.

People still in student debt.

Unable to find jobs.

Struggling to make basic payments each month.

All of this is not stuff that I hear on a regular basis unless I actively search out and read it, because most of the people I know are not in that position.

Or if they are, they’re unconcerned about it because they already have their basic needs paid for even without working much.

(Or working in $30,000 a year jobs.)

There’s no hustling required on their part, because they don’t have any loans to pay off.

Maybe they’re all faking the stress that they’re having underneath that cool demeanor, but methinks not.

Sometimes, it can be hard not to get caught up in that.

(I think that they assume I’m a PRK too… so hard to say. I don’t talk about my family and their lack of money either.)

So.. thank you, everyone for keeping me grounded.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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15 Comments

  1. ShopMyClosetProject

    I don’t have any PRK friends but I do have a ton of friends who are children of immigrants or are Americans who have done quite well from a middle class background. They are great friends to have because they “get” me. My friends who are 1st generation Americans talk about how hard their parents worked when they came over to the U.S. One of my friend’s parents are from Vietnam. She remembers helping them run various businesses as a child. She has one of the best work ethics I’ve seen and her parents are millionaires. But, it came from hard work, sacrifice, and a lot of saving. My friends from multi-generational U.S. families have done well but have def. struggled with debt. I’ve learned a lot from my friends and love them dearly.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Some of the people I consider to be the ones who ‘get’ me, are bloggers I met via my old blogs.

      It’s nice to know others outside of my circle. I am very grateful for them, that’s for sure.

      Reply
  2. Jane Savers

    I am trying to find new friends. Most of my friends are wealthy and I can’t participate in any of their fun group activities. Instead of parties for milestone birthdays it is now a weekend trip with the group to Vegas or New Orleans to celebrate.
    Many of my friends flew to another Canadian city for a music festival but my cost would have been about $1,000 and things like that are just not part of my life. My city has a free summer outdoor music festival but they have a small reserved seating section for people who chose to pay. The 200 paid seats help to pay for the cost of the free concerts and each seat is $50 to $75. My friends sit in the reserved area and I am looking for someone to sit with me in the free area and BYOLC (bring your own lawn chair).

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I feel the same way. A lot of them say: Let’s just jet off to Las Vegas or NYC for the weekend and stay at the Four Seasons and shop!

      Me: .. Umm… I could afford to do it, yes, but … no thank you. 🙂

      I was also invited to a brunch, and had to decline once I realized it was $100!!!!!

      $100!!!!! BRUNCH!!!

      It isn’t part of my life either.

      Reply
  3. Mo' Money Mo' Houses

    Most of the people I know aren’t PRKs, so I guess I’ve always been “grounded” haha.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Sounds funny to say but true.

      Reply
  4. MelD

    I went to school with those kids – but my friends and I were teacher’s daughters permitted to attend the school for free, while our parents scolded us if we needed too many books, and we didn’t always get to go on bigger school trips, either! And we can still laugh about how we didn’t have “the brands” way before anyone else was into brand names…

    However, I quickly saw through that kind of wealth and have not stayed friends with the PRKs since school. My impression is that those families, many of whom were American, though we had 85 different nationalities at school, weren’t particularly happy and there was a distinct superficial vibe. I yearned for a normal life, and that’s what I got, so I’m happy, The others – from what I hear, not necessarily so. Neither the PRKs nor the teacher’s daughters. You do land between two worlds. But as I said, I’m fine with my position!!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      How wonderful that you got to go for free. The teachers must have been better as they would have been better-paid, no?

      I’d agree with the attitude being a tad superficial as evidenced in the Born Rich documentary I featured once.

      ( https://www.savespendsplurge.com/2013/02/15/imagine-if-you-were-born-rich-a-documentary-into-the-lives-of-those-who-were/ )

      I wonder what really makes them happy .. if they have everything they need and could wish for, without having to do anything but turn of age?

      Turns out, my friends are traveling and constantly second-guessing, trying to find themselves. Seems exhausting to not know who you are by this time and what you want to do with your life.

      I also think they’re just afraid of making a mistake. Analysis paralysis.

      Reply
      1. MelD

        The teachers were no better than anywhere else, and the infrastructure was good but not really better than when I later attended a British state school to do my university entrance… And no, teachers in private schools are rarely paid better than in state schools. Presumably, the fact that they are working in a prestigious school in a foreign country has to be enough for them! As a teacher’s daughter, I was far more aware of the negative sides of the workings of a private school like this. For my kids – never!!!

        The other thing that always amazes me (in this day of seeing what everyone does on FB et al.) is that kids who were really not very good academically at school almost all (99.9%) went to university (often big names) and often on to have high-ranking careers, whereas I don’t think “normal” people would have had the same chances of doing that. Those international “circles” are the original of networking, I guess.

        Reply
  5. grumpyrumblings

    I think I’d like that lifestyle! Not so much the finding myself, but the other parts. Some of our friends from high school retired before 40, so their kids will be in this category, but they all generally started middle class of various shades.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Wouldn’t it be awesome? 🙂

      Kind of amazing if you think about it.

      Reply
  6. Cassie

    I was just about to say that I’m not a PRK, but I realize that I did have a couple hands up that other people don’t get. My grandmother paid my university tuition, and my parents helped with ~1/2 my rent the last two years of university so I could live in a safe/clean apartment close to campus. Some of my friends lived at home, some had their tuition paid, some were hustling their butts off.

    Call me a PMCK – Privileged Middle Class Kid

    I fully agree with you that the personal finance community can be incredibly grounding and offer a lot of perspective. I live in an area where few people bat and eye at a six figure salary or a $500,000 house. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in it and assume that everyone else has the same. My boyfriend (and myself) makes more than the average Canadian family in a year, but he constantly feels like he’s falling behind. He doesn’t believe that people can live on $30,000 a year in our area. You can. I helped a friend do her taxes recently and that’s pretty close to what she makes. Reading posts about paying $400 for rent, or budgeting $30 for entertainment in a month, or scraping together $50 to buy a new bus pass make you stop and think.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I think I am squarely in Middle Class, but my parents didn’t pay or help for anything as they squandered most of their money.

      I do like that it stops and makes me think about what I do earn and what I spend.

      Reply
  7. Do or Debt

    I went to school with these kids too! A few of my classmates also got into student loan debt, but many many many classmates didn’t have a care in the world about money, $50,000 a year tuition, living in NYC and having your own apt as a student. I realized whenever I talked about it, it made others uncomfortable to recognize their privilege. I stupidly thought that I could buy my way into another class, by going to the PRK’s school and doing better with my life…hasn’t happened yet, but I am happy I have the money sense that will evade them for the entire time mommy and daddy are footing the bill!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      That’s true. Income has no bearing on whether or not you’re smart at managing your money.

      Reply

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