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.
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.
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.