A Friendly Chat With a Rich Person (Household Income: $360,000)

Mike: Why don’t you start by introducing yourself?

Rich Person: I am 31, and my husband is 33. We have been married for three and a half years. I am a statistician and I work for a hospital in the research department. He has an MBA in finance and works for a bank. You can guess where the money comes from!

Mike: Your husband?

Rich Person: Indeed.

Mike: Can you tell us what your household income is?

Rich Person: Yeah, so this year we’re going to make about $360,000 total.

Mike: And you consider yourself “rich”, yes?

Rich Person: Absolutely, although it feels really weird to say that, and I have a lot of guilt about it.

Mike: Oh, interesting. Why is that?

Rich Person: Probably because neither of us grew up with any money at all. He was raised by a single mother who did her best, but had pretty bad financial habits; I had two parents and a stepparent who were all frugal but since nothing was ever frankly discussed, I didn’t learn much about money growing up.

We had everything we needed, but rarely what we wanted, if that makes sense. We both also spent most of our adult lives (which so far have been spent in college) really scraping by—we both had to live independently so we worked through undergrad and grad and got no help from our families.

Mike: Where did you and your husband go to college?

Rich Person: We both went to public state schools near our homes (we grew up in different cities). I got Pell grants and scholarships for undergrad, but it still didn’t cover everything so I have about $80,000 in student loans, mostly from grad school. He didn’t get as much help and a MBA is more expensive than an MS, so he has about $120,000 in student loans. When I think about $200K in student loans, my head spins. But then I think about our annual income and it seems proportional.

Mike: But your husband also knew he’d be pursuing a high-paid career too, right? So there was a plan of some kind—a vision that the debt would be manageable?

Rich Person: Yes, and actually we don’t regret the loans at all. We both like our jobs very much, and there’s no way we could be where we are without them.

Mike: So tell me about how you guys became “rich.” Was it gradual, or sudden?

Rich Person: Well, as you know, starting out a career in banking in 2008 was not the most confidence-inspiring prospect. His salary was $58,000 but we had no confidence in the stability of his job. My salary at the hospital right out of school was $48,000. Before we were married that felt tough (separate rent, bills, groceries, etc.) although a lot of that is because both of us reacted to growing up poor pretty badly—as soon as we had a few extra bucks we were buying rounds and ordering the filet.

Mike: This was in the middle of the recession, right? Maybe you were trying to jumpstart the economy?

Rich Person: We were dumb, and we both did stuff like that even when we were in school and struggling. I liked to treat my friends and would do so down to my last dollar, but thankfully I didn’t turn to credit cards. He had quite a bit of consumer debt when we got married from overspending that we paid off the first year we were both working our “real” jobs. He’s great with other people’s money, but his money is very much an emotional thing. We gradually got raises over the next couple of years, and then in 2011 he got his first real bonus, which just sent us over the moon. That was $65,000, which ended up being about $38,000 after taxes.

Mike: That’s somebody’s salary!

Rich Person: His bonus in 2012 was $85,000, and this year it will be $100,000. And the big, big change is that his base salary went from $65,000 last year to $160,000 this year.

Mike: How did that happen?

Rich Person: He got a new job with a major jump in title and responsibility. He’s the vice president of corporate finance at this new bank.

Mike: So we hear titles like that often. But what does that mean he does?

Rich Person: It means that now he has a fresh MBA to boss around! No, kidding. Sorta. He does manage someone now, and the department is brand new so with any luck he’ll be managing more soon. So corporate finance basically means they give and manage and split up loans to businesses. His new bank is relatively small so the businesses also tend to be small.

He also works 80 to 100 hours a week. Otherwise you’d be talking to him! He basically is home to sleep. He does usually get at least one full weekend day, though. And I work from home now so I’m always here. So, now with his basically $260,000 plus a $35,000 signing bonus and my $65,000 salary, our combined income is $360,000.

Mike: Your salary is much lower than your husband’s. Does that feel funny to you? Or it doesn’t matter because you’re married?

Rich Person: It doesn’t feel weird. We recently moved across the country for his new job, so rather than lose me my company decided to let me try working remotely. I used to have a nice big office while he had a cube, so that was pretty great. And honestly, it sounds kind of whiny to say it, but I often feel like a housewife with a full-time job.

Mike: Because you’re at home and your husband makes so much more?

Rich Person: Since he’s not able to spend a lot of time at home and he makes the big bucks, we’ve got a setup where I basically do all the house stuff, financial stuff, grocery shopping, pet care, and home decor decisions. We are both fine with that, and he does help out whenever he can. We’re in constant communication about things and neither of us feels bitter about our lot.

Mike: When you say financial stuff, does that mean: He basically hands over his paycheck to you and you figure out where it should go?

Rich Person: Yup. I pay the bills, I manage the budget, and since he’s pretty spendy-spendy, I give him an allowance!

Mike: How did you determine what that allowance would be? Can you talk about how much you decide goes into savings, or other accounts?

Rich Person: Sure. And this is where the irresponsibility remains. We have a great cash budget with wiggle room built in, and yet we blow it pretty much every month. We have it in a Google spreadsheet. We budget $400 per month “free cash” for each of us. In January he spent about $800 and I spent about $600. But I have a hard time being strict about this because we aren’t going into any debt for it.

Mike: What happens when you go over that “free cash” allowance? I mean, where are you dipping from?

Rich Person: There is a line item in the budget called “Excess cash flow” and for February, that is $6,202. So I mean, so what if I get dinner from the Whole Foods deli for $41? I have a hard time not doing stuff like that.

Mike: Is this excess cash supposed to go somewhere if you’re not spending it? Like a savings account? Or an investment account?

Rich Person: Well yes, we do have about $93,000 in a savings account and it’s basically an emergency account. We have about an equal amount split between a 401(k) and a Roth IRA.

We aren’t really saving for anything, though. We own a home in our old city that is small and has a $1,000/month mortgage. A family member is going through a rough time, so she is actually living there rent-free right now. We feel awesome that we can afford to help in that way, plus we know our house is being taken care of.

Mike: That’s really terrific.

Rich Person: I guess if we decided to buy another house in our new city we would get more focused about saving toward a down payment.

Mike: Did you buy the house after you moved, and your husband got his big job?

Rich Person: No, we bought it in 2010 when we were making a combined $110,000 a year. The house cost $108,000, and even though the bank kind of pushed us to borrow more, we wanted something we could afford on one income in case he lost his job.

Mike: That was very smart!

Rich Person: That’s one financial move that I am proud of! Plus the retirement savings, that makes me happy.

Mike: How much do you guys have in retirement so far?

Rich Person: About $92,000. He actually hasn’t set up his 401(k) with the new job yet, but we are putting $600 per month of my paycheck into mine.

Mike: So I think we all have different ideas of what it means to be rich. You and your husband went from growing up in families with little money. What did you imagine it would be like to be rich, and now that you are rich, does it live up to what you imagined?

Rich Person: I imagined being rich meant you no longer had any problems and were always happy. As a kid, I was always pretty embarrassed and grumpy about our trips to Goodwill for back-to-school clothes, and I used to daydream about going to the Gap (the Gap!) and buying whatever I wanted.

What I now realize is that the world around me is exactly the same as it was before. I still have to clean up after myself because I’m not butler-and-mansion rich, there are still potholes in the road, there are still ugly, desolate parts of town to drive through—it’s not like everything is perfect and rosy now.

Now, I do tend to walk into the Gap and buy stuff without looking at the price tag, and that gives me a little bit of a thrill and a sense of freedom. But I don’t do that at Nordstrom.

Mike: I think one of the reasons people stay rich is because they do look at price tags! Unlike all these pro-athletes we hear about who spend it all and then have nothing when they’re done with the game.

Rich Person: Exactly. I’m afraid of that happening! This could all be gone so quickly and easily. I didn’t look at price tags once at Macy’s, and ended up spending $1,000 on bedding! I paid it because I was too mortified to put most of it back, but I did go and return it the next day.

Mike: That must have been some good bedding.

Rich Person: I kept the sheets—high thread count is super worth it.

Mike: So, your husband’s big bump in pay is relatively new. When that happened, what were your initial thoughts about what you’d do with the increase in income?

Rich Person: The two dumb things we did in celebration of the new job were to buy an Audi, and rent a huge, expensive apartment. We are planners and budgeters (aspirational, mostly) so we had the monthly income figured out before he took the job.

Mike: Do you both still have student loans? Did you consider using your husband’s raise to pay those off?

Rich Person: We do, and that is our plan for his next bonus. I consolidated my loans at a dumb time because I didn’t know any better, so I have about $80K at 7 percent! His loans are more substantial, about $120K, but at 2.5%. Our minimum student loan payments are about $1,000/month.

The last two years we poured his bonus into the house because it was a fixer-upper, but it’s now in great shape, so we can shift those windfalls into getting out from this debt.

Mike: And you typically pay more than that, or are you waiting for the bonus to tackle it all?

Rich Person: We are currently paying the minimum, because when we moved we left almost everything behind. We had to buy all new furniture. But we’ll be done with that by next month, and if his bonus doesn’t cover my loans (it probably won’t because of taxes) we will put my entire paycheck each month toward the loans. There’s definitely lifestyle creep going on with the furniture, by the way.

Mike: Do describe!

Rich Person: So our old house was pretty much entirely by Ikea, and our couch was so bad, one of the legs was broken so if you moved it at all it would collapse. I got a chip on my shoulder about that couch and I’ve always wanted a sectional with a chaise, so I decided to go for it. It was $4,500. But god, it’s beautiful and comfortable and it’s microfiber so the cats can’t destroy it.

We got a $1,000 desk and two $150 barstools, and we’re shopping for a new bedroom set. The bedroom set isn’t entirely necessary since the one piece of furniture we brought was our bed, but he wants a solid headboard—ours is, like, iron bars. Seems like a silly reason to get a new bed, but I like furniture shopping!

Mike: And you can afford it now! What other kinds of things do you and your husband do now that you didn’t do pre-wealth?

Rich Person: Oh and I got an Aeron chair.

Mike: I don’t know what that is.

Rich Person: It is a $1,000 office chair by Steelcase and it feels like sitting on clouds.

Mike: I see! The chair has its own Wikipedia page!

Rich Person: Ha! Although, humblebrag, the one I got is too big for me so I need to go switch it for a smaller one. The damn seat goes too far out even when it’s all the way back. Anyway. So we both care about food a lot and we like to cook, so we get much better quality groceries now: organic as much as possible, local as much as possible, etc.

We upgraded the cat and dog food, and are helicopter parents to them—we take them to the vet at the slightest provocation now rather than worry about them. One had a stomach bug a few months ago and I was worried about an obstruction and of course it was Friday night, so we took him to the emergency vet and it cost $500 and I didn’t care.

Last year we decided on a Monday that we would be going to Europe that Friday for three weeks. We were lucky to have a cat sitter we trusted and made sure she was available, checked that our regular dog sitter could accommodate our dog in her house for that long, and bought the tickets. It was such a thrill to be able to take such a substantial trip on our own dime. Any previous vacations had been with our parents, so it was really satisfying to be on our own. Kinda felt like the first time you get a legal drink in a bar—like, “I shouldn’t be allowed to do this! Why is the bartender acting like this is normal? This is awesome!”

We drive around in an Audi, that is ba-nuts. I got a new car too, although it is not that fancy and I was going to get it even before he got the new job. It’s a Honda CRV and I love it very much even if it doesn’t talk to me or warm my butt.

Mike: Does the Audi talk and warm your butt?

Rich Person: Oh yeah—you can talk to it to make it do almost everything except steer for you and the passenger and driver seats have their own climate zones. If he wants to be 68 degrees and I want to be 70 degrees, the Audi lady will do that.

Mike: WOW.

Rich Person: Yeah. I bought some “just for his car” sunglasses the other day that match the paint job. I am so dumb. Bleh, it feels silly and wasteful!

Mike: But you also give to charity?

Rich Person: Yes. There is an organization that takes care of stray dogs in our home city—feeds them and builds dog houses for them, and we have always given to them but now we give a lot more. There is a group I recently found out about called Atheists Helping the Homeless in Dallas, and I just wrote them a check and will be writing more. And Planned Parenthood, love them. I’d have 10 kids if it weren’t for PP.

Mike: Do you and your husband want children?

Rich Person: I don’t think so; it’s not anything that interests either of us. Plus I’d basically be a single parent since he’s always at work! He doesn’t want to be an absentee father. If we change our minds about kids we’ll have to restructure our lifestyle and cut his hours down. We have nieces and nephews who scratch any itch we have to be around kids and we have college funds started for each of them.

Mike: That’s really nice.

Rich Person: They are quite young so they’re small accounts, but instead of buying them stuff for birthdays and Christmas we deposit into those. (Although I can’t help it, I still buy them presents.)

Mike: I think Logan had a post about that—about saving for her nephew rather than buying him stuff he won’t care about.

Rich Person: Since we both struggled so much in college and ended up so in debt, we would like to keep them from having to go through the same. My husband feels really strongly about that. They don’t need another piece of plastic junk lying around, but they do need an education. I think they can have a little of both! Oh, and they are the kind of funds where if the kid decides not to go to college they can use it for trade school or I think they can actually just use it for whatever, but if it’s not school then there are tax penalties. I don’t think that every single person must or should necessarily go to a four-year university so I made sure that they can make whatever choice they feel best suits them when they’re 18.

There’s only three of them so it’s not like this will be a billion dollar undertaking, but we like the idea of being the rich/crazy aunt and uncle and helping them out when needed. But to do that without making our siblings grouchy, is the thing.

Mike: Sort of like Rory’s grandparents in Gilmore Girls.

Rich Person: Haha. We shall not spoil them nor undermine their parents’ wills.

Mike: You will make them attend Friday Night Dinners, in exchange for free tuition.

Rich Person: Absolutely. Nah, I don’t like strings-attached gifts. That’s bull—All I want is for them to do their best and be happy, and we’ll try to set it up so they don’t have huge obstacles to overcome in order to do what they want in life.

Mike: So your husband works in finance, but do you guys have a financial planner?

Rich Person: We do, actually. She is the best. She helps us with choosing the right levels of insurance (auto, life, home, umbrella) and the right health insurance plan from work. She set up my Roth IRA, which I rolled over from my old job’s 403(b).

And we have some friends who use her, so when we put money into that friend’s kid’s college fund, she deals with it (college fund college fund college fund!). She also picks out and lords over all our savings accounts, basically – she finds ones with good interest rates and makes sure we don’t drain them to buy a boat without talking to her about it first. This was a rule we set up when we first started working together because we were honest with her about our past financial dumbness. We have not yet hired an accountant, but will be seeing one next week for the first time.

Mike: So your friends use her too, does this mean your friends are also wealthy? And if not, I’d love to hear how you navigate those relationships.

Rich Person: That particular friend is a work friend who is in a similar position as my husband, so yes. His other work friends are generally as rich or much richer than us. But our non-work friends are decidedly not rich. And that can get interesting.

So, example: Over the summer I was hanging out with two friends I’ve known for years and years, and we were outside just drinking and talking (drinking is probably an important thing to stress here). And one of them asked me how much money we make. Since my inhibitions were down, I said, “Oh yeah, totally! I don’t know why people are so weird about saying actual dollar figures anyway! Who cares?!” and I told him.

And then he basically spit it back at me five or six times that evening. That was pre-new job, so I think I said in the range of $200K, and he kept referring to me as “200,000 Dollars.” And it sucks, because I really like this person. I still do, and I chalk it up to drinking and me being dumb.

That is one bad example. Generally with the rest of our friends, everything is cool. We don’t invite them out if we know we’re going to spend $300 on dinner, because we don’t want to put them in a weird spot. When we hang out we go to regular places for dinner or drinks and we all pay our own bills, so that’s fine.

Mike: So that friend who knows, does he treat you guys differently now?

Rich Person: The next time we hung out I felt a little bitterness from him, but every other time after that it’s been okay. I don’t talk about money with my friends (anymore), and I try really hard to not sound like Lucille from Arrested Development when I’m talking about mundane things.

Like, I don’t bring up stuff that happened at the country club. Yes we had to join a club. And I say “had to” because it’s very much a work/network-y thing.

Mike: Oh, that’s definitely a rich person thing.

Rich Person: I feel much more comfortable with my non-moneyed friends. I don’t really enjoy the club socializing because it feels like work to me, if that makes sense.

Except the club itself is kind of cool because the food is really good, and if you buy a wine locker and store your wine there they bring you a giant spread of snacks that never stops all night. But I have to be a nice polite lady with social graces and conversation skills, which naturally I am not. I can’t wear my pajamas there, which is lame. I had to up my wardrobe game because it has a dress code.

Mike: Yes, I imagine it does. And lots of ladies lunching.

Rich Person: Yup. I don’t think I’ll ever be that? I don’t know. I’m more comfortable drinking at home than judging people over some white zin. I feel like a fraud sometimes when I’m there because I’m not highborn like a lot of them.

Mike: So we talked about your friends. But what about your families? You guys didn’t have much growing up, and now that you do, do they ask you for money? I mean, you are already allowing one of them to stay in your house rent-free for now.

Rich Person: Nobody has asked us for anything. I think they’re all curious about how much we make and I haven’t really told them. Before we moved, my little nephew asked “Are you guys rich now?”

And I didn’t really know what to say, so I told him that relative to the rest of the world we are all already very wealthy, but that we will have a little bit of extra money now. He was cool with that answer. I guess I would have to take any requests on a case-by-case basis. I feel like we shouldn’t loan any money that we aren’t comfortable with never seeing again, you know? Like, set it up as a loan, but be totally okay with it never being paid back.

Mike: I think that’s the right way to think about. Especially when it comes to family.

Rich Person: Yeah, I don’t want to fight about money. That’s uncomfortable for everyone.

My parents are in much better spots financially now than when we were growing up, so I don’t think it will come up with them. With his mother, given her history with money, I’ll never be surprised if she asks and we will probably always say yes.

He has tried managing her money for her and it gets weird because the parent-child role switches, so that doesn’t work. At this stage in her life we think it’s unlikely she’ll completely overhaul her attitudes toward money, so I think we will be taking care of her in some capacity for quite a while.

Mike: Yes, I understand a lot of how that is as someone who will be financially supporting my parents in their old age.

Rich Person: She did a great job raising a great son, she still works, she is a sweet and loving person, she just can’t manage money worth a damn. Even if we were strapped for cash we would always help her.

Mike: I think we covered quite a bit today! Anything else we should talk about that I haven’t brought up? What do rich people dream about?

Rich Person: Hahahaha. Let me think. A few nights ago I dreamt about a kitten who fell into a storm drain and so we put a lifejacket on one of our cats and sent her in after him. There was a helicopter search at night and everything. My husband thinks if you remember your dreams you aren’t getting quality sleep, so he never tells me his dreams.

I guess to sum things up I pretty much feel like the same person I always was, just with a lot more ability to do what I want. It’s true that money doesn’t make you happy, but it sure gives you a certain kind of freedom.

 

Previously: A Friendly Chat With A Rich Person ($140,000)

This Rich Person moved to the south and doesn’t even need a butt warmer.

Have questions you’d like this Rich Person to answer? Email Mike with “Question for a Rich Person” in the subject line.

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130 Comments / Post A Comment

Sincerely, Jane (#1,588)

$93k in savings while you have $80k in loans at 7%??? What’s your reasoning behind this? How many months of expenses will $93k cover for you?

I obviously don’t have the whole story (though I have a lot of it, thank you for being so candid!!), but I would throw all that at the high-interest loan ASAP, keep the $13k left in savings, and take what you were putting toward the loan every month into a higher yield investment account.*

*I’m not an investment adviser, but I was raised by one.

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@Sincerely, Jane It’s partly because student loan interest is tax deductible (although we’re income limited on that now, def) and partly because we are more comfortable having a large cushion than we are uncomfortable with having debt. It may be overly pessimistic, but we feel like we should be prepared for the banking world to implode at any time, in which case we’d need to have enough cash to hightail it back to our home state and live for a while until he can find something else.

And that amount could sustain us easily for 2-3 years without causing any hardship, and that’s also probably overly cautious. So yes, you are definitely right about that and we plan to have my loan paid off within the year and shift the payments to probably our money market account.

jfruh (#161)

@Sincerely, Jane yes, I came here to say this! Everything else made total sense but that seemed totally baffling to me.

megsy (#1,565)

@Sincerely, Jane I was super confused about that too! It’s not even retirement funds – it’s an “emergency” account… Even if they just put half on the $80k of student loans (if they’re worried about having a lot of living expense money socked away)… because technically if you lost your job, chances are you’d stop doing $300 meals and focus only on necessities.

OhMarie (#299)

@That_Rich_Person Do it! My husband and I wiped out our student loans about 2 years into our working lives (they were less than $10k but we were making much less than $100k put together at the time) and it felt AMAZING.

@Sincerely, Jane http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_value_of_money

(Bearing in mind that a large part of the interest is “free” due to being tax deductible)

Sincerely, Jane (#1,588)

@stuffisthings If their loans are free, then why aren’t they putting that $93k into a nice mutual fund or something? It’s the $93k sitting in a bank at 0.5% or whatever that’s boggling me, not the huge loans. Get that into some good funds and they could make your minimum payments with the interest they earn. Put that money to work, girl!

Sincerely, Jane (#1,588)

@That_Rich_Person Well if the interest on your loans is free, then don’t worry about paying it down faster than the minimum payment! But I would talk to your financial adviser about something a little more sexy than a MMF or a savings account. You can still keep a chunk in savings while making way more interest on higher risk/yield investments. If the banks can make 7% off your loans, you can make 7% investing your money somewhere.

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@Sincerely, Jane I’m sorry for being vague. We have a few grand in our regular bank’s savings account for easy access and yeah, that interest rate blows, but the bulk is not languishing at 0.5% or whatever — there is some in a money market and some in another investment account (the type is escaping me right now) that our financial adviser manages and they are both doing surprisingly well, I think a little better than 7% although I haven’t checked recently. The student loan interest wasn’t a huge issue in the past but now that we make “too much” to deduct it (boo hoo hand me that gold-leaf tissue), it’s become a higher priority to pay off at least my student loans so we aren’t allocating things in a way that costs us rather than makes us money.

@Sincerely, Jane (I mean, her husband is a banker, I assume he has SOME sense of these things…)

Sincerely, Jane (#1,588)

@That_Rich_Person OOOOK, that makes much more sense. You have things figured out perfectly, carry on!

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@stuffisthings “Time value of money” is a phrase that my husband and our financial adviser use a LOT to explain moves that, on a gut level, don’t make a lot of sense to me either. But once they explain the way the interest breaks out it makes more sense. But I’m just a statistician; I’m not too good with numbers.*

*statistician joke. sorry.

@That_Rich_Person One way to think of it is as the reverse of an annuity. If I offered you $100,000 now, or $500 a month for the next 20 years, which would you choose? (The “correct” decision is to take the $100k now.) So, being on the other end of that, would you rather pay me $100k now, or $500 a month for 20 years?

Also, by far the best statistics joke ever is this one.

chic noir (#713)

@stuffisthings yea people are being annoying and oh so “judgey” here for really no reason, this is the Billfold, we don’t money shame people here.

@chic noir To be fair, I think these comments were all meant in good faith, but maybe made without thinking through the whole “her husband is a banker” aspect. And also the fact that the super-high income is a relatively new thing for them.

Daniel B (#2,486)

@That_Rich_Person Student Loan interest is not deductable at their tax level. Heck, it is not even deductable at 1/3 their income level.

albertross (#4,248)

@That_Rich_Person Even if you file jointly, the student loan interest deduction phases out from an MAGI of 125k-155k. I can’t imagine how you’d get down there from 360k, but if you did in a legal way, good job!

Awesome series. Now do old money!

@forget it i quit “We certainly feel rich, though we can only afford the one butler.”

Heidi (#1,455)

@stuffisthings Me! Me!
(we have 0 butlers, but I would love to talk about this–anonymously–because it is a THING that (a) makes my life amazing in many many ways but also (b) makes many baseline friendship transactions totally complicated in ways that I can not talk about with other people.)

dudeascending (#1,921)

Love this series. I’d also enjoy reading money chats with regular people: how they budget, what they save, where they save, etc., etc.

pterodactylish (#2,321)

EMILY THORNE WHAT UP.
(but really she’s a millionaire, 360K lololololol)

I really love this series. That is all.

oiseau (#1,830)

This is a superb series and I love the hard number focus.

Rich Person’s husband’s job sounds exhausting, though. I would not be up for working 80-100 hours a week even for the amount of money he is earning. Unless it was something I LOVED. And I would not love managing loans for a multitude of small businesses, I’m pretty sure.

Also, I normally wish to be richer/more successful, so I thought reading this interview would make me feel somewhat bitter or jealous. In fact I feel the opposite – good for them, and I realize that type of life is not the one I want to aim for, personally. This perspective is interesting to me!

I would also like to read about an old money family, or a family that lives solely off investments/trust funds.

OhMarie (#299)

@oiseau Yeah, this sounds BANANAS. Both my husband and I work from home, and it is amazing, but only because we’re both there. I would go insane if I was there by myself all of the time.

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@oiseau I don’t think I could do his job either, but he really does enjoy the people he works with and the deal-making aspect of things.

@OhMarie That is interesting! I think if my husband was home all the time with me we’d be divorced. I’m quite content being alone for long stretches of time and in fact since I’m rather introverted, some amount of alone time is necessary or else I turn into a frazzled, stressed-out, snappy bitch. Especially if there has been socializing – doubleplus if it was socializing with bank dudes – I need time to be alone and recharge before the next event.

deepomega (#22)

Uhh, sorry guys, but you’re only rich if you make more than 750,000 a year. You’re middle class.

(jk this is great, thank you)

@deepomega What are you, an Indian peasant? 750k will barely get you a starter yacht in this town.

Markham (#1,862)

@deepomega I was going to say the same thing.

I wouldn’t say middle class though, $360k/yr puts you in the top 2-3% of income earners, so upper-middle, but not rich.

Rich to me means a liquid net worth of 7 figures + a $500-$750k/yr income.

I’d also add that “working rich” means that if you lose your primary income source then you couldn’t maintain your wealth and lifestyle, so you’d have to scale back, whereas Rich means that even without your primary source you can maintain because you have so much + so much diversification that it’s no big deal.

@Markham I’m pretty sure he was joking.

Seriously, in what other context would you consider something in the top 2-3% as being in the “upper middle”? I mean if you had a pile of 100 things, would you say the 3rd thing in the pile was in “the middle”? That just strikes me as bizarre.

Also, remind me never to share a pizza with you.

deepomega (#22)

@stuffisthings I was definitely joking. The idea that rich is defined as “not having a job and yet having a mansion” is hilarious though! Good one!

@deepomega One thing I’ve learned from this site is that many people regard Scrooge McDuck as literally the only rich person in existence; everyone else is apparently middle class.

@stuffisthings And don’t even try to tell me Scrooge McDuck doesn’t “exist,” his Wikipedia page is longer than President Obama’s.

echolikebells (#3,272)

I love this series. All the income levels talking about all the hard numbers!

@echolikebells Seriously love the hard numbers.

I love this series too. The friend stuff is super interesting, and knowing that there’s all these people you have to pay to wrangle your money for you is wild.

“I still have to clean up after myself because I’m not butler-and-mansion rich”
If I made $360,000 a year, no question would I hire a cleaner. Like, sure, you don’t make butler money, but you totally make paying-someone-else-to-clean-your-house money.
Also, I grew up with parents who made this level of money (roughly). I’ve always felt I had an upper-middle class upbringing – rich seems to demand butlers. Or at least a housekeeper and a beach house with an elevator.

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@newyorkscutestreporter You are right, and I am conflicted about this issue! Before we moved for the new job we did have house cleaners come every other week. It was a huge relief for me because I was still commuting to an office then, and coming home to a clean house was so so worth it. But now, even though I definitely work hard at my job, I’m home all the time and I just feel like I “should” clean my own house. I don’t have kids to take care of and my work week is a normal length, so what am I doing with my time that I can’t pick up a vacuum? More time for video games! I think it’s some sort of privilege guilt I’ve got going on.

WaityKatie (#1,696)

@newyorkscutestreporter I loved it when I used to have a cleaner (recently eliminated due to personal austerity measures), but I gotta say, I kind of like the breaks provided by doing some cleaning myself, when I’m working from home. I work at home one day a week, and I always take cleaning breaks throughout the day, like, one break for dusting, one for cleaning the toilet, etc. Each thing only takes like 10 minutes and by the end of the day my apartment is clean! But I may be slightly demented…

@That_Rich_Person Embrace having someone else clean your house! You’re a job creator!

ellabella (#1,480)

@newyorkscutestreporter I feel like this casual mention of My-parents-made-$360,000 a year-but-I-felt-upper-middle-class doesn’t really describe what rich/not rich really is in the US, but rather that the assumption that because you’re around other people that are equally rich/richer, you can’t possibly be rich. I think it’s a pretty problematic, although common, train of thought–see all those studies of people describing themselves as middle class, and comments on the previous Friendly Chat.

ellabella (#1,480)

@newyorkscutestreporter Yes. I think a lot of people’s guilt over paying someone to clean their house isn’t because of the actual cleaning-of-the-house (we pay people to do lots of menial labor, like wash our dirty dishes at restaurants, take away our garbage, etc.), but because the relationship can often be exploitative. Pay a living wage, hire through a company that provides benefits, etc. We go through the rest of our days maximizing value (our time and money and effort); why not do it at home? Do something that makes you happy/smarter/healthier/whatever with the time, since you have the ability to do so!

@ellabella I consider my upbringing upper middle class because it was highly middle class in the traditional sense, compared to what the upper class is like. Money and class aren’t the same thing, as is often assumed in the US.

So yes, in the sense of having money, I grew up rich. I’ve never worried about not having enough money for basically anything – I’m incredibly privileged. In the sense of being encouraged to work hard and get an education and not rely on a trust fund – middle class values. But I’m not American, so I think that makes a difference in how I see class.

ellabella (#1,480)

@newyorkscutestreporter I would argue that most people in the top quartile of wealth (rich people), in the United States at least, have those same values. I’m not sure the $200,000 college education model would be even marginally sustainable if it were not for the huge proportion of wealthy people who want their children to work hard, go to a good college, and make money to provide for their future children.

@newyorkscutestreporter Please explain how a family with a household income well into the top 5% can possibly be considered in any way “middle class.” Feel free to refer to this chart.

deepomega (#22)

@ellabella Impossible. You can tell a rich person from a middle class person because the rich person just swims in their money pools all day, with occasional breaks to load shovel-fulls of gold doubloons into their children’s trust funds.

oiseau (#1,830)

@stuffisthings I think they are talking about class culture. Their family earned enough to be considered rich but culturally they were still (upper?) middle class.

My family earned in the lower-middle/”working class” income range when I was growing up, but culturally they were middle/upper-middle class.

That being said, I wonder if class culture is a valid stereotype.

deepomega (#22)

@oiseau Please provide a definition of class culture that doesn’t reference dollar incomes, and successfully separates lower, upper and middle class.

Hint: If your definition of upper class is based on episodes of Real Housewives, it is not useful.

@deepomega Easy:

Working class: My grandparents.
Middle class: My parents, me.
Upper class: People who are wealthier than me.

This seems to be the prevailing definition, anyway.

@oiseau agreed – she mentions not being American, and I think here in the US class and money are often considered the same thing, when they’re not in other places (NZ and England to name two!) Also, in NZ we just pretend there’s no such thing as class. There totally is, and it’s a cultural thing, but we’re very uncomfortable acknowledging it.

@deepomega I always feel a bit icky talking about class, but I would define it as ‘what you’re comfortable with’. The activities you enjoy, the places you like eating at, etc. It’s really hard to explain, especially as I really think the idea of class as a cultural thing is more prevalent in other countries than the US (I’m assuming you’re in the US).

WaityKatie (#1,696)

@Hayley Judd@twitter Americans pretend there’s no such thing as class too. Which is why there are all these rich people running around insisting that they are part of the middle class…

oiseau (#1,830)

@deepomega In my own, quickly-jotted down, completely not well thought-through, off-the-top-of-my-head, possibly-extremely-offensive words:

Lower: Works a physically demanding job or if not, craves physically demanding labor because it makes them feel good/fulfilled because that’s what their dad did and their dad’s dad, etc. Free time activities might include drinking with buddies, playing cards, working on the car, watching sports, fishing/hunting, getting into trouble for the fun of it, fighting, shooting the shit, baudy/dirty humor, purposeful/proud lack of political correctness, and so on.

Middle class: Enjoys stability and predictability of a well-paced life. Believes that hard work reaps high rewards. Probably works a more theoretical/clerical/office job. On the upper end (of the cultural cache scale, not the income scale necessarily), might be doctors, lawyers, or scholars. Is defensive of their position in life while at the same time frequently straining to rise to a better one. Free time activities might include a tamed-down version of many working-class activities, plus a further emphasis on studying, reading, learning, and reflective thought. Extremely crass behavior is looked down on.

Upper: Disregard for money even though they swim in it. Imitates many working-class activities because it makes them seem tougher/gets them more respect (self-respect included). Probably works a job that they were set up with or earns money from heritance. Entitled but take the opportunities life presents with a lot of relish and flair if they can manage it. Often eccentric. May enjoy adventurous travel, offhand extravagant purchases, and searching for the meaning of life. Have a lot of power and charisma and family may go from dirt poor to sky-high heights of wealth over and over the years like a rollercoaster.

@WaityKatie so does that mean that your ‘class’ in America is about more than just money? When I discuss it with my American friends (which I don’t do all that often, for the record) it does seem to mostly come down to income – like you mentioning rich people insisting they’re part of the middle class, for example. Can you be rich, and in the 1%, but still culturally middle class? I mean, I (as a foreigner) wouldn’t consider the Kardashians to be upper class, for example, but I dare say they earn quite a bit…

@Hayley Judd@twitter Here’s U.K. passport owner and bona fide Welshman (you’ve probably heard of their Prince) explaining how $250,000 a year makes him feel incredibly rich: http://www.gq.com/news-politics/big-issues/201207/amber-waves-of-green-jon-ronson-gq-july-2012?currentPage=4

They’ve come a long way since Downton Abbey! Though the U.K. does still have the distinction of being the only other rich industrialized country with a higher father-son earnings elasticity than the U.S., which boasts an egalitarian 0.47 to class-bound Britain’s shameful 0.5. (It’s 0.19 in Canada.)

WaityKatie (#1,696)

@Hayley Judd@twitter I think people just pretend there IS no class, so EVERYONE is “middle class,” and that signifies being hardworking, thrifty, etc. Americans don’t consider themselves rich unless they literally have a giant mansion and a coterie of servants, and hardly anyone has those things in this day and age, so by default everyone calls themselves “middle class.” I would call the Kardashians rich, although I suppose they would fit into the saying “money can’t buy class”…

@Hayley Judd@twitter Does it make you more comfortable if we say “rich” rather than “upper class”? How would you regard the class standing of, say, a City banker with a Cockney accent?

ETA: FWIW when I lived in England I only ever heard “middle class” used an epithet, usually self applied, to describe one’s shamefully bourgeois attitudes or proclivities.

@stuffisthings no it all makes me super uncomfortable, although I’m trying to get past that! It’s my class, you see. I was brought up not to discuss money. ;)

I knew some upper class people when I was in the UK, and although I’m sure a Cockney banker would get on with them fine, they would never truly accept him. Isn’t that awful? I loved being from NZ, nobody could judge my accent or school and find me wanting, because they didn’t know what those things meant.

As to your ETA – agreed, and that was my experience too, although I think being middle class is considered less embarrassing now.

@Hayley Judd@twitter BUT WHAT SUPERMARKET DID YOU SHOP AT?

(My guess is Sainsburys, but if your friends caught you with a Waitrose bag you’d go “Haha I’m so middle class aren’t I?”)

@stuffisthings Ha! I’ll never tell. Too scared of being judged by you and your smart comments.

For everyone’s enjoyment, here is the wonderful 2004 Guardian article on the class implications of various UK supermarkets: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2004/mar/12/foodanddrink.shopping

@Hayley Judd@twitter Yeah, I did mean more cultural class indicators and where one feels comfortable. I think its super interesting that this rich person feels somewhat uncomfortable at the country club – having enough money to join and having the cultural capital to feel like you belong there are two different things, and that difference interests me.

And maybe I’m in denial about what class is in the US (where I live), but I think there is a difference between me and people I know who live off investments (or could). So, more ask a rich person interviews with old money and trust fund kids, please! Or just watch Rich Dicks segments on Kroll Show.

@newyorkscutestreporter Also, I don’t want to sound like a jerk, saying that this rich person is uncomfortable at the country club – this rich person seems lovely, and joining the club for business/networking reasons (are you in Dallas? Dallas is a weird place socially) is different to joining it for hanging out with your friends.

I think the spaces in which we feel comfortable actually are a good class indicator. I can ski, and I feel comfortable in Vail, but I imagine I would feel uncomfortable in Gstaad, which is why I don’t feel upper class. Is lower upper class a better term than upper middle class? Is professional class better? Is the distinction between Gstaad and Vail irrelevant? I don’t know.

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@newyorkscutestreporter yup. And you don’t sound like a jerk! *I* said I feel uncomfortable there. A little bit of imposter syndrome, for sure, which goes to your point of class vs tax bracket.

Brunhilde (#78)

@oiseau “possibly-extremely-offensive words”

fixed that for you.

blueblazes (#1,798)

@stuffisthings I think judging class by retail could happen in any country where chain retail is a thing (which is pretty much everywhere now).

I know when my salary reached a certain point, I walked away from all stores that end with “-mart.” So now I have the privilege of paying more for the same products in order to signify that I don’t approve of the business practices of the ‘Marts of the world. It’s that old line from the Simpsons about being able to afford to shop at a store with a philosophy.

And yet I’m still uncomfortable at high-end boutiques because I never learned how to accept the attention of helpful salespeople. It’s the retail equivalent of the country club.

@blueblazes You don’t shop at Yachtmart?

ellabella (#1,480)

@oiseau So… the liberal/intellectual/professional elite is just a misnomer, and they should really be the middle class? And any East Coast old money “I wear L.L. Bean until it falls apart because I believe the ostentatious display of wealth by the nouveau riche is déclassé” doesn’t count? It’s amazing the lengths we Americans go to in order to avoid being classified as rich. It marginalizes the experiences of the vast majority of Americans to pretend that being a middle-class American means being able to send your child to a good school (by living in the ‘burbs where additional tax support means private-school-level schools), save for college so your children graduate from a private liberal arts college debt-free or close to it, and retire after 40 years of hard work with something to live on. When what is genuinely rich gets described as middle-class, it makes the actual experience of middle-class Americans easier to dismiss as “their own fault” or unusual.

oiseau (#1,830)

@ellabella I’m not saying the liberal/intellectual/professional elite is not rich – they are definitely rich. But I think there is a cultural distinction in between “rich” and “upper class”, in that
“rich” just means “has a lot of money” and “upper class” connotates a culture, almost a caste.

@Brunhilde, Sorry to have offended, I could obviously have expressed myself better but I think my overall point stands.

@ellabella Being able to pay for private liberal arts tuition aside, everything you described is a traditionally middle class marker. (Is anything more middle class than suburbia?) I agree that when they are out of reach of people with middle incomes, it is a massive problem, and one that is occurring in the US. But middle income and middle class are not the same.

What you’re describing – access to quality education, a living wage and work with dignity, ability to afford to buy a home – are basic human rights (or in the case of owning a home, an extension of a human right to decent housing). They shouldn’t be out of reach of the middle class (or anyone, but that is entirely a different conversation).

Fig. 1 (#632)

@everyone Perhaps I may make a suggestion? Read Jilly Cooper/Paul Fussell’s respective treatises on class, and optional reading of the Official Preppy Handbook. Are there any other good books on class in Western society that I’ve missed? I see what people are struggling to define and I think that this may help without ruffling feathers.

Then again, I’m the type of person who thinks the right book can solve anything, so what do I know?

@Fig. 1 Chavs is pretty good and applicable not only to Britain but also in many ways to the U.S. as well (you could just replace “chav” with “redneck” and a lot of it would translate).

If you want some heavy Marxism you can get into the Ehrenreich’ treatise on the professional-managerial class which I haven’t read but agree with in principle.

But again, for most of the reasons we talk about class today — for instance in deciding public policy — a rational, quantitative measure is really what’s needed. MIDDLE QUARTILES. END OF STORY.

Fig. 1 (#632)

@stuffisthings Ooh, thanks. I forgot about Ehrenreich, and that Chavs book looks like it’ll be right up my alley. To the library!

This series is as great as I predicted it would be!

It does make me sad that her friend’s reaction led her to stop talking about money, because that attitude is harmful to everyone. I’ll be that, just as your friends who make $40k a year can’t imagine a $360,000 income, there are a lot of people making six figures who would be surprised that most people around them don’t — especially if they came from that kind of background.

deepomega (#22)

@stuffisthings Exactly. It cuts both ways. And being a dick about someone who earns a lot is just as fucked up as being a dick about someone who earns very little! We need to disconnect “income” from “personal worth”

Sallymander (#3,159)

From the interview, your life sounds pretty nice! Keep it up and “don’t spend it all in one place”, as they say.

Beans (#1,111)

Love these posts! I’m curious- how do you find the interview subjects?

readyornot (#816)

@Beans I have my suspicions about the answer to this question, but I think for Logan or Mike to confirm those might threaten the anonymity of the subjects. And say what you will about being open about money, there is a lot more freedom to respond when anonymous than when identified!

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@readyornot I don’t know about the others, but I volunteered. I’m just taking pains to be anonymous so that I can be as honest as possible without worrying about alienating friends or family. I also think this is a really interesting series and, with the awareness that my situation is pretty uncommon, wanted to contribute.

readyornot (#816)

@That_Rich_Person Totally get it! Thanks so much for the glimpse into your life.

MaxBraverman (#3,273)

I love how shopping at The Gap without having to look at the price tag means you’ve made it. The other rich person mentioned this too. Rich folks love their boring basics.

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@MaxBraverman Ha! I caught that too. What can I say, I love their workout clothes. They fit me better than the Lululemon uniform that is probably expected of me. Both companies are the worst, so I’m on the lookout for a more ethical yoga pant.

WaityKatie (#1,696)

@MaxBraverman I actually really related to that part, because I painfully remember not being able to shop at the Gap in high school because, well, I didn’t have any money of my own, and my parents thought the Gap was waaaaay too expensive. (Sears would do me just fine!) Yes, I was extremely cool and popular in high school. Now that I have my own money I kind of agree that the Gap is way overpriced, actually.

readyornot (#816)

@That_Rich_Person Everyone needs boring basics, rich people get to not look at the price tag. I like Prana yoga pants, mildly more ethical business practices.

chevyvan (#2,956)

@MaxBraverman Ha! Yes, my friend from back home and I had a discussion recently that we were so proud of ourselves that we could finally shop at The Gap instead of Old Navy (but I still try to stick to sale and clearance items with the occasional full-priced splurge).

@WaityKatie My dad was a salesman at Sears and our family got an employee discount, so I – like you – was cool and popular decked out in my Sears clothes year after year.

hellonheels (#1,407)

I think this series is just terrific.

It would be really interesting to read an “Ask A Rich Person” in which the gender roles were reversed – as in, the woman is the one making lots of money while the man is working in a lower-paid position. While my partner and I are not rich (well, not by our city’s standards anyway), I outearn him by a considerable margin that will likely only increase over the next few years. I’d love to hear how other, better-off couples navigate this, especially with regard to what will happen once it’s time to start a family.

readyornot (#816)

@hellonheels I agree, I would like to see a situation of gender role reversal. My husband and I have flipped in who earns more. And it’s funny, we’re actually planning for the next switch to coincide with kid. Like, he’ll go part-time or primary caretaker for the kid, and I’ll be the primary income earner. Though that’s the plan in theory, I’m not sure how it’s going to go in practice. In the meantime, we’re just saving like crazy. Especially because what he earns now is a level of magnitude higher than what I anticipate earning.

hellonheels (#1,407)

@readyornot It’s great that you are in a position where you can flip. Theoretically we could too – my boyfriend has an MBA and has chosen to work in his low-paying field – but I don’t see him going back into a corporate environment, which means he’ll probably never outearn me unless he starts his own business (which, to be fair, is his goal). I have absolutely no idea what will happen when we have kids. He loves his job and I doubt he’d ever agree to stay home, but it would be impossible to support a family on his income.

readyornot (#816)

@hellonheels I mean, what’s the most inmportant thing? To be happy, right? That he has a job he loves is more than most people ever can say. And I recognize that we’re really super fortunate for either of us to be able to consider temporarily dropping out of the labor force. Not everyone can do that either! And until we have mandatory gender neutral paid parental leave, there are going to be plenty of people who use day care early, have older family members help, whatever works.

When I’m being honest with myself, I recognize that the plan for my husband to stay home is something of an escapist fantasy for him, as he doesn’t always love that high-paying job. And we’re both pretty driven, I don’t know whether when the time comes he’ll really honestly stop working. Staying tuned…

stinapag (#2,144)

@hellonheels Oh, I could totally do that one. I am a lawyer, and my husband has been in blue collar jobs most of his life. I spent eight years on my education (a masters degree is in there too). He went to the military after high school and then into the workforce after that. Now, in his early 40s, he’s finally going to college because his body is starting to feel the strain of 25 years of physical jobs, and the job market in his field sucks at any rate. We’re actively trying to have a kid. I suspect that he’ll be a stay-at-home dad for a little while in the early years, and I’ll always be the primary breadwinner. He’s been working from home mostly at any rate, so he’s the one that runs the household in terms of cooking, cleaning, keeping track of the dog’s meals and general health. I’m not in BIGLAW, but I do support the bulk of the family expenses, and we live comfortably enough. I do check out the price tags at the GAP, but we can generally afford what we need there.

jfruh (#161)

Ack, came back to say (to nobody, probably) that everyone who works at home should know about Aeron chairs! True story, for years I was a work-at-home person and had chronic lower back pain, which I assumed was just going to be my Lot In Life. I also spent hours and hours every day sitting a shitty padded office chair that I literally bought at a yard sale for $5. Then I went to Re-Form, a used office supply place, and dropped $350 on a refurbished Aeron, and 80-85 percent of that pain disappated within WEEKS, for real. Save up, work at homers, a good chair is SO WORTH IT.

readyornot (#816)

@jfruh SECONDED. I just got one in January, life changing.

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@readyornot It is. Also it’s a Herman Miller joint… I think I attributed it to Steelcase incorrectly? Regret the error.

AnnieW (#2,913)

I bet the person who sold you that bedding at Macy’s was sad! Haha. I’m kidding, it’s totally understandable that you returned it. But it made me laugh, because someone was probably super happy about that $1000 (we have sales goals!) and then the next day it got subtracted from their goal. Luckily this does not really affect their employment, so all is well that ends well!

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@AnnieW I know, and that’s why I felt so bad about the whole thing. But that still seems like an absurd amount to spend on sheets and duvets! I have learned my lesson on that one — nobody gets to be that fancy-free except maybe Bill Gates.

AnnieW (#2,913)

@That_Rich_Person Haha, no, for sure. Whenever I do a transaction that is over like $500 (I work in women’s clothes, so no fancy kitchen appliances or anything) I’m like..who are you? What is this?

Also there is a department on my floor that is all designer and everything costs $1000 or more, so that’s a little mind boggling.

MalPal (#1,200)

These people are not rich. Their debt is enormous compared to their income even though it is high. 200k in student loan debt alone, against 360k a year. Their financial planner is probably not so great – or they blatantly ignore good advice. It’s a fine line you tread, folks – these days you need to be very very careful.

awk (#840)

@MalPal I think the interview reads a little bit deceivingly because they just started making a lot of money. It seems like until 2012 they were pretty much making 100K/year and in 2012, he jumped up to this new job where he started raking in the big bucks. In that sense, they are not very rich considering their debt load but give them a few years and they’ll be driving a new Audi every year, buying $1,000 sets of sheets and eating $41 Whole Foods meals three times a day with no debt at all, whilst living in a nice house with a really fat investment portfolio.

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@MalPal That amount of student loan debt is not that massive or uncommon these days – and ours is for two people/four degrees. Talk to a physician or a lawyer about their one-person amount of debt! We started behind the 8-ball financially, definitely, and this amount of income is new for us, so we’re still trying to get our footing. The debt hasn’t kept us from buying a home or having good credit, at least. Yes, it sucks and I don’t like it, but it’ll be gone by the end of the year. And a net of $160k still seems like a lot of money to me.

WaityKatie (#1,696)

@That_Rich_Person Yeah, I mean, some of us *coughlawyerscough* have debt that EXCEEDS our income. For one person. So.

@MalPal Most people with a mortgage have a debt load that is multiples of their annual income just from the mortgage.

jenfizz (#100)

@WaityKatie My student loan debt and my husband’s student loan debt adds up to about four times our annual income–so yeah.

xxxxxxx@twitter (#3,276)

spending that one full weekend day together with your husband must been doing your relationship so much good…when you retire early you’ll be like strangers and you can get to know each other all over again..what you like, what you don’t like, what your all about.

smack (#307)

This is an acceptably rich couple.

Also I am jealous.

nevertooyoung (#961)

Nth the call for an old money interview. ;)

When will you stop being rich and become wealthy?

WaityKatie (#1,696)

@Mackenzie Kelly@facebook When the debt is gone…

Phil K. (#1,740)

This was really eye opening for me. What’s the point of being rich if you still have to drive through ugly, desolate parts of town? (You know, the parts of town where all the formerly-rich pro athletes live.) (You know. Black people.)

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@Phil K. Okay, come on. I’m from Detroit. Have you ever been there? Do you know what that desolation looks like? It’s heartbreaking and I wish it didn’t exist — not because I want to be shielded from it, but because people shouldn’t have to live that way and so many there don’t have the option to leave.

whizz_dumb (#151)

I didn’t finish reading because I get worked up about people spending a lot money on a many frivolous things. Not sure if this was covered further down, but if you have a lot of guilt about considering yourself rich, maybe give to a charity or become a member of an organization you believe in. Donate to causes. It might feel good.

That_Rich_Person (#3,271)

@whizz_dumb Maybe keep reading. I mentioned three charities we donate to regularly and didn’t mention the hefty payroll deductions we both set up through work (an uninsured patient-needs fund and the United Way), plus all the college funding we’re doing for our young family members. It’s not to assuage my guilt, though, it’s because it’s the right thing to do.

cmg16 (#3,226)

Maybe it’s because I’m also in my 30′s and experienced my husband’s income going up after he finished training/eduction, but I can’t help but think about how turned on it’s head this situation (and the “Ask a Rich Person, $140k”) would be if the couple had children. Would this woman keep her job if her husband is out-earning her 4:1? Would he still want to work 80-100 hours a week with kids? Not to assume that they are going to have children but I think it’s interesting how they can change the balance of time/money/power in relationships.

TARDIStime (#1,633)

@cmg16 It would probably be turned on its head. Something That_Rich_Person mentioned in the article was that they don’t really have plans for kids, though – they’re pretty happy to be the rich/crazy Aunt and Uncle to their 3 nieces/nephews.

TARDIStime (#1,633)

@TARDIStime aaaaaaaaand now I have “Mame” stuck in my head…

lisap14 (#3,310)

For some people the 80-100 hours a week might make the money worth it, but not me. I would rather my husband make only $50,000 a year so I could see him once in awhile!

So wait…I must be missing something here. They both come from lower income backgrounds, with poor parents struggling to make ends meet, yet somehow they get over 200,000$ in combined personal loans? Umm, no. You need cosigners, people with money, or have a really good job already and excellent credit. Try doing this with Starbucks tips right out of high school like actual people who don’t have high paying jobs lined up. Either they had a line in somewhere through relatives or friends or their parents were actually making pretty decent money and cosigning a ton of loans for their “hard-knock” children. I call bullshit on this rags-to-riches story…

@fo (#839)

@Andy Domonkos@facebook “somehow they get over 200,000$ in combined personal loans? Umm, no.”

Been living in a cave, Andy?

There are plenty of *individuals* who get $200k in loans for law school (ie, one 3-year degree, not 4 totaling 11 or 12 years), without a co-sign. The reason is the (virtual) non-dischargeability of student loan debt in bankruptcy.

boringbunny (#3,260)

This article still haunts me. My bf and I make roughly the same income as the couple here with slightly more debt and we do not spend this kind of money at all. We have average apartments furnished by Ikea for Craigslist and Target sheets and we both drive reasonable old cars. It might just be that we live in an expensive metro and don’t live together but wow – just night and day.

@fo (#839)

@boringbunny “Haunt” is a little strong for me, BUT I definitely get where you’re coming from. We’re ~10 years along from this post, have a couple kids, etc, etc, and I’m *defintely* still looking at price tags, even at Old Navy.

What I *REALLY* don’t get is all the people in this series who buy furniture at Room & Board and act like it’s no.big.deal. R&B furniture is ‘spensive. *Every* rug in our house is from Ikea. *Every* bookcase in our house is Ikea/costco/yard sale.

quayson90 (#4,243)

hello am elizabeth quayson am in ghana am a costemtology student am 23 i need a rich man who is ready to get married this is my id quayson80@yahoo.com this is my phone number number +233207884579

UniQue (#4,404)

Hello I am Navayya I am lookin for a kind hearted wealthy person to help me save my Grandma’s please if anyone rich can help I need twenty-six thousand dollars! email me right away at corumpbrat@sbcglobal.net PLEASE ANY RICH PERSON IF U CAN HELP N I WILL HELP U N ANYWAY I CAN AFTER THAT!

NewEnglander (#4,950)

I’ve done the “80 to 100″ hour work weeks to dive deep into 6 figure income. Not only is it unsustainable–it took me a couple years but I eventually completely burned out–but it’s horrible for a relationship unless a couple actually prefers hardly ever spending quality time together. I know because we both wanted more time together and it wasn’t possible with the demands of work. About 18 months into it, I even had the “luxury” of working from home more than half the time. We thought it would make things better, but it only made it worse for all of us. My wife and kids knew I was home and I had no time to spend with them.

So long as both people are fine with the lack of together time, it can work. The moment the constant time apart becomes an issue–even if only for one of the people in the relationship–it’s all downhill from there unless they’re willing to do what it takes to focus on their relationship regardless the potential change in “lifestyle”.

We only have a finite time on this planet. I’d rather enjoy it with my family (now remarried with my children from my 1st) on our current income (25% of what it was previously) than ever go back to the days when I lived to work. I feel more wealthy now than ever.

Being rich isn’t just about the money. It’s about the quality of our relationships with the people around us, especially with those whom we hold closest to our hearts. A hard lesson learned.

Eldesperado (#5,508)

Hi all, really need to find a wealthy kind hearted person to help me & my family out…. Any ideas?

hi, im a single mother whos soon to lose her kids to foster care taking my rights away i really need help as of last year

i need to marry a rich person who can supply me what i need to get and care for my kids the way they needs to be cared for. or i could just need a nice big place to live and a job will also work for me

Out of everyone on here that has more money then most people is there any one that would or knows someone that would loan me 15,000k so thwqt me and my father in law can open up our own vapor and e liquid business please

xemodeus (#7,514)

im looking for a rich man or women to help me out of this binded im in trying to get job but no luck and just needing help relly bad and it would be greatful and very helpful if someone helped…for more details add me to sykpe my name there is xemodeus666 thx

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