1."I grew up with a blue-collar background on both sides, and my parents worked very hard to lift themselves out of it and make sure I didn't slip back in. A bunch of my cousins on my dad's side who I grew up with never left the trailer park (literally). With some of them, it's okay, maybe a little awkward, since our lives are so different now. Others, I had to go no-contact with because they were constantly hounding me for money."
"And then, some of the rich kids I went to school with don't seem to know what to make of me moving in the same circles as them now...though, I think that one is more uncomfortable for them than me, haha."
2."I grew up on welfare, and I never had new clothes until I was 16 and could buy them myself. I now have five degrees, and I'm working on my doctorate, and I own two homes. I am secure enough financially that I could buy a car on my way home from work and pay cash for the entire thing — without impacting my bills. My family sees me as a cash cow, and I'm taken advantage of as often as I allow it, which is not too often anymore. I have had to literally bail my sister out of jail, and I have had to cover my parents’ mortgage."
"My father tells me I have 'too much money.' I have a less-than-stellar relationship with my parents because of their disdain for the fact that I'm not struggling as they have, and it's hard; parents should want better for their children, and it's obvious my parents don’t."
3."Not rich, but have enough for me to be a stay-at-home mom and live very comfortably in California, so more upper middle class. Weirdly enough, it's family members that get weird. Some have been competitive, some bitter, and others want something. You can't tell them you're going on a trip without some form of guilt-tripping coming into the conversation."
"Some think you're obligated to take care of them, but that's a hard no."
4."A couple of years ago, I came into a large amount of money ($10M+) somewhat unexpectedly (not a lottery win; it was related to a company I owned and sold). I do not come from wealth AT ALL — my parents were blue-collar working class, and that's how I was raised, so it was a huge adjustment. I did make some mistakes, one of which was simply telling the people in my life about it. I'm treated differently now, and sometimes, by people who I would have never thought would. Any time you go out to dinner or on vacation with someone, it's just an unspoken assumption that you will pay for everything no matter how many people are there. If someone thinks you cheaped out on a Christmas gift, even if it's a nice gift, you'll hear about it."
"I am proud to be able to support my elderly parents (and I do), but others in my family don't seem to understand why I won't do the same for them; it's because they are able-bodied adults who can earn their own living or they are teenagers who simply want cool things to show off to social media (although I do help out in emergencies). This summer I rented a large, beautiful lake house in Michigan for a long weekend with my sister and her boys, spent many thousands of dollars on the rental/food/activities/gas for boats, and on the last day, my nephew looked me in the eye and said next time, I need to rent a 'bigger and fancier' place than the literal f***king lakeside mansion we were in. He literally said, 'Do better next time.' What??? It's crap like that. What I've learned is this: People don't want to spend their own money — they want to spend YOURS because it isn't real to them. Your money is a disembodied idea in their heads, so when you say no, obviously the only reason is that you're a rich greedy a-hole who doesn't care about anyone but yourself. Give me a break!"
5."We’re millionaires. I hate to say it but…money really does buy happiness. We donate a ton of money. We buy great gifts. We go to Paris for the weekend. It’s fun being able to give money to people who need a little help, to redo a room or even buy a new house, to own four cars, or eat at any restaurant without wondering what the price is. We’re not supposed to ever talk about being wealthy because it’s snobby, but being millionaires is So. Much. Fun."
"Everything in life is simply better; from getting good healthcare to seeing elderly relatives whenever you want to supporting animal shelters. And the peace of mind? It’s like 50% of my emotional problems simply went away. Stress sucks. Money helps. We were young and broke once. Having money really does make life better."
6."I'm in my late 30s. I've made a good living with my career, but when my grandfather died a couple of years ago, I inherited several million dollars worth of property, which I didn't want or need so I sold it off. Old friendships haven't changed, and it's nice to be able to donate to fundraisers or send presents. I have another circle of friends I hang out with now, and in some ways, it's easier because we can do spontaneous things and not worry about the cost."
"Dating has become harder since sooner or later, money and jobs come up. I'm not looking to be anybody's sugar daddy. The freebies and privileges are wild. I have a private banker who comes to me, so I rarely have to go to the bank — when I do, they have a separate area with champagne. They give me free meals at Michelin-star restaurants, hotel stays, chauffeur service to the airport, etc. All things I can afford but don't have to pay for."
7."I grew up in a large family in a small home with very little money. I heard 'we can’t afford that' my whole life. I left home right after high school and struggled to make ends meet as an adult, but I was used to it, like, that’s just how life was. Cut to my 30s — I met and eventually married a man with a great job, no kids, and lots of expendable income. It was eye-opening to feel the stress of money just evaporate from my life. It was like a lifetime of weight around my neck was gone. I began to realize there was a growing divide between my friends and me."
"I could no longer commiserate with them about being broke because I was now on the other side. In some ways, it’s been lonely. I am beyond grateful for my life now, but I can’t relate to most of my peers, and I have no interest in living large. I would never want to go back to survival mode, and having money can make life easier, but there are feelings of isolation I was not prepared for."
8."I never told anyone I was rich, so I still have the same friends from forever. Don’t want or need the attention that comes with a high-end lifestyle. I cut off communication with a sibling because they constantly had their hand out and would’ve drained me dry before moving on to their next victim."
9."Dating is difficult. ... A lady I was seeing decided to dump me for 'lack of ambition' when she asked what my career goals were, and I told her I planned to retire soon (mid-40s)."
"Apparently, a man is required to have goals but not allowed to actually achieve them. Sorry, but I'd rather be single and pursue things that actually interest me."
10."I never grew up rich, so I consider becoming rich a later-in-life kind of thing even though I'm only 23. I met the man of my dreams, and it just happened that he was rich (his dad owns a billion-dollar corporation). As soon as I started dating him, many women called me unworthy and a gold digger. When we got pregnant with twins at 21, they tried to convince him they weren't his. Once we got married, they treated me even worse and still excluded me at every party."
"But I DON'T care, because we are living our life and are now pregnant with our third baby, a girl!"
11."The expectation is very real. I earned and earn the money I make. The thought that all I care for is money when I give away almost all of it. Dating is an issue. [I've met women who] love to attack it. They will say they have dated others with tons of money. If I am busy, the comments of 'I dated a multi-millionaire, and he made time' happens all the time. God forbid there is a discussion, and I try to prove a point. I’m not allowed to be right because I do not understand the average person. You also become the go-to person for problem-solving."
"Doing something nice for someone does not have the same effect either. People’s thoughts are that it was easy for you due to having money — not realizing that I am not financially motivated in life. I just became good at something and a few people believed in me."
—41, New York
12."Married in. I wouldn’t say we are 'rich,' but we are living a lifestyle 95% of our mutual friends are not, including having serious discussions about fully retiring in the next few years (I’m 35). Consequently, I found that my social circle which shrank during the pandemic has gotten even smaller. It’s hard for me to make new friends at work because once they see our house, boat, etc, things have gotten weird."
"Plus, living at this level and zip code doesn’t usually happen to people my age, so most of my immediate neighbors are a different generation. As far as old friends, the cracks that were there in the relationship before the wealth will be there after, just larger, and that goes for family, too. I had a close girlfriend, who could never be happy for our mutual friends during weddings or baby showers, tell me that she 'just can’t be happy for me.' It hurt to hear but I can’t fault her for living her truth."
13."I have one set of friends who would always ask to borrow money from me. When I changed jobs, I told them I couldn't do that anymore, and they haven't asked since. I don't mind helping, but I started to feel like a piggy bank."
14."Not rich per se but enough to not have to work — meaning that friends assumed I would be the one to take their kids to all the after-school clubs because I clearly needed something to do."
15."Plot twist: I didn't become rich but some folks think I did. My husband died and because he had a good job, people thought he left me a huge estate. It was a decent amount, and because I'm frugal, I've been able to be a stay-at-home mom while I raised my child to adulthood, work only when I wanted, pay my bills, and travel. (So yeah, maybe to some people, that qualifies me as 'rich.') About a year after my husband died, friends began asking questions. A huge turnoff and a huge no-no. I have never discussed my finances with anyone outside of my family."
"Friends began to somehow feel entitled to know my business: my financial status, my comings and goings, my purchases... The end result for me has been the 'loss' of several people I thought of as friends. Thankfully, over a decade later, my true friends are still around."
—50+, North Carolina
16."I grew up in what was considered upper middle class. Most of my classmates were in similar or better financial situations. My dad started to make a lot more money in my late teens/early 20s. He was living in California, and I lived at his house while I was in school. His house at the time was in a small and exclusive gated neighborhood in Orange County. (He has since downsized in square footage and upgraded in location. *Insert eye roll here.*) I was looking at a house that recently went up for sale in the neighborhood during a break because I’m nosy. My classmate, who I considered a friend, looked over and asked what I was looking at. I explained and she said, 'So, you’re rich?'"
"I was dumbfounded and said, 'No, my dad has money now, but I don’t consider myself rich. I have definitely had privileges that most don’t, but I pay my bills with my minimum wage job while in school just like you.' She started ignoring me and refused to engage in any conversation with me after that, which was hard because we were in a class of 20 students per graduation class. She learned one new thing about me and decided that everything else was irrelevant after multiple months of friendship. I know I sound like a typical rich kid who says, 'I’m not rich, my parents are,' but I was raised by my mother who is a teacher. My dad and the majority of his salary went to his family on the side. I don’t have free access to any of my father’s money, and if I borrow from him, he expects it back."
If you became rich later in life, how did people treat you differently? Let us know in the comments below. Or if you prefer to remain anonymous, feel free to use this Google form.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.