I don’t necessarily think there is anything inherently wrong with growing-up in financial privilege. When I was younger I actually wished many times for my own upbringing to be different. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
My parents had -and still have- horrendous money management skills. On top of that, my dad did not believe in the concept of keeping a job, which created further issues. Issues that impacted me both directly and indirectly. But I digress a little here.
Being financially privileged can definitely propel you ahead…
There is no question money can open a world of opportunities, in many, many ways: education, business, travel etc…It also takes a lot of worries away.
That being said, now that I am a little bit older and perhaps, a little bit wiser, I don’t envy people who grew up financially privileged.
…but it can also make you lazy and unappreciative
I have seen this countless times with friends whose parents and grandparents had more money than mine.
The friends in question tended to take everything for granted and had no real appreciation for what they had.
I had very little financial resources growing-up, and even as a young adult. I definitely appreciate everything I have and don’t take it for granted.
Privilege can take away the sense of accomplishment
Growing-up poor-ish makes me want to get out of that state, and fast. I worked very hard for everything I have accomplished so far, and I am proud of this.
One of my childhood friends had absolutely no motivation or drive to do anything, because he was lulled by too much family money.
And where is the sense of accomplishment and pride when you never have to work for anything or figure anything out by yourself?
When money is scarce, you become resourceful and creative. You make do.
Privileged people usually can’t handle the slightest discomfort
Life is a bitch at times. Privileged friends and acquaintances of mine have the most difficulties handling any temporary discomfort of curve balls thrown at them. I recall another childhood friend of mine having a panic attack at the airport because her flight had been cancelled! I kid you not.
When money is scarce, you also develop resilience and adaptation. You don’t sweat over the small, insignificant stuff. You learn to prioritize very quickly.
With a little perspective, I now see how growing-up in a poor environment gave me great qualities, that have been very useful to me, such as determination, adaptation and resourcefulness.
Maybe I am bashing on privileged people. Maybe not. My point is more that there is a silver lining when you are underprivileged, financially. If you are lucky to be financially privileged, appreciate it and do something meaningful with your life.
My kids told me while they were growing up that even though they knew I made more money than almost all of their friends parents that they were the poorest kids they knew. I was always kind of proud of that, I told them you can always learn to spend money later, after you have earned it, but that if you don’t learn to save and live within your means at a young age it is way harder to learn later. Now all three are grown millennials, self supporting and frugal with their money.
The parents definitely have a huge role and influence. Most of my childhood friends’parents didn’t do the best job…unfortunately for my friends.