A lot of people daydream about becoming rich one day as if it is the greatest goal anyone could ever achieve. This is why so many people play the lottery and watch shows about the rich and famous. There’s the phrase, “money can’t buy happiness,” but money can solve most problems.
It’s true that money makes life a lot better in many ways. However, there is also a dark side to having a lot of money that most people don’t talk about. As another saying goes, “the grass is greener on the other side.” Most of us would choose to be rich over being poor even though more money comes with more problems. At the very least, you will have to change your lifestyle. We broke down 20 ways life changes for those who acquire new wealth below.
20. You Can Say “No” More Often
In a movie called The Gambler, there’s a famous monologue where John Goodman talks about having “F- you money.” This is a status in life where someone has $2.5 million, and the interest they earn pays for their living expenses for the rest of their life. In that situation, you’re so financially comfortable, you can essentially say “no” to anything. Don’t like your boss? If you’re rich, you can quit your job. Don’t like where you live? You have money to move.
Becoming rich means that you can start to play by your own rules. There is no longer any obligation to say “yes.” However, you can live your life by saying “no” to things more often, even if you’re not rich. Just focus on being happy, helping others, and fulfilling your life’s purpose. Everything else that comes your way should be easy to say “no” to.
19. Having Less Time
Unless you were born into a wealthy family, money doesn’t grow on trees. You have to work incredibly hard to make more. This is why so many rich people have so little free time. Most of them have completely full schedules. In her documentary Miss Americana, Taylor Swift shared that she has tours booked for the next two years of her life, and she only spends a few days at home relaxing before she has to go somewhere else. Sacrificing her free time is the only way she has grown to be as rich and famous as she is.
No matter who you are or what industry you work in, you are going to have to sacrifice your free time if you want to get rich. This might come in the form of self-education, starting a business, or working overtime. The famous 4 Hour Work Week is something that comes after you have already worked hard beforehand. Even then, most rich people don’t actually have such a short work week, because they need to maintain their lifestyle.
18. Losing Friendships
There are many seasons in life, and friends come and go as you get older. After all, if you hung around the same crew you knew since elementary school, it might be difficult to change your way of life. Whether you like it or not, growing as an individual often means growing apart from friends. For example, if you’re prioritizing growing a business, you might not have time to go to the bar with your best buddies.
Even if you do manage to maintain your friendships, you might find that you no longer have a lot to talk about. You might be thinking about investing, working, and growing your legacy, but all your friends care about is the latest football game. When you are on a completely different page from someone else, it can be hard to relate to them and carry on a conversation. Once you meet someone who has gone through the same struggles, there is a huge amount of mutual respect. The more successful you become, the more opportunities you’ll have to find people who have the same goals as you.
If you’re on a tight budget, you may eat the cheapest options. Once you become rich, there is no longer any excuse that you “can’t afford” to eat healthy. At first, you might be tempted to use your money to indulge in things you couldn’t afford before. Maybe you will celebrate your newfound riches by drinking beer and eating pizza. But after a while, your body will suffer because of it and you’ll crave healthier food. If you are the sort of person who is a self-made millionaire, it most likely means that you worked incredibly hard. These people usually want the highest quality of life, which includes diet and exercise.
Going out to eat also becomes more of an event. Suddenly, you can afford to eat anywhere you want. There is no need to worry about how much the total will cost, which means that you will be more willing to try new food. If you don’t like it, this isn’t a big deal, because you won’t be agonizing over wasting money. You might even become a bit of a “foodie.”
16. Delegating Everyday Tasks
Growing up without a lot of money, you are probably used to doing everything on your own. Cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and childcare are all tasks you took care of on your own. People call these tasks “adulting.” But once you become rich, you suddenly realize that life can get a whole lot easier if you drop some money. For example, if you’re too tired after a long day of making money to vacuum or do the laundry, you could hire a housekeeper once a week for $15 per hour. That’s a small drop in the bucket to help save you time.
Once you become rich, all of those things you swore you’d never “waste money” on suddenly become your only option. Your time on a Saturday might be far better spent with your kids than cleaning. This is especially true in a household where both parents work. There is absolutely no shame in paying someone else to do your daily tasks. Anything that helps aid you in having a happier and more successful life will be worth every penny. Plus, you’re helping to support someone else who needs work too.
15. Better Home
One of the first things people do when they start making more money is to move to a better home. If you are currently living in an apartment and you became rich, you’d probably buy or rent a house. People who are successful are usually good investors, which means they usually have a goal of buying property instead of renting.
Even if you already live in a house and pay a mortgage, it’s likely that you would move to a bigger house or a better neighborhood. Quality of life becomes very important when you have a lot of money. After all, you spend most of your free time living in your house, so there is really no better use of your newfound riches.
14. People Begin to Resent You
Unfortunately, not everyone will be happy for you when you begin to make more money. People become jealous. There is a stigma that rich people have an easy life. Even if you worked incredibly hard for your money, people will automatically assume that you were raised by rich parents. Or they think that the rich got ahead by exploiting the system and must be a bad person.
According to a poll by Cato, young Americans under the age of 30 are more resentful towards the rich than any other generation that came before them. After the Great Recession in 2008, life has become incredibly difficult to get ahead. Even when you play by the rules, go to college, and work hard, student loan debt puts you at a disadvantage. So when you find financial success, it will have a lot of people wondering what lengths you were willing to go to in order to break free from the middle class.
13. Peace of Mind
When you don’t have a lot of money, there is always this lingering sense of anxiety that hangs over your head. If there was ever an emergency, could you afford to pay your expenses? Would you lose your house or apartment? Saving a few months of expenses could help to take away your anxiety, but a lot of people don’t have that option. Most Americans have less than $1,000 saved for a rainy day, which means nearly everyone is worried about money.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be “rich” to have security and peace of mind. Once you earn around $100,000 per year, this is more than enough to help you feel prepared for most situations. As long as you live within your means, you don’t need to be a millionaire to have that sense of security. But if you do become a millionaire, it means that with the help of a financial planner, your investments could pay for a comfortable lifestyle forever.
12. Privacy Becomes A Priority
Being rich doesn’t necessarily mean you are famous. In fact, many millionaires choose to never disclose how much money they have because they realize that it will make them a target. You’ll think twice about flaunting the new watch you recently bought or wearing flashy designer brands. After having money for a while, you might actually prefer to look poor if it means that people will leave you alone.
Since rich people have good reason to fear hacking or home invasion, they usually invest in a home security system. Aside from material goods, hackers are often looking to blackmail the rich by holding their private information against them. In certain cases, the rich may even hire a team of security guards to walk with them in public. This is especially important if you are a public figure. So being rich means that you always have to look over your shoulder.
11. Traveling Gets Better
Once you become rich, you will realize that there is a huge world waiting to be explored. It’s no longer necessary to stay in the area where you grew up. Even if you are already traveling on a smaller budget, having money helps you enjoy different aspects of the luxury “jet set” lifestyle you were never able to before. It becomes possible to pay for tickets to far-off places you’ve never been before. You may be able to book a room at a five-star hotel, order room service, and even pay for an upgrade to first class.
Many rich people actually enjoy spending their money on traveling more than buying material things. They realize that experiences are far more valuable and bring a lot of joy to your life. Even if you don’t have a big budget, you should consider traveling more often. For more inspiration, check out our list on 20 Ways Travel Makes People Happier Than Money.
10. Your Appearance Changes
When someone becomes rich, it’s almost guaranteed they become more attractive. They can afford to pay for high-quality skincare as well as doctor and dental visits. The normal parts of aging, like losing your hair, can be fixed with hair transplants. There are even stem cell injections that have been known to prolong someone’s youthful appearance for much longer. Some people have even paid to have plastic surgery.
Aside from facial beauty, they can also afford to take care of their body. Buying organic produce, vegan meals, and other healthy foods are finally affordable. Rich people can also hire a personal trainer to help them get the body of their dreams.
9. Taxes are a Big Deal
When you are in the middle-class, you most likely receive a W2 from your employer. Throughout the year, they are paying taxes out of your paychecks, and most people either get a tax return, or don’t owe anything at all. But when you’re rich, all of that changes. Suddenly, you need to pay very close attention to your taxes, because you might end up paying a huge amount out-of-pocket at the end of the year.
Most rich people hire an accountant or a financial planner to help them manage their money. And if they are self-employed and determined to do things on their own, they might pay for accounting software like Quickbooks, which will help keep track of their expenses and estimated taxes. Ironically, rich people have more access to loopholes in the legal system that help them save on taxes. They can put their assets into businesses, and deduct certain purchases as “business expenses.” This can all get rather complicated, but it becomes a huge part of your life once you have more money than the average person.
Pretty much everyone in America has their “dream car.” For some, it’s a Lamborghini that costs well over $200,000, or a Tesla. Only millionaires can afford to buy a vehicle that’s so expensive, it’s the same price as a house. However, a large number of millionaires actually choose a car based on safety, reliability, and fuel economy.
Billionaire Warren Buffet famously drives a 2014 Cadillac XTS, which was $23,500 when it was brand new. His mindset behind buying a car is that he wants to buy a reliable vehicle to use for as long as he possibly can. As an investor, he realizes that his money is better spent on putting it into the stock market because it helps his wealth grow. Cars depreciate in value, so they are actually a terrible investment. To learn more about that, check out The 20 Ways Cars are Keeping Americans Poor.
7. Social Media Isn’t Important
Plenty of people get a sense of satisfaction from their number of “likes” on social media. They desperately want to impress their friends so they put in a lot of effort to post flattering photos of themselves and the things they do on a day-to-day basis. However, once you are rich, you no longer have anything to prove.
Your accomplishments are enough for you to feel good about yourself, and that’s all that matters. Getting a “like” on social media gives you a false sense of approval, but it’s no replacement for genuine interactions with others.
6. Authenticity Becomes Rare
Earlier on this list, we mentioned some of your old friendships and relationships might fall to the way-side. Sometimes, this is for the best, especially if these people were bringing you down or trying to slow your success. However, one of the downsides to this is that once you surround yourself with other rich people, it becomes more difficult to find people who are authentic. Everyone has a carefully manicured public persona, especially if they are a public figure. So you can never be sure if someone actually likes you, or if they’re just putting on a face for public.
Even if you try to stay down-to-earth and socialize with the same people, these people might start to resent you or begin to act fake. When two people are on the same level as one another, it’s easy to find someone who just genuinely wants a friend to relate to. But once you become too different from one another, it’s difficult to find a genuine friendship that’s worth holding onto.
5. People Will Try to Use You
We just talked about a lack of authenticity after you become rich. One of the worst parts of this is that a lot of people will try to use you. Suddenly, when you go out to eat, you become the designated person who is expected to pick up the bill. Friends and family no longer appreciate smaller gifts, and expectations rise from everyone around you. It can begin to feel like people are using you or they no longer appreciate small gestures of generosity.
Even worse is that you become a target for fake friends and gold diggers. You can no longer trust that people want to be your friend or lover for the right reasons. They might only be pretending to like you so that they can take advantage of you. If you want to know more about that, check out our article called 30 Warning Signs Someone is a Gold Digger.
4. You Start Reading More
Most millionaires are all about self-improvement. They became wealthy because they had an interest in constantly pushing themselves to the next level. Even after they attain the status of a millionaire, they are still finding ways to continue to get better. This is why so many of them enjoy reading books. And if you aren’t the sort of person who reads books already, you just might find yourself being the sort of person who adopts the practice once you become rich.
Many people who don’t have enough time to read will listen to podcasts or audiobooks instead. This can be a great way to consume books when you’re on a plane or driving somewhere on your morning commute.
3. Your Reputation Is Far More Important
People in the middle-class might not think twice before posting a photo on Instagram showing themselves getting drunk with their friends. They care about what people think to a certain extent, but they also want to show they are having a good time. However, once you reach a certain level of success, that is no longer acceptable. Building your reputation becomes far more important.
Wealthy people usually achieved success by their ability to be taken seriously by clients and business partners. So if they reveal too much of their unprofessional side, it could mean losing clients and money.
2. You Worry About Your Legacy
Once you begin to make some money, it no longer becomes a question of what you are going to do in the next few years. Most people think about having kids to pass down their legacy, since your family and friends might be the only ones to remember you. When you have a lot of money, you can choose to donate to charitable causes, create a scholarship, or start a business. Most people want to be remembered for more than simply donating a lot of money.
Building a legacy is about figuring out how you want the world to remember your name. After you are long gone, will people say flattering things, or will they remember someone who was evil? With the Internet, our legacies are now apart of a permanent record of information floating around on the web.
1. It’s Easier To Be Honest
Similar to saying “no” more often, it’s possible to be honest when you’re rich because there is no fear of getting fired. Sometimes, honesty rubs people the wrong way. Or it could help to turn a negative situation into something better. Either way, it will make things easier for you to move forward with your life as well as your goals. At the end of the day, progress can’t be made if you aren’t being honest with yourself and others.
Sure, this might be a huge perk people get to enjoy once they start making more money. However, you can choose to implement this into your life before you’re close to becoming a millionaire. Just be prepared for any result that might come out of your honesty.