The Five Reasons I Never Want To Be Rich

Look, we all want money. You need it to eat, to not sleep in the rain, and to buy $200 bottles of champagne to shake up and spray at bitches at a club. I get it, it’s like oxygen or water–a necessity. But there is a certain point at which having enough money to live comfortably becomes having enough money to be an unbelievable asshole. That point is called “being rich.” And though, realistically, I’m not looking down the pathway to the #richpeopleproblems world any time soon, it’s always good to clarify why I wouldn’t want to, were it an option.

1. You work all the time. It is a commonly accepted truth that unless you are a fake-breasted 20-year-old who marries a 94-year-old billionaire leukemia patient, you’re going to have to work for your money. Generally speaking, any profession that’s going to put you into the stratosphere of buying yachts made out of chocolate and prostitutes is going to require you to sacrifice most of your life to it. And while everybody is obligated to work, there are few who do it quite as much (or as bitterly) as partners in major law firms, in-demand plastic surgeons, and corporate executives. Their lives quickly become their work, and soon their social circles are whittled down into two groups, “family I’m obligated to talk to,” and “insufferable pricks who come to the company Christmas party.” Working  70+ hours a week at such a prestigious job has the maddening effect of enabling you to buy anything your heart desires and leaving you no time left to use it. This is the point at which rich people begin buying things with no purpose, such as horrendous modern art for their sterile, immense apartments. “If I’m not going to be able to enjoy my money,” they seem to say, “God damnit, you people are going to look at it.”

2. You have a staff to run. One of the most efficient ways of determining how rich you are is assessing how many mundane daily activities you have become too important to do yourself. Everything from raising your children to walking your dogs to preparing your meals can be farmed out to nameless brown people you refer to as “the help.” The more rich you become, inevitably, the less you are capable of doing yourself. If you are moderately wealthy, you probably have a nanny and a cleaning lady come once a week. If you’re a zillionaire, you probably have someone who clips your toenails, someone who carries an umbrella behind you, and a gay man in a tailored suit who compliments you and says zesty catchphrases. But when just running your house becomes a micro-economy in and of itself, it’s hard not to become overwhelmed by the sheer responsibility of it all. I can’t imagine how tedious it would become after a while to manage the payment, monitoring, occasional interaction with, and hiring/ firing of a personal staff of 25. And though you could probably hire someone to do that as well, it begs the question, where does this end? Do you eventually hire someone to breathe for you? Someone to lay in a pressurized tank while you siphon their youth through a crazy straw? I, personally, like to do things for myself.

3. You are obligated to be involved. What is being obscenely wealthy if not pretending to care about philanthropic endeavors you couldn’t give two shits about? Are there underpriveleged kids that are going to need to go to college at some point? Is there a lake in your community that’s getting pretty dirty these days? Is there some “urban” that could use some “revitalization?” Well, get out the checkbook and the photo-op tie, because you have a lot of pretending to empathize to do. In all seriousness, this works best if you are the pampered spouse of someone who runs a company, but it seems all rich people are required to be involved. After all, what is the joy of being a crusty old white person if not chairing a committee? And that says nothing of the God to which all rich people eventually learn to prostrate themselves before, Our Lady of the Tax Write-Off.

4. Your children are destined to be insufferable assholes. Okay, I know that decent rich-people spawn exist, but there has to be something dangerous about the combination of never hearing no, having endless access, and being raised by everyone but your too-busy parents. What other destiny could these kids face than to grow up with the same level of entitlement developed as a 7-year-old who has his or her own butler to scream at? It just gets exhausting to see the way our society seems to fawn over the “socialites,” a term that may at one time have meant something but is now merely a euphemism for “coke whores who are famous for having rich parents and/ or possibly their sex tape.” We act as though they are mythical creatures, modern unicorns if you will, if a unicorn’s power was not wearing underwear and talking shit about each other to paparazzi… which, hey, it very well may be–I’ve never met a unicorn.

5. You become “The Man.” Remember when you were young, when you had ideas, when things were going to change and, like, you were totally gonna be the one to change them? Remember when you used to get high in your tiny apartment with that guy who squatted on your couch for, like, a month when he was doing a cross-country road trip to find God and some decent molly?  Remember when you could just take some time off from everything to just really, breathe, man? Well, all of that is gone, now, bro–you ARE the man. You are the one spilling the oil and raping Africa and brokering shady deals with China and cancelling Arrested Development. The blood is on your hands and your bermuda shorts and you’re just gonna have to live with that. Go home to your mansion and eat your endangered species and have sex with your 20-year-old trophy wife. Enjoy it, you filthy, disgusting pig.

By the way, before you go, could you spot me a couple bucks for dinner? I’m, like, so tired of lentils, you have no idea. TC mark

image – fallingwater123

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

Read Here

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707272007 Alex Thayer

    i don’t think that there’s anything wrong with being rich, as long as you’re self-conscious enough to realize that you need to love what you do enough to let it be part of an overall balanced life.

    also, i need a job.  summer sucks.

  • Sam

    I was lucky enough to be born the son of one of one of these mindless “corporate executives.” While my mother might be “obligated” to talk to me, she never hangs out with, or even attends, the office christmas party. Her “staff” consisted of my father, my brother and I, who walk the dog, clean the house, cook meals, etc. With philanthropy, I don’t understand why it matters if someone is rich or poor, everyone who has something to offer should. While this comment might be naggy, I hope I’m not an “insufferable asshole.” I’m told no more than yes, don’t get whatever I want, and certainly was raised by my two own parents. My career path? Newswriter, not being a socialite.

    I’d love if this article had something to say, instead of being just a list of cliched stereotypes. I expected better from Chelsea Fagan.

    • Andrei

      This sounds more upper-middle class than rich, tbh. You’re safe.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EUL6B7WZUNAHGMO5KRCKZTGP54 Damen Handle

      somebody call the rich kid a waahmbulance

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504951716 Tau Zaman

      “I expected better from Chelsea Fagan.”

      Is this the Chelsea that wrote the slutwalk article? Or was that a different Chelsea Fagan?

  • Marc

    I come from the family you just described. Some people actually enjoy working. Yes, we have a lot of money in my family, but I will still be pursuing an active career.

  • http://twitter.com/Flarfer Dave P

    Some of us need to pay back our student loans, and thus ‘want to be rich’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    Working 70+ hours and having  money is still preferable to the life of a grad student:  70+ hours and no money. 

  • http://eccentricerrant.wordpress.com/ Alexandrea

    Five Reasons Why I Want to be Rich:

    1) It’s hard to make money at first, but the more money one makes, the easier it is to make it. Rich people work hard, yes, but they make their money work harder for them. Passive income ftw.

    2) I can still choose to lead an independent life when I’m rich. No one can force me to do otherwise. But then again, what would I choose — running my own staff, or working for someone else as an employee?

    3) I want to be rich for this reason. I want to have a financially blessed life so I can bless others. Of course I’ll enjoy life. I’m not a hypocrite. But it frustrates me sometimes that  I can’t do more than what I can do now. Sure, every little donation counts to the causes I support, but it will be awesome if I find myself in a position to donate millions to what I really care about.

    4) My children will only become insufferable assholes if I don’t raise them right, and money doesn’t have anything to do with it. Poor people can produce spoiled brats.

    5) I don’t have to become ‘The Man.’ I would rather be #3, to be honest. Again, it’s a choice.  

    Sorry for my ‘srz bznz’ comment. I’ve been attending a series of financial seminars that helped with my expanding my portfolio AND learning to have the right attitude towards money. I guess people lose their way when they make more money but never get to understand and respect its real value.

    • Cathy

      That was quite inspirational. Stark contrast against the naivety of this article.

    • Cathy

      That was quite inspirational. Stark contrast against the naivety of this article.

  • http://eccentricerrant.wordpress.com/ Alexandrea

    Five Reasons Why I Want to be Rich:

    1) It’s hard to make money at first, but the more money one makes, the easier it is to make it. Rich people work hard, yes, but they make their money work harder for them. Passive income ftw.

    2) I can still choose to lead an independent life when I’m rich. No one can force me to do otherwise. But then again, what would I choose — running my own staff, or working for someone else as an employee?

    3) I want to be rich for this reason. I want to have a financially blessed life so I can bless others. Of course I’ll enjoy life. I’m not a hypocrite. But it frustrates me sometimes that  I can’t do more than what I can do now. Sure, every little donation counts to the causes I support, but it will be awesome if I find myself in a position to donate millions to what I really care about.

    4) My children will only become insufferable assholes if I don’t raise them right, and money doesn’t have anything to do with it. Poor people can produce spoiled brats.

    5) I don’t have to become ‘The Man.’ I would rather be #3, to be honest. Again, it’s a choice.  

    Sorry for my ‘srz bznz’ comment. I’ve been attending a series of financial seminars that helped with my expanding my portfolio AND learning to have the right attitude towards money. I guess people lose their way when they make more money but never get to understand and respect its real value.

  • Guest

    Well my father works 60+ hrs a week and we’re not rich, we are “the help” to ourselves and we can’t buy anything we want to spend our money on.
    So I’m guessing that depends on the job, place you live in, and many other factors, etc., etc.
    So, that being said, you are partially wrong, since some rich people just happen to be ‘lucky’ enough to, i.e., win the the lottery, become rich by dropping out of college and creating a social networking site (amirite?),
    I’m probably making no sense…

    I want to be rich. That  is all.

  • Guest

    Well my father works 60+ hrs a week and we’re not rich, we are “the help” to ourselves and we can’t buy anything we want to spend our money on.
    So I’m guessing that depends on the job, place you live in, and many other factors, etc., etc.
    So, that being said, you are partially wrong, since some rich people just happen to be ‘lucky’ enough to, i.e., win the the lottery, become rich by dropping out of college and creating a social networking site (amirite?),
    I’m probably making no sense…

    I want to be rich. That  is all.

  • Bri

    I think this article was just a satirical take on the stereotypical rich person. The author makes a joke at the end of the piece. Obviously, she didn’t take it as seriously as other people who read it. I might not be the “rich kid”, but I grew up in a neighborhood where my classmates’ parents were the governor’s children or were doctors who owned their own practices. My best friend is one of those “spawns” and she’s the sweetest and most giving person I know. So while I don’t agree with the content of this article, I definitely was entertained by it!

  • eff sox

    many poor people work A LOT too.  

  • http://twitter.com/bethanie_m Bethanie Marshall

    “Someone to lay in a pressurized tank while you siphon their youth through a crazy straw?’

    I really hope that this is what our future holds. I can’t wait to suck the youth out of some poor schmuck when I’m rich. Either that or I will be the one laying in the tank paying off the student loans.

  • Sophia

    I found this whole thing rather presumptuous.
    You don’t even consider the fact that a lot of people actually enjoy working, or that a lot of people actually enjoy giving, or that that having money can also enable one to do great things for his/her family, like be members of art museums and history museums, like go skiing or to the symphony or to the opera, like join sports teams, like go on a vacation. I grew up in a lower-upper class family, and I’m so thankful for my dad working so hard to get to where he is. He loves being a doctor, and it’s given me a wonderful childhood. I can only hope to do the same for my family someday.

    Not a fan of this article. I expected better, Chelsea Fagan.

    • Reallyyyydude

      God, it must be hard being lower upper class. Such a misrepresentation Chelsea did.

    • whateva

      fuck up.

  • Kay

    I think this is what getting defensive looks like.. I could be wrong.

    It makes sense to me that anytime someone has a financial surplus someone else is at an economical deficiet. So whether you’re dining on caviar or super-sizing your Big Mac meal every other week it’s still luxury compared to you know.. not eating.

    If you’re rich, walk your own dog and have a good relationship with your parents then congratz, you’ve escaped the “rich kid” stereotype, (sounds like you might even be worthy of becoming a  memeber of the Cohen family!) Unfortunately that does not omit you from being “rich”. Your family still profits off of other people and specifically their suffering/poor decisions, (after all you can’t be on top if you’ve got no one to stand on!) and so you are still technically “the man”.

  • http://twitter.com/ingenuegle Egle Makaraite

    “…and brokering shady deals with China and cancelling Arrested Development.”

    And cancelling arrested development – the worst crime one could commit.

  • Hi

    i like you and most of your writing, chelsea, but this was shit. poorly written, even aside from the stretched humour attempt and boring presentation.  there’s so many cliches and grammatical errors — do better next time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nattusmith Natt Smith

    I won’t jump on the “I expect more form Chelsea” wagon…BUT this was just one Cosmopolitan short of a successful Sex & The City Movie.  Coulda been great.  

  • Guest

     “… and cancelling Arrested Development.”

    ha!

  • Reallyyyydude

    Rich people telling us that you actually do household chores and have parents that don’t have their heads up their own asses, do you guys want some cookies or something? Congratulations on being normal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    one reason I want to be rich: TIME.

    • confused

      Magazine? Like, you want to be on the cover of?

  • Guestette

    “5 reasons this” “5 reasons that” can’t we at least get 3,6,7,9,13,18 reasons to switch it up on here? overplayed man 

  • Ajannaret

    Do you want to be rich?

    In a way that easily. Relax, Good health, To be creative,

    All parties receive maximum benefits and value together.

    Focus on building assets that generate income.

    Without hard work.

    Learn that : http://www.richautorun.blogspot.com
     

blog comments powered by Disqus