5 Telltale Signs That Someone Is Rich

Rich twentysomethings live among us. At first glance, they may look just like you. Their clothes are casual, they’re drinking cheap beer out of a red cup, but if you look closer you’ll realize their ripped jeans are actually A.P.C. and their shoes may look like they came from a thrift store but, oops, they’re vintage Chanel stolen from their mom’s closet. No matter how many nights they spend slumming it in some bad neighborhood wearing a Forever 21 blouse, there are telltale signs that give away their trust fund. Here are five of them.

1. They intern

Do you know what I hear when someone says they’re interning five days a week in New York City this summer? I hear “Someone is paying me to live so I can intern five days a week in New York City this summer.” Let’s face it, money has to come from somewhere, y’all! And if you’re in your early twenties, there’s only so many places it can come from — the least likely being your actual job. So let’s narrow down the possibilities, shall we? If you’re interning full-time, you are probably either being supported by scholarship money from your school, student loans, or your parents. Pick one. That’s what makes interning so screwed up. It provides career opportunities only to those who can work for free. If you don’t have the luxury to not get paid for your work, you’re out of luck! Actually, that’s not entirely true. The likelihood of an internship turning into a job is slim these days, so people aren’t really missing out on anything. Besides, a lot of the people who intern don’t really need or want a job anyway. They’re just killing time before they can have their own dress line at Kohls like Lauren Conrad!

2. They live in New York City

In New York, everyone’s always crying about not having any money but it’s like, just move to Kansas City, Missouri, and live like a king if you hate it here so much. This isn’t Just Kids by Patti Smith anymore. If you live here, there is a strong chance you’re getting some help! You aren’t poor; you probably came from one of the wealthier families in your small town. It’s just that New York is so expensive that it makes “upper middle class” translate to “railroad apartment in Bushwick.” Seriously, you guys, the levels of wealth here are obscene. You could be, by most people’s standards, a well-off person and still only be able to afford a closet in the East Village with cockroaches. But it’s like, you’re paying $1600 a month for that closet. It’s a damn expensive closet and if you can afford to spend that much money on rent, you are in a good place financially. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met here who live in dilapidated apartments in horrible neighborhoods and are secretly rich on the DL. This one dude I know lived in a railroad apartment in Crown Heights when his parents owned a townhouse in the West Village! Can you believe it? I almost hooked up with him once but he slept in a bunk bed and it was the middle room of a railroad. I wanted to be like, “Can we, like, go to your parents house instead? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO YOURSELF/ME?” Rich people and their desire to “live like everybody else” is hilarious and borderline offensive.

3. They don’t cook

You know what costs money? Food. You know what costs even more money? Food you don’t make yourself. If you’re one of those people who’s eating out for almost every meal, there’s a strong chance that you are rich, bitch! Right now my roommate has a plate of beans in the fridge that she’s been hoarding for like three days. You know why? She has $20 to last her till Friday and can’t afford to waste any food. She can’t eat out at all. She has to make these weird meals with whatever ingredients she has left in the fridge because she can’t even go grocery shopping until she gets paid. That’s real, y’all! If you’re eating at the Whole Foods salad bar every day and generally being “whatevs!” when it comes to eating out, don’t be telling me you’re broke. I will laugh in your face and then steal a sip from your $10 juice.

4. They go out a lot

I know some people who claim to have no money and yet they’re hitting the bars every night. What gives?! When I go out, I have to expect to spend up to a hundred bucks. $40 of it goes to drinks. $25 goes to those last drinks you shouldn’t be having. Another $25  goes to the cab ride and the last of it is lost to a deli sandwich. There. A hundred bucks. Bye. It costs money to do things, to be active, to be social. You know what doesn’t cost money though? Sitting at home in your apartment and staring at a wall. That’s free.

5. Having nice things

So if you have a lot of designer clothing and stuff, you’re obvs rich but what I’m obsessed with is those people who appear to be living the simple life until you go over to their apartment and realize that they have like organic dish soap and expensive shampoo. WTF? There’s a hole in your wall but I’m staring at your $40 candle. People who can afford the best of the most asinine stuff like soaps, toiletries, candles, bedding, definitely have some money because people who are really struggling aren’t buying the organic dish soap and fancy salsa. They’re on that Tostitos tip, okay? TC Mark

image – espos.de

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/brianmay Brian Gregory May

    My brother is living in New York as an intern who doesn’t cook and goes out constantly. He is not rich.

    • Dim.


      • http://www.facebook.com/brianmay Brian Gregory May

        Perhaps “telltale” is a loose term.

    • impossible project


    • Andrea Stevens

      but he would be if he wasn’t living as an intern in New York, cooking his own meals and staying home. that’s the point. he’s got to have some money if he is doing those things, but he’d have more (i.e. be “rich”) if he didn’t.

    • Marco

      The fact that you actually believe that means you are rich too.

  • Michael

    Summary of this article ” People that spend a lot of money and have a lot of things are probably rich.” bravo

    • christ

      actually yes it does make sense. Bravo

  • guest

    this article is so bitter and obnoxious. internships, no matter who does them, lead to more work experience for a better resume. THAT’S what (maybe) lands a better job.

    • A.J.

      I think that bullet point was going after unpaid internships, not regular, hard-to-find, paid internships. For example, I actually found the perfect internship for my field (that didn’t require a masters, so I got lucky) that was for the summer-only and *nearly* applied until I saw it was unpaid. Are you shitting me? 8-5, five days a week, and I’m not getting paid? Most students do not have the time, energy, nor the fat checking account to deal with working for free no matter how great it will look on their resume. Only the privileged have that luxury.

      • http://twitter.com/iamkitui Liz 10 (@iamkitui)

        Truthful A.J is so truthful

      • guest

        but like another comment below suggested, that is what a second job is for. if an internship will really get you places but it’s unpaid, if you want it bad enough, you’ll work your ass off and find another part time job helping people try to figure out the self checkout systems at duane reade (or somefin)

  • Stella

    Yeah, this is the biggest list of bullshit ever. You plan on $100 to go out and be social? Go to a neighborhood bar with a few friends and have one drink. There, you spent less than $20 and got some exercise. I came from a small, midwestern town where I lived off ramen and beans for days on end, and managed an internship in a big expensive city when I was completely broke because I was smart about my money and had saved for the internship for a long time. I was lucky, smart, and worked my butt off — and I got a great job from it.

    I’m sorry you manage your money unwisely. Get over yourself.

  • http://twitter.com/vdsawyer Victor Sawyer (@vdsawyer)

    Love this! I went to school in NYC for two years and kept wondering how all my buddies were paying for their apartments. When it came time to pay rent they were all like, “Glad you reminded bro. I gotta call my rents!” It was then, as I saw all the money leaving my bank account that I felt like the poor kid at a country club.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sow.wan.jing Sow Wan Jing

    i admit i’m jealous of rich people not for the branded or designer stuffs. yes it’s these little things. i often miss social gatherings just to avoid spending and sometimes feel like a freak for bringing food from home, etc. i’m jealous of people who get to take these “little” things for granted…

  • http://twitter.com/allanntastic Ann (@allanntastic)

    oh you’re like me: poor with a nice load of credit card debt.

  • Claire

    Looks like you’ve gotten some shit for this article so far. I personally love it. I know way too many fake-poor twentysomethings, and it’s fucking annoying.

    “Yeah girl, I totally get it. I am so broke. I have, like, no money.”
    ^^Buys a designer top on credit, along with ten new organic rare spices for the pantry.

    • Sparker

      That is my old roommate, exactly. I finally had to explain to her that I when I said I had no money, that meant I literally had $2 in my bank account.

      (I was obviously amazing at money management then.)

    • Kelly

      And if you say you’re one of those who have to cook “surprise soup” at the end of the month with whatever stuff’s left, they’ll say, “well, you should just start managing your money better. Look at me – I’m saving this week’s allowance money so NEXT week I can buy the designer purse I want! See?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/Michelleleighlepori Michelle Lepori


  • http://gravatar.com/joycenancy joycenancy

    but… the only person I’ve ever heard of that buys really expensive candles is you.

  • Ham

    Work two jobs if the internship’s unpaid. Yeah it’s a long awful day but it’s better than bitching about not having any money. Make your own success you freeloader.

  • http://gravatar.com/nishantjn nishantjn

    Maybe you should take some advice from your own previous posts, and grow up. Just too much jealousy and venom in this article.

  • bee

    sat·ire   [sat-ahyuhr]
    the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

  • Astonished

    seriously, if you are actually poor/struggling, but you still want to go out for a few drinks once in awhile, suck it up and take the subway home like the rest of us. If you can afford a $25 cab ride every time you go drinking, you’re just fake poor like the people you are complaining about.

    • http://www.facebook.com/emily.mancer Emily Mancer

      speaking as someone who does take cabs everywhere (and complains about being broke)….i got to agree with this completely.

  • Guest

    “Rich people and their desire to “live like everybody else” is hilarious and borderline offensive.”

    So you wanted to hook up with a guy whose parents were rich but decided against it because his place wasn’t nice enough for you? Rich people who would rather live simply than buy a bunch of useless shit and prefer not to flaunt their wealth sound terrible. I find this statement borderlines offensive.

  • LP

    Anyone who is bitching about this article is probably one of those secret rich people/a hipster who pays a shit ton to look homeless.

    • http://theambientroom.wordpress.com theambientroom

      ^ Exactly.

    • guest

      guilty. minus the paying a shit ton to look homeless. PEOPLE WHO HAVE MONEY ARE PEOPLE TOO! unless they pay a shit ton to look homeless.

    • Alice


      Full-time, unpaid internships are not doable for the average broke student. I had the opportunity to intern at a fashion magazine (fashion industry is notorious for unpaid laborious bitch work internships) but had to turn it down because it was 9-5, Monday-Friday. And it was also only available to those who needed it as a school credit. Sooo what you’re saying is that we have to be in school yet work full-time FOR FREE? True.

  • matt

    At last, someone else noticed!
    Thank you!!

  • Marc

    Awful story. And quite bitter. Ryan, didn’t you come from a privileged home before your parents’ divorce?

  • ep

    this definitely applies to Sydney, Australia… rent is so friggin expensive here

  • monsooner or later

    I’m glad you’ve found a way to use your economic status as an excuse to be self-righteous. You’re right–it is annoying when rich people pretend to be poor. But it is just as annoying when self-declared “poor” people paint the world as this black and white place where people should choose their friends based on socio-economic class rather than common interests. Truly poor people clean bathrooms and have 4 AM commutes. They don’t sit around on Thought Catalog complaining about how only they are entitled to Brooklyn and thrift clothing. You’re probably going to come up with some witty, original comeback that attributes my opinion to my economic status. I won’t deny your claim or your narrow-mindedness.

  • Joel Goldberg

    This is fucking stupid.

  • http://appartamentykrakow.pl Swinoujscie Apartamenty

    Swinoujscie Apartamenty

    5 Telltale Signs That Someone Is Rich | Thought Catalog

blog comments powered by Disqus