I was living in a rich man’s world

I mentioned in my post ‘My Dad Who Taught Me Plenty’ that my dad was materialistic; he had the nice home, nice cars, nice cloths and nice jewelry.  Growing up, I never felt rich, but I think we were compared to the average family back in the 1960s and 1970s.  The house I grew up in was 4000 square feet and with this nice house my dad drove Cadillacs and Lincoln Continentals and he also had a Jaguar.    I remember a few times my dad dropping me off at school in this Jaguar and the other students taking notice of my arrival.  Did I feel special?  Not really, but I guess I was living in a rich man’s world!

I started working at a very young age, around 10 years old in my father’s business.  You can read more about this in my post ‘Thoughts From Years Past.5’.  Starting to work at this young age and making money, I had no idea what to do with it or what to buy.  I had a small box similar to a jewelry box with a clamp and when I received my paychecks they would be cashed and I would store the money in my box hidden in my bedroom closet.  This process took place for about 5 years.  Turning 15 I was able to receive my driver’s license and decided to buy a car.  This was 1975 and per www.autonews.com the average car price was $4,900.

My dad being a well-known businessman in our city took me to the bank to cosign on a loan, as I could start building my credit.  I also needed to open my first checking account so I took the money from my hidden box and took it to the bank for deposit.  My dad was impressed and at awe to find that the money I earned and never spent totaled over $4,000.  WOW – I did not realize I had this much money, I was living in a rich man’s world!

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So the story moves on with my dad looking at cars and bringing them to me for my opinion – I do not remember why I did not actually go view the cars myself.  Anyway, the car that ultimately became mine was a 1975 Camaro – shinny and new – with a spoiler and it made a statement.  Life is different today than back in the 1970s; when I drove to school in the 9th grade in this car – I was living in a rich man’s world!

Since those days my tastes have changed and my current vehicle, a truck that I have had for 6 years now is the first vehicle that has had power windows and locks.  I do not need a nice house (even though I have one), I do not need nice cars, nice cloths and nice jewelry.  I am happy with my truck that is 6 years old and my old jeans and tee shirts and I have no jewelry at all – and not living in a rich man’s world.

10 thoughts on “I was living in a rich man’s world

  1. It’s amazing how our parents shape us. My parents were divorced and my dad was a lot like your dad sounds. Very materialistic. Unfortunately I began to associate “things” he would buy me with his love. I associated brands with status and success. Stuff with approval. When he lost everything when the economy crashed I had a really hard time. I was already married with a family of my own but I had to reevaluate how I viewed and measured what happiness and success was. It’s taken me a long time to be ok with average. Congrats to you on having your head on straight.

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    • Not being close to my dad when I was a child, I think somehow I associated his materialistic nature as sometime bad that I did not want anything to do with. It is interesting the things we learn from our parents are not always intentional.

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  2. I remember those cars and my thinking the boys/men who owned them must be ‘rich’. I even went out a time or two with a guy who owned one and it was fun to be in the car and have heads turning. But like you now I own my own version of a dream car and I own a nice home, but it doesn’t matter to me. Not the same way anyhow. Somehow these status symbols have lost their allure. Maybe it’s because I truly know that money isn’t happiness and you can’t buy happiness. And maybe it’s because I now am comfortable and can afford (if you will) to let those sort of things just go. What is that saying: Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes being miserable a lot less harsh.

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    • You are correct, money can’t buy happiness, but it does make life easier. After my divorce I was broke, not knowing where my next dime was going from – I have been in all spectrums of money – it is not important – just need it to pay the bills. I have no need to try to impress anyone with material items.

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  3. love your story….nice that you were able to grow up in the rich mans world…we were comfortably middle class….nice home, average economic cars and a whole lot of love and happiness…my first car was an Opal Kadette wagon….had so much fun in it…..stick shift, held about 9 people for trips to the beach during school….never needed much to make me happy….pretty frugal and still am….LOL love your muscle car, my daughter drove a 1970 dodge challenger with a 440 in it to her 9th grade school…she turned heads as well…LOL

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    • I am frugal today, really always have been. I think that Camaro my dad picked out was really for him. I had the car for a couple of years, then traded it in for a truck. Love my trucks! 🙂

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      • hey there is nothing wrong with spending money if you like that….I have some money, but have always been frugal, and I want a little truck to haul dirt and rocks for my yard…my husband is fighting me on that one…LOL

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  4. It’s something i see a lot in the classroom. we had parents and children working together for a session and i could see exactly whose child was whose due to the adults behaviour in the session.
    was a real eye opener. Thanks for sharing.

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