Who Is Rich? Who Is Not?

By Emma & Tristan Tully

When I was six years old, I remember enjoying a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk when I asked my mother, “Mom, are we rich?” As she snuck a celery stick onto my plate, she gave a warm smile and said, “We’re rich in spirit, honey.” Her answer was not the answer I was looking for. I wanted her to draw a line in the sand, set the threshold, measure the finish line, and tell me which side we were on. I didn’t like her answer, but there was never any sense in arguing with or interrogating my mother. My mother also fully believed in her response. This wasn’t a canned reply to avoid little Tristan telling the neighborhood our family business. Mom was speaking with conviction. She was right too. We were blessed.

To be clear this article is going to talk about money. People get uncomfortable when talking about money. They’d rather discuss death, politics, even sex! But money? Never would their lips venture to such a carnal affair. Everyone I know uses money, values it to some degree, and recognizes what money is capable of doing. People treat money like an embarrassing roommate—they live with him but try to avoid him. Why do we do this? Money, after all, is just numbers. Right? Could it be that like young Tristan, we are all unsure where the line in the sand is? We are unsure who is rich and who is not? And we can’t ask anyone, because. . . Well, because THAT would be immoral and rude! Discussing money? How dare you.

Granted. Asking people how much money they have would be impolite, and not everyone wants to know about your financial situation either. But why do I feel awkward confessing that my financial goal is to earn $100k each month? Why does oxygen leave the room when someone says they are short $10k to pay a bill? My theory? It comes back to that little line in the sand. Many people haven’t addressed that line. They know it exists, but they don’t know where it is. When we start talking about money, we start messing with their line.

Read further: https://tullyinvesting.com/who-is-rich-and-who-is-not

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