Rich kids

When I was a kid I used to wish for $1 million. Heck, I still wish for it!

I used to think that if I could just have enough money to buy a new car, a new wardrobe, the latest i-gadget, then my life would be so much better.

I’m happy to say I’ve matured some since my 18-year-old reckless dreaming days, but I’ll admit that sometimes I look around my little three-bedroom condo and find myself wondering how much easier my life would be if I only had a garage.

This week’s issue of People magazine has a story naming the world’s richest teens. Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Daniel Radcliffe and Selena Gomez are just some of the millionaire teens that have made more money in a single year than most of the American population will probably make in their lifetime.

“A lot goes into her (investment fund), which she can’t get until she’s 18,” said Cyrus’ mom, Tish, in the article. “At the end of the day, she doesn’t have much left.”

I have to beg the question: How much is “not much”? A few hundred thousand? That would probably classify as “not much” compared with the $65 million-plus she’s reportedly grossed in the last few years.

I think it’s great that these kids are living their dreams and are making enough money to ensure they and the next four generations will live comfortably, and I know these kids really work at what they do.

But I wonder how all this money will affect them in the long run. What will they think about life and what is a good living? I wonder what they think the necessities are.

Back when I was making a few bucks on “American Idol,” I remember walking into my favorite clothing store at the Beverly Center in L.A., picking out my favorite things and buying them without ever once looking at the price tag. I didn’t have any responsibility, any one else depending on me but me.

Luckily, I had the brains (and parents constantly reminding me) to save some. I was proud to have paid my own tuition in college, put a nice down payment on our condo and even have some for investment opportunities and a “rainy day” fund, which we aptly re-named the “baby fund” once our first and then, quickly, second came along.

It still makes me laugh, and my husband gag, when I talk about all the money I spent on clothes, jewelry and beauty products when I was younger.

I don’t think making a lot of money is a bad thing, but making so much at a young age can be risky and alter these young stars’ way of thinking for the rest of their lives.

What do you think about young kids achieving millionaire status before they reach voting age?

Have you ever known kids in your neighborhood who act or treat others differently because they have more money?

How has this affected teaching your own children about money management, priorities or living within their means?

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