Seems to be quite a rough transition—if there’s any transition at all.

Supposedly, if you were poor and you got filthy rich, but blew it all on Cheetos, and became poor again—it wouldn’t be as bad as if you were born wealthy, and suddenly lost it all. That’s what I’ve heard anyway.

But yeah, the rich to poor scenario seems to be true. At least, that was the case for an old high school friend of mine.

Her family use to be quite well off. Living in one of those Southern California gated community, where you have celebrity neighbors, etc. Refer to an annoying episode of MTV’s Cribs for an example.

Though I don’t know the specific details, her parents divorce during her elementary school years were probably the main factor causing the drastic change. With her father moving out of the country, her mom became a single mom with two kids to support. They moved from their affluent neighborhood to one of the lower-middle class Los Angeles areas, and according to my friend, she kept having the unfortunate mentality of still being wealthy—when they clearly weren’t.

So, her lavish spending persisted through her middle school years. She would go through the spending allowance that her father sent without a second thought, and her mother, being a single mom now—had little time to teach my friend responsible spending and financial sensibility. Now my friend may sound like a spoiled brat, but I don’t think that was exactly the case. It’s not that she was asking for extra allowances so that she can spend even more, or that she cries havoc when she doesn’t get things her way… it’s just that, she didn’t realize that the amount and the source of the allowance had become much more finite.

The transition from being wealthy to being “poor” was a slow and uneasy one for my friend. She was born into a wealthy family. She was raised during her childhood in an affluent area—and without her knowledge or control, things changed. Eventually things did hit her, that the situations weren’t temporary, and that things wouldn’t return to the way they were.

By all her accounts, it was a rough transition. Even to this day, she would still have the slight momentary mentality of being wealthy. She told me that if given the choice, she would have much rather gone from being poor to being rich, and then back to being poor again—instead of from being rich to being poor.

Though I have never experienced something like this, I agree with her choice and would also choose the former.