I’ve been featured on the homepage of Yahoo as a millionaire, offered 3 separate reality TV shows — including that terrible Millionaire Dating one on Bravo. I bought a luxury car with cash on my 16th birthday, owned a house a few years later.
Hitting $1Mn was a non-event, I don’t even know the exact date it happened. The dividends just all of a sudden added up, and it was there. I celebrated by buying myself a used Rolex. A few years later I also did a vacation where I “tried to spend as much money as possible” — but I still found myself gravitating towards “values” on the wine list rather than blowing it all out by spending thousands on a bottle, which I thought was silly.
Hitting 8-figures was a bit more substantial, I knew it meant I’d never, ever have to work again unless something went terribly wrong. The closing call with the law firm was one of the biggest anti-climaxes of my life. I had already “owned” the money in my head years before hand, so seeing it crystallise on my bank statement didn’t make a huge difference, except that it freed me up to start tackling bucket-list items.
I had been postponing so many experiences with the idea of “doing it at some point in the future when I made it” that I just started tackling them one by one. Superbowl. Sundance. Tomorrowland. Africa. A month around Europe. 3-Star Michelin dining.
The only “awkward” thing I keep running into repeatedly, is other people’s comments about wealth or money. Whether it’s a tour guide pointing out a hotel that costs $1000/night and everybody in the tour bus gasps (and it’s where I’m staying) or taxi drivers making snarky comments about millionaires, or people suggesting it’s my “lucky day and I should buy a lotto ticket” — I run into it repeatedly and predictably, but I always tend to keep my mouth shut and not say anything.
Along the way, the most interesting phenomenon has been “adaptation”. Moving from a $300K apartment to a $1m one barely made a difference after the first month.