17 Subtle Differences Between "Old Money" And "New Money" That Are Actually Very, Very Intriguing

A while back, we wrote a post where people shared the subtle differences between "new money" and "old money." In the comments, more readers from the BuzzFeed Community shared their own observations of the wealthy, and honestly, it's pretty eye-opening.

woman drinking


Here are some of the most fascinating responses:

Note: Some responses were pulled from these Reddit threads by u/KiwiMuffin420, u/driveonacid, and u/bethebumblebee.

1.SCREAMS NEW MONEY: "New money buys a big house in a nice neighborhood. Old money, you'll never even glimpse the house because it's so far back on their land."

—Sarah P., Facebook

pool in the backyard
Bob Thomas / Getty Images

2.WHISPERS OLD MONEY: "I have a friend who worked at a law firm with many wealthy clients. She said old money tells what service they want and then asks for a bill, writes a check, and happily pays any extra fees as long as they get the service they want to the extent they want."

"New money would try to pay as little as they could, trying to get services for free."

—Sandra E., Facebook

hands holding a wallet
Joos Mind / Getty Images

3.SCREAMS NEW MONEY: "Look at the car they drive. If they drive something like a Porsche or one of those hideous BMW X series cars, they're nouveau riche or they've pushed their credit rating out as far as it'll go."

"If they drive something like, oh, an old Volvo estate or something utilitarian and old, then they've got money. The ones with the old money know the value of good investments and the value of things — and not just the cost."


closeup of a bmw
Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images

4.WHISPERS OLD MONEY: "Only people with 'old' money (i.e., comfortable with wealth) will drive a Mercedes station wagon or BMW wagon. They aren't driving the car for status or conspicuousness; they want the space, but it has to be a luxury car nonetheless."

"It's a head-scratcher."


hand using a key to unlock a car
Jgi / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

5.WHISPERS OLD MONEY: "I work at a marina. If a guy walks in who looks like a scruffy, homeless man who's been pulled backward through a charity shop, I know he is going to have a 20+ meter boat and be minted. I also tend to find they are some of the easiest going customers; they rarely complain and tend to be really understanding about mistakes."

"Makes sense they have f-you money, so no reason to get upset about silly, small things."


man on a yacht
Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

6.SCREAMS NEW MONEY: "On the other hand, as soon as someone starts telling me how much they pay to keep their boat here or start demanding my name to make a complaint, I know I'm dealing with new money."

"New money will try really, really hard to show they have money with branded items and by trying to throw their weight around when it comes to customer service. Another classic new money habit is talking to us like their custom is some great gift and that we should all be fawning over them for the privilege."


a couple on a yacht
Russ Rohde / Getty Images

7.WHISPERS OLD MONEY: "I’m a cleaner; old money gives a Christmas tip and buys me a gift. New money does neither."

"It’s a strange pattern I’ve noticed in my over six years cleaning people's houses, and I can’t explain why this happens."


housecleaner cleaning a chandelier
Siri Stafford / Getty Images

8.SCREAMS NEW MONEY: "The new money people I know are consistently awful to their hired help."


woman in a gown lying on a couch while people clean around her
David Lees / Getty Images

9.WHISPERS OLD MONEY: "The way they speak to people who are serving them. Old money will be apologetic and treat them like family."

"New money will order people around."


butler handing a drink to man
Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd / Getty Images

10.SCREAMS NEW MONEY: "It's the way they carry themselves. New rich will try and prove they own a place. Strut around, show off, and put others down to show how important they are."

"Old money is usually fairly polite. They know, deep to their bones, that they own the place. They know they are better than you, but they don't hold it against you."


couple holding hands and carrying weekend bags
Sean De Burca / Getty Images

11.WHISPERS OLD MONEY: "I went to school with a lot of old money families (a private girls' academy). ... One of my classmates had a summer home where she took some friends, using her father's company jet. This was not seen as an unusual thing to most of them. It was simply a 'company perk.'"

"Meanwhile, middle-class me was screaming inside, hoping for one of those seats. The old money classmate also happened to be genuinely kind. The new money brats were the worst."

—Laney M., Facebook

young girl using a tablet in a private jet
Justin Paget / Getty Images

12.SCREAMS NEW MONEY: "In the UK, a lot of new money families went to random private schools or state schools rather than the Etons, Harrows, etc."

"Old money went to a school that was famous — usually one of the most obvious ones."


students in uniform
Johnnygreig / Getty Images

13.WHISPERS OLD MONEY: "They tend to genuinely not give a toss what you think of them. And they tell you outrageous stories as though they were discussing the price of fish."

"Also, they can instinctively recognize other people who are old money. I really don't think you could ever fake being one of them. You'd have to try really hard. And they don't try at all. They just are."


closeup of a woman at dinner
Tempura / Getty Images

14.SCREAMS NEW MONEY: "Bragging. I have a coworker who comes from a wealthy-ish family, but I get the impression that her family hasn't always been wealthy. She brags all the time about the things that she buys that are 'designer.'"


woman carrying a small dog and wearing a fur coat
Jacoblund / Getty Images / iStockphoto

15.WHISPERS OLD MONEY: "I have another coworker who is from a very wealthy family. I have never once heard her brag about anything. She talks with excitement about things, but she never sounds like she's bragging. She sounds appreciative of what she has."

"She sounds grateful for all that her parents have been able to provide for her — but she never sounds like it is owed to her."


  Momo Productions / Getty Images
Momo Productions / Getty Images

16.SCREAMS NEW MONEY: "Wearing branded accessories, like a Gucci belt or Chanel jewelry with the prominent 'CCs.'"


closeup of an LV bag and gucci belt being worn
Ricky Vigil / GC Images

And finally...

17.WHISPERS OLD MONEY: "The clothing. My dad's family is old money, and they all wear the same LL Bean gear they've been wearing since the '00s. Plus, lots of high-quality fabrics they bought once decades ago and have never needed to replace, like wool cable knits and heavyweight corduroy pants."

"I have this half-baked theory that old money spends/shops less than new money."


  Naumoid / Getty Images / iStockphoto
Naumoid / Getty Images / iStockphoto

What do you think of these? What are some other signs of "old money" vs. "new money?" Let us know in the comments below.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.