I’ll have a good go at responding to the OP.
I come from what I would describe as normal working class family, parents divorced when i was 4, had a single parent household for a few years and then parents met partners/re married when i was around 10/11. Looking back we were poor, especially before my mum re married but to be honest everyone i knew was in a similar position and we weren’t any worse off for it.
My perception of wealth (I remember it well) would be going around someones house that was just nice. Thats it. Nice. Litterally a 2 up 2 down on a rough street, but if they had matching carpets and doors that shut and matched, ok furniture and matching cutlery i thought they were rich.
My main focus when leaving school was basically get to work, get a trade, start earning and get into property. The only people i knew with nice houses and money were tradesmen! I wasn’t really aware of high flying corporate jobs or people, that was just alien to me and something that someone else did somewhere else.
I got to work and by 22 managed to buy my first house. By 26 i had 5 houses. But i was nackerd (100 hours a week can do that), skint & in debt (5 houses does that), and also had met my current Mrs and just wanted to enjoy life a bit more. My main focus then was to clear the short term debt ie credit cards loans etc I’d put into the houses, but also build a bit of a buffer incase it went tits up.
I’ve always had an interest in gold, but never really understood how, where or what to buy. I kept an eye on the price over the years and when I found myself in the position of being debt free (not including mortgages), with additional passive income i decided time to diversify and buy gold while it’s under £1000 an ounce - I’d learned from my years of keeping an eye on the price this was a good price. I found this forum and it helped me mould a strategy early on and I’ve pretty much stuck to it. I’ve bought on here and all the main dealers. I have just shy of 40oz which i accumulated over a couple of years. I’ve slowed/stopped now as this forum helped me discover another string to my bow - S&S ISA and a SIPP. Pretty much focused on these now and generally just having a diversified portfolio. I look to add to property, gold, ISA and SIPP but all gradually and maintaining a pre determined share.
My perception of wealth has definitely changed, mainly being that often it’s exactly that - a perception. Everything is relative to your own situation and the more i have accumulated in PMs or otherwise the more aware i am that there is always someone else with a bigger pile, so look after your own pile and eventually you’ll be pleasantly suprised at how it can grow.