Young Americans Concerned with Appearing Rich

by Miranda Marquit · 1 comment

One of the pitfalls of finances is the desire to appear rich.

Unfortunately, according to a recent COUNTRY Financial Security Index survey, it appears that many in Gen Y are falling into that trap. According to the survey, 20% of those in the 18 to 29 age group have made purchases they can’t afford in order to encourage others to think that they fall into a certain income group. This represents the highest percentage of the age groups in the study.

On top of that, 24% of those in this age group have lied about their income in order to appear more affluent. While these number don’t seem big (they don’t even account for a quarter of those in the age group), it still highlights a somewhat significant reality: Appearance is a big deal, and financial wealth is still seen very much as a measure of worth.

Are We Still Equating Money with Personal Worth?

It appears that our society still, to a certain extent, equates money with personal worth. If you have a lot of money, you are seen as more important and more powerful. But how can you tell those that have more money? Unfortunately, one of the primary indications of someone’s wealth is still the stuff they have. As a result, it becomes important for those who want to feel important to try and look rich by purchasing a bunch of stuff.

In many cases, the items purchased are expensive. And, as the survey points out, they are sometimes purchased with the express purpose of “proving” to others that they are wealthy (and therefore worthy of notice and consideration).

Those with money — and who flaunt it — seem to have status and power. As a result, those who aspire to impress others and acquire status and power want to at least look as though they belong. It’s a classic example of trying to fake it until you make it.

The problem with this approach is that if you keep buying things that you can’t afford, you won’t ever amass the assets and the wealth necessary to secure your financial independence. Instead, you’ll be stuck in debt, paying interest into someone else’s pocket. This is a difficult situation to be in, and it’s one that is hard to improve upon unless you change your mindset.

Focus on Your Financial Freedom

Instead of worrying about what others think, and trying to impress them, it makes more sense for members of Gen Y (and everyone else for that matter) to focus on their own financial freedom. Instead of worrying about buying impressive gadgets and lying about your income, consider what would actually make you happy in your life. These are the things you should be using your money for, but not everything is worth the cost. Don’t end up becoming a slave to your image.

Rather than trying to impress someone else, focus on achieving financial freedom. You’ll be able to do more of what you want, without jeopardizing your financial future. And you won’t end up surrounded by a bunch of outdated items that you didn’t really want in the first place.

What do you think? Are we too concerned with looking rich?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rey Rogelio G. Manalo, Jr. June 1, 2014 at 4:22 pm

••• Let us not be overly materialistic, for man does not live on bread alone but also on every Word of the Lord. … (ref: Matthew 4:4) ((^_^)) ☻☺☻

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