No One Needs To Know You’re Rich
One of my best friends is loaded but you’d never guess she was unless you went to her house; she drives a clapped out car and she dresses well but very simply. Let’s call her Evelyn (not her real name).
Evelyn once quit the 9-to-5 to pursue one of her hobbies but it didn’t work out the way she envisioned. She wasn’t making much money from the hobby and she ultimately lost interest in it so she decided to go back to the world of work. We met up for lunch and being the nosey person I am, I asked how much she was being paid,
“£300,000 before bonus,” she said.
For all those that need the conversion that is about $500,000 – and that was in 2012, she’ll be banking way more than that right now. Of course I was a little green with envy and for a brief instant I regretted leaving the world of banking, who couldn’t do with a couple of hundred thousand – I was happy for her too, though – if there’s one person who likes to see her friends succeed it’s me.
Apparently we’re all the average of the closest five people in our life – financially, healthwise etc. – success and failure both have a way of rubbing onto our friends. Anyhow, I digress.
Two years into that new job she was still driving her clapped out car but she and her partner had bought a beautiful new home.They were paying down the mortgage and putting money aside so that they could retire early and pursue hobbies in their 40s. She’s about the same age as me so she was in her late 20s when she embarked on her high-paying career.
My friend is extra special in how little she cares what people think of her. Almost everyone I know, myself included, would have spent some of that money on a lot more luxuries but not Evelyn. This got me thinking: why do so many of us care what everyone else thinks? Will Smith put it best when he said,“Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like.”
How much more financial progress would we make if we simply stopped caring what other people think and exclusively focused on ourselves.
To a certain extent you will dress well and beautify yourself to look good for yourself but there is a residual amount of expenditure that’s exclusively done to impress others. This is why when you’re at home you’re happy for your hair to be stuck under a bonnet the whole day and hang around in your jogging pants all morning but you never step out looking like that.
I’m not saying you should go out looking a hot mess but a little inner reflection regarding what you do for yourself versus the things you do simply to impress others despite your better judgment wouldn’t hurt.
I don’t know about you but I think if everyone was a little more like Evelyn they would not only be happier but their bank manager would love them too. To caring less about what other people think!
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21/7/2015 12:56:45 pm
21/7/2015 01:59:47 pm
Well done! Peer pressure is so hard to ignore. I remember when I first started working I was still using a phone without a colour screen when everyone else had blackberries and iPhones and I still used my small university TV. Everyone kept asking when I would upgrade! I did eventually "upgrade" but not because people said so but because I was ready and had satisfied all my other priorities.
22/7/2015 03:33:14 pm
Peer pressure is tough indeed! That phone issue is another problem hey? My poor Galaxy S3 has run its course now that the s6 is out, but I'll hang on until it dies!
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Heather on Wealth
I enjoy helping people think through their personal finances and blog about that here. Join my personal finance community at The Money Spot™.