Yet we keep on looking! I did too. The pretend rich trend is everywhere - people faking success by showing off expensive possessions, trips, and homes. Truly rich people who have manners, dignity, humility, and confidence are not showing off.
According to the Wallstreet Journal, global wealth has declined for the first time in 15 years. “The result: About 1.7 million U.S. adults are no longer millionaires. Another 17,260 dropped out of the ultra-high net worth category, meaning they are no longer worth $100 million or more.”
Rubbernecking refers to bystanders staring at accidents. Usually, people walk away from seeing a terrible accident, swear to be more careful, and are grateful they and their families are safe. Rubbernecking on wealth porn or people pretending to be rich only makes us feel terrible or overspend. I have seen something on someone "fab" and thought I must have that. WTH?
I must admit that when I was insecure, I showed off too. I recall posting a cringe-worthy photo on the steps of a private jet. Why? I wanted my outsides to make my insides feel better. Showing off did nothing but make me financially and emotionally broke. The more money I lost, the more I wanted that not to be true and clung to some misguided idea that when it comes to money, fake it till you make it. WRONG It fed my fears and pushed me to make a series of horrible money choices. I would be much richer today if I had known that my emotions drove my money choices.
Why do you care?
A Credit Karma Study found that 40% of millennials have spent money they didn't have and gone into debt to keep up with their peers. Often their peers do not have the money as well!
Financial anxiety and debt are rising, yet the amount of bragging and old fashion showing off "look at me, I am rich" is as rampant as ever. I know from my experience that this is about ego and insecurity.
As the Wall Street Journal article clarifies, the reams of studies and data about individual Americans' financial health reiterates - People are not as rich as we think. Most of us are struggling and trying to figure it out.
*There are not as many rich people as social media tries to make us believe.
Do not fall into the trap or be part of the problem - if you have a friend or follow people who say they are rich, be conscious and careful of how they provoke or impact you.
1. Pause - Remember you have no clue what is happening in people's finances.
2. Money is a long game. Play it to win. Short-term endorphin hits due to spending will never satisfy you.
3. Duh! Stop following social accounts that ignite poor money habits and back-peddle out of relationships that put your financial health at risk. They are not motivating or inspiring. They are often demoralizing.
It is not sexy, but slow and steady wins the day. Big Time!
P.S. I would be much richer if I could tell my younger self what I am saying now.