Fear of Looking Poor May Lead to Being Poor
Fear is a powerful motivator, but it doesn’t always lead us in the right direction. Those afraid to look poor may try to overcompensate and cause themselves to end up in the exact situation they are trying to avoid.
While it may sound like trying to look rich, trying to not look poor is somewhat different. That difference can be seen more clearly when considering a related comparison: trying to look better than those around you versus trying not to look worse. A fear of looking poor doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re living an extravagant lifestyle. Nonetheless, it may indicate that you are living beyond your means. This article offers a few questions to see if you fit the profile:
- Does wearing cheap clothes make you queasy?
- Are you embarrassed to use coupons?
- Do you feel judged by your décor?
- Have you made a purchase to impress someone?
The irony is that many times it’s the people who appear to be struggling financially who are actually getting ahead. Living within your means is rarely flashy, but it does have its rewards. Wearing cheap clothes, using coupons, and not caring about what other people think are all good ways to get ahead financially. Delaying gratification not only makes it feel better, but it often allows it to come in larger quantities.
There are many reasons why we spend beyond our means. For some, it’s not having a budget which leads to overspending without realizing it. For others it’s a desire to have a better lifestyle than can truly be afforded. Just as there are many ways to overspend, so too are there many ways to take back control. From a simple budget to consolidating debt through social lending, the important thing is not the corrective action you take, but rather that you take corrective action.
Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 at 10:10 am