How Do The Rich Spend Their Money?
This is a topic that’s been burning my ass for a while now. Every time you stray into a forum or Instagram account that has some association to “success” or making money, sure as shit there’ll be the usual parroted line about how the wealthy essentially live like bums and don’t spend their cash.
I call bullshit on that.
Instagram is especially bad. If you believe the “entrepreneurs” behind those accounts (which are created with the purpose of gathering a following big enough to flip and sell, that’s the motivation, not to motivate anyone else) then the rich are eking out a miserly existence that’d shame a monk. Which is kind of at odds with the pics these sites use to accompanying the claim, which are pure success porn: celebrities and the beautiful people travelling in private jets, stepping out of Lamborghinis, and seated beside dollar bills stacked up high enough to give John Cristani a boner.
It seems like the underlying message of many of these sites is get rich… but don’t enjoy any of that money once you are, or while you’re on the way to it, either. Quite when you are supposed to enjoy it, and buy yourself them luxury cars and build yourself a fort in your living room made out of hundred dollar bills, I don’t know.
Ever noticed too, that everyone loves to chime into comments, either alluding to their own “stealth wealth” or how they know some dude who’s richer than God but lives like Gandhi. The latter is the most popular humble brag, because it implies they’re “connected” in some small way; friends to the rich and successful, and more importantly “in the know”. Reddit is a gold mine of them. I swear there’s more secret millionaires on that site than Bill Gates has sold copies of Windows.
These are the folks you’d never guess have a private banker. They’re under the radar and want to keep it that way, with their heads down and working on themselves and their investments. Driving that ten year old car and living in that vanilla neighbourhood, and no one any the wiser to Warren Buffet the Second, just living down the street from them.
According to them. And to paraphrase Rooster Cogburn, “I believed it the first twenty times I heard it. If I met one of you Reddit success waddies who ain’t got a six figure investment portfolio by thirty, I think I’d shake his hand and buy and him a Daniel Webster cigar.”
You and me both, Rooster.
But I’ve gone and mentioned the Buffet name. I swear that guy along with Zuckerberg, has done most to help spread the seed of this bullshit on the internet.
Thanks to Zuckerberg you can wear denim and sneakers topped off with a t-shirt, drive that old car proudly, and hold your head up as a pretend business mogul in disguise too. You’re not a loser, you’re frugal. And practising how you’re going to live when you do become a billionaire… from selling Herbalife.
Only there’s a problem with this concept. See, folks like Zuckerberg, Richard Branston etc, can dress like bums because they’ve got celebrity attached to themselves. A good portion of folks are going to know who they are, especially in the luxury retail industry where they still shop despite their affected, supposedly limited, bargain-bin wardrobes.
They’ll still get treated well because of that celebrity, and sure, you can argue everyone should be regardless of how they’re dressed. Which is another tired old story on forums and comments sections that loves to be trotted out: the disgruntled would-be customer more than able to make a purchase, but being made to feel “unwelcome” and leaving… to go to another store and then “showing them”.
But only in the comment sections and their imagination.
See, here’s the thing: I’ve an acquaintance who works in luxury retail (Rolex) and she tells me it’s more than their job’s worth to treat anyone badly or disrespectfully, but at the same time they soon hone a pretty good sixth sense as to who’s buying and who’s a time waster/fantasist. Now occasionally they’ll get that wrong of course, but if you believe the internet they’re getting it wrong just about all the time, and being pretty shitty about it to boot.
Which I don’t believe. Especially about folks who rely on a commission to boost their pay cheque.
What I do believe is that some of the luxury retailers can be intimidating places for some people and they already come expecting some sort of slight and find it.
Then they add some arms and legs to the experience in the forlorn hope of assuaging the self-esteem and insecurity issues that spawned the tale in the first place.
A lot of times, when you read these tales, the person feeling slighted could’ve done themselves a favour by not dressing like a proverbial ‘Person of Walmart’, and maybe putting in a little more sartorial effort. I mean, clothes communicate don’t they? Folks seem to agree on that, but then love to rail when it’s suggested that flip-flops and khakis aren’t suitable attire for every occasion.
Casual, comfortable… but no.
I mean sure, I get that. Dress how you want. But don’t piss & whine if not everyone is as Buddhist as you and fails to appreciate the egalitarian statement you think your cargo shorts make.
The point being, there are some folks walking around with money falling out their ass who dress like they woke up in a dumpster, but unless you got some sort of celebrity to go with it, don’t be too surprised if folks mistake you for a broke bum.
Because while there may be a percentage of the super-rich who like to sport the broke bum look, it’s unfortunate for those emulating that fashion, that 100% of broke bums also dress like broke bums.
Which is what you’re gonna look like.
No one’s going to think you’re really a just super chilled and relatable billionaire. It’s pretty much going to be assumed A) your wardrobe probably only consists of that pair jeans and t-shirt B) you’re not educated enough to know any better.
Go ahead and dress like a Hell’s Angel to a wedding if you feel like it, but if you find yourself being treated “differently” then maybe you kinda brought that on yourself.
Something else about the inverted snobbery of taking pride in always dressing like slob, I’ve found these types possess even more snobbery when it comes to music or games consoles or their PC setup or whatever. Everyone’s got some toy or point of pride in something that they like feel superior about. Get them onto that topic and you’ll find out how “non-judgemental” they really are.
Anyway, this wasn’t a post about clothes, but more generally how the rich spend their money.
I’m not in a big city, or even country, but my little postcode (zip code) is apparently one of the better ones if the national press reporting of most expensive house prices, and the incomes of the sort of folks who live in them, are to be believed. In my street and immediate area I can see Lambos, Ferraris (my neighbour has one), a McClaren or two… there’s some serious motors to be spotted out in my neighbourhood on a summer’s day. Even on a drab winter one for that matter.
Which goes against the grain of what the internet tells me the rich do. Maybe the folks in my area aren’t really rich though, maybe they’re faking it, but they sure do like to spend on luxury cars if they are. They like big houses too, in the best area, not a modest little bungalow in a regular neighbourhood.
They also like watches. I’m into watches and I tend to notice what a person’s wearing. Also strikes me that these folks like to be well dressed to go with that watch, too.
So I’m not really buying this “the truly wealthy” live frugally bullshit. I know damn well many of my postcode neighbours could buy and sell me, and they ain’t living like they haven’t a pot to piss in, I’m sorry to tell you.
I’ve not seen anyone in London, the smart set in Knightsbridge etc, the high rollers in the big 5-star hotels, living like that either.
I reckon that horse shit comes from folks who like to parrot what they’ve read elsewhere, not actually seen how the other half live, because I’ve never seen this suburban, undercover “millionaire next door” type.
Anyone I know who’s got a few bucks is enjoying it, not denying themselves of anything or the pleasures and fruits of their hard work.
I see that with the owners of the company I’m currently working at, too.
And I don’t think of any of these people as particularly flash. They’re just not decked out in designer bling like a try-hard rapper. If they are wearing designer (and they probably) are it’s a tad more understated.
So what I’m saying is, if you’re getting on, making some coin, then bloody well enjoy it! Don’t listen to the buggers who haven’t got it, telling you how you should be living.
I don’t go on a wild spree every pay day, spend till it’s all done, I still budget and save, but I don’t feel bad about the luxuries I do allow myself.
That’s what we’re in this game for, the (lazy!) money making thing, so if you get a bit of it, then have some fun in life with it.
And if you want a bit more of it, then like I always say, take a look at Wealthy Affiliate. It’s not a promise of “get-rich” bollocks, but a realistic method of making money online. Without spending the stupid sort of amounts that the schemes who do make that promise, want from you.
Me, I think of it as an income supplement, it doesn’t take the place of the day job. Mainly because I can do both – work the day job AND do this thing in my spare time. Except it pays much better than a part time job and I don’t have to move off my couch to do it.
Of course I like writing (obviously) so it suits me. If you don’t, and you don’t have a bit of patience and persistence, then it’s not gonna be for you.
You can read my review of WA here, then make your own mind up.
Entirely up to you.
Actually, am thinking about linking my Instagram to the site. Maybe do that soon, just so haters have something more to feast on, and for everyone else to see I’m not making wild claims about myself or just talking out my ass.