The other day, I was reading CFP Sophia Bera’s blog post, “Ways People Pretend to Have Their Money Sh-t Together.”
Essentially, she writes, she sees through your posturing. Having gotten an up close and personal look at many people’s actual financial situations, she recognises that things aren’t always what they seem.
When you run the numbers, your coworker’s sleek sports car is a money pit. Your friend got the down payment for her gorgeous house from her parents. Just because people are living with the typical trappings of wealth doesn’t mean they have the dollars to back up that impression.
They would be better off to live within their means.
This fact isn’t news. We’re told over and over again that living within your means is “responsible” and “smart” … which sounds suspiciously like “dull” and “tedious.” Precious few of us actually have the means for weekends on a sailboat and tasting menus at Michelin-starred restaurants. What’s glamorous or fun about budgeting money for car repairs and passing up admittedly overpriced cold-brew?
And then, Bera wrote something that turned this perspective on its head:
“It takes confidence to live within your means.”
Confidence is glamorous. It’s something to aspire to. It’s something we all want. It’s desirable.
It’s like turning down Friday night shots because you don’t want them, or passing on the Vegas bachelor party because you think Vegas is terrible and you’re not that close to the groom, anyway. It’s doing what’s right for you without caring what other people think.
And hey, maybe the thing that’s right for you is a weekend on the sailboat. No shame. But if it isn’t, that’s just as good.
Because doing what’s right for you is the ultimate act of confidence. And when you think about it, confidence is the first step toward glamour.