In some parts of the country, some social circles and in pop culture we are consumed with ‘things’. Big item price tickets like huge homes, luxury cars and designer duds are in and always have been. And if you can afford all the above, without living paycheck to paycheck this post is not for you. Because of this site, I’m engulfed in who’s wearing what, how much it is and how exclusive it is. I’ve noticed that celebrities on TV, stage and red carpets set the tone for what SOME everyday folk purchase. Everyday they’re influencing how you spend your money.
And while they’re bragging (posting photos of their Hermes, Chanel and Christian Loubotin), a lot of them are silently suffering and are living beyond their means, fronting because we expect them to be living some type of lavish lifestyle. I recently listened to an interview that Real Housewives of Atlanta did with Power 105’s The Breakfast Club. In short, she’s a huge advocate for living BELOW your means and instead of keeping up with the Jonses’, even when you afford to. She explains
I am pro live below your means! I was looking at financial books ever since I was a teenager because my mom was like, ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’ And I didn’t go to college, so you get kind of scared, like I made all this money right now so what am I going to do now. So I knew I didn’t want to put myself in a position where I was living so expensively and if something were to happen next year or two years from now I couldn’t afford my same lifestyle. So that’s the first thing. You have to live below your means. If you’re just starting out…there’s some people that can afford a $1,000 apartment and they go and get a $1,000 apartment…that would not be me. If I can get the $1,000 apartment I will try and find the $600 apartment and save the $400 a month to go towards something that I want to invest in as far as my idea or some business that I want to do.
As a woman whose hustled in music, reality TV, adult toy industry and now her own productions, she’s an advocate in investing in yourself first. She says:
A lot of people handicap themselves from being able to go after their dream because of the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to…they can only afford it based off of the check they’re making. To me it starts off with the investment…for you to take that financial investment in yourself. Because I hate when somebody will ask everybody else for money and they won’t take the chance with their own money. They haven’t started to put up money of their own, but they want to go ask everybody else. So I’m not going to let you gamble with my money and you haven’t gambled with your own money.
It’s tough, but I try my best to subscribe to this philosophy. Since I’ve launched the site (almost over four years ago) I have made my lifestyle much more simple. And believe me, initially it was tough. I’m a full-time entrepreneur which means I pay for everything-staff, photos (that are HELLA expensive), maintenance, health insurance (#GetCovered), the list goes on and on.
Bottom line is, don’t let the glitz and glam of what Hollywood and your favorite celebs are buying, driving and wearing drive you insane. Chances are, they aren’t as caked up as you think–especially in the reality TV realm. Don’t let this fake sh*t consume you if you honestly can’t afford it. And don’t feel guilty if you cant keep up. If being financially set or pursuing your dream keeps you up at night, then focus on that and forget all of the distractions. I hope this rant helps (I wrote this GRAMMYs weekend, in the middle of the night). If not, perhaps one in the future will. Love -JB