We buy stuff we don’t need to impress people we don’t know
Why do we buy cars we can’t afford? Or clothes on credit? Or expensive whiskey?
A Rolex tells the time as good as, well, your cellphone – but that’s not really the point, is it?
Perhaps you don’t feel special - the Rolex “signals” to others that you are.
We buy stuff we don’t need to impress people we don’t know.
Old money doesn’t glitter. New money (read “debt”) burns like the sun
Research into the topic has shown that very few actually rich people flash their wealth, according to “The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy”.
People who need to signal their success, however, tend to splurge on expensive items.
It’s not that rich people don’t practice “social signalling” – they do, it’s called “counter signalling” – showing off by not showing off.
They spoke about signalling (and counter signalling), conspicuous consumption and why we do it.
“Keeping up with the Joneses” leads to runaway lifestyle inflation and retirement sabotage,” wrote Luthuli in his blog.
“The driving force behind rampant consumerism is the need to fit in. To be part of a tribe. If you live in the nice suburbs, you ‘need’ certain things to signal that you’re part of that tribe. The luxury SUV, big house, and chemically manicured lawn.
“We all have egos; we all care at some level. When people think negatively of us, it usually bothers us. Acceptance from other people is a fundamental human need.
“What if you didn’t care? Or what if you cared less?
“To me, that sounds like bliss.”
For more detail, listen to the interview in the audio below.
The new Toyota Starlet starts at R205 000; a Polo Vivo is about R10 000 more. Motoring journalist Ciro de Siena compares the two.Read More
A vehicle theft syndicate is using a "very clever scam" to steal cars, says Ron Knott-Craig of Tracker.Read More
It’s National Wills Week – you have until Friday (30 October) to get a professional to draw up or update your will at no charge.Read More
From side hustles to investment income; Mduduzi Luthuli (Luthuli Capital) on creating multiple streams of income.Read More
"The money mistakes we make are real, but they are not unique – we all make them," says Potgieter.Read More
"What the IRR is doing is not in the best interest of the savers of SA," Wierzycka told The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield.Read More
How much "risk" you should take on depends on your investment timeframe, says Certified Financial Planner Paul Roelofse.Read More
Make use of any rand rally to fill up on foreign currency requirements, suggests Bianca Botes (Peregrine Treasury Solutions).Read More
Veteran stockbroker David Shapiro schools The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield on investing post-Covid and into the next few years.Read More
"The Toyota Starlet makes enormous sense," says motoring journalist Ciro de Siena. Got R204 900?Read More