A trend that seems to never away is shaming people for making money and doing what they want with it. Yes, you read that right. Long gone are the days when people looked down on you for being a “broke boi.” Now people look down on you for actually having money.
Have you ever come across those memes that compare Louboutin shoes to Aldo shoes and make up a fake scenario that perpetuates the woman with the Louboutin shoes as a careless, self-centered woman with no values and poor money management? Meanwhile, the girl in Aldo is pegged as more responsible, career-driven, goal-oriented, and probably good credit.
Have you ever posted photos on Instagram of your vacation overseas and someone asks snarkily, “How do you get to take all of these trips? Is your job approving all of that vacation time? Who is paying for all that?” Are you the person online who sees a rapper bought some new jewelry, expensive threads or a new car and your first thought is to leave a comment telling them to “invest” or asking what they are doing for everyone else? These are all signs of money shamers.
To simplify, a money shamer is someone who projects their economic deficiencies on you. They are often threatened by you having things they subconsciously know they’ll never have and traveling places they know they can’t afford. Instead of congratulating you, they make outrageous comparisons and insinuations about your character based on how you choose to reward yourself for your hard work. Don’t let people do that. Do not let people guilt you for enjoying your life.
Everyone does not need to lie, cheat, steal or degrade themselves (or others) to afford to travel frequently. Nor do they need to do those things to afford a few Fendi outfits or a BMW or two. Some people have been blessed enough to be rewarded for all of the long hours they’ve put into their craft. Don’t be mad at them, learn from them.
Be mindful of those who tell people they should have “invest” their money instead of making purchases, yet they haven’t invested in anything themselves. These people don’t know the first thing about money. There is a peculiar notion that you can only invest if you are rich. In fact, this is further from the truth. You can, and should, be investing long before you have a six-figure income. You shouldn’t wait to be wealthy to invest. Investing does not mean you are setting aside thousands of dollars. This is a fairy tale. The average person can invest by setting aside $10/per day every day. That is $70 a week and ~$300 a month. That $300 per month becomes $3,600 in one year. That is saving and that is bare minimal. Now, what if you put that same money into an interest yielding account. Imagine how much you would have? That is investing. You didn’t have to be a multimillionaire to save $10/day. You just had to take one less trip to Mc Donald’s. People who assume you can’t invest unless you are rich, are the very money shamers this article is referring to. They are financially ignorant and just don’t want to see you spend YOUR money.
I saw someone on Facebook say that you can’t trust a woman who can pronounce every luxury designer; it’s because she does not value anything other than money. It was the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever run across because there was no true correlation. Why couldn’t it just be that she can pronounce Italian and French names with ease? I’ve also seen people say that you can’t trust a woman who travels all the time because she has a sugar daddy paying for it. Why can’t she just work hard for her money and have the ability to jet set at her leisure? How difficult is it for people to stop pocket watching and focus on their own funds? Maybe if they did, they could be in a better financial situation. There’s no need to harbor hatred towards those who are able to pamper themselves year round and not just around tax refund time.
The worst money shamers are the ones who make you feel like them spending less money makes them morally better than you. You know the type; the ones who feel like wearing Payless over Jordans somehow makes them more financially savvy. Or the ones that want plastic engagement rings over diamonds because that means their relationship is rooted in more love than yours. Somehow they use lack of spending money as leverage for why they are better people and frankly, that’s not how life works.
I find in the black community that it is ingrained in us that in order to be humble, we must be modest, and in order to be modest, we must be poor. That means that it’s okay to have things, just don’t show anyone that you have them. I’d assume that this mindset was instilled on us from slavery and then passed on generation after generation. In other countries and other cultures, no one chastises you for being well off. You’re not told to slave every day, then told to “humble” yourself once it pays off. We’ve got to stop doing that to one other. It’s simply another way to break the unity we so desperately need.
So I say to you, money is not the measurement of success, nor is it the measure of morality. However, don’t let people make you feel bad for purchasing that big new home, those flashy diamonds or that expensive pair of shoes. You earned it, and it doesn’t make you a bad person. The people who judge you based on material things would do the same if they could. Unfortunately, they don’t and know they never will, and it burns them up inside. Continue to be blessed and share your blessings, Kings and Queens!
Continue to be blessed and share your blessings, Kings and Queens!