Don't Buy Things You Don't Really Need For The Prestige Factor - Save The Money Instead
Published 11/29/07 (Modified 3/8/11)
I have a friend who recently got married in an arranged marriage according to his traditional Indian culture. Because it was an arranged marriage organized by family members without the benefit of prior dating, the bride and groom are still getting to know each other. After only a few weeks of marriage, there are already a few wrinkles he is starting to learn about his new wife.
She Likes To Have Expensive Things To Show Off
My friend's wife enjoys material possessions, and not necessarily for the right reasons. She wants to buy expensive things not because she needs it, but because she sees them as status symbols and items that need to be possessed so they can better rival other couples.
Recently his wife asked him to buy her a brand new large 42 inch plasma television. Now that's a very big TV. However, since coming to this country from India only a few weeks since the marriage, she has yet to turn on or even watch any of the existing television sets in their house. Yet somehow she suddenly wants to acquire a premium, top of the line model. Her reason? Because everyone else in the neighborhood owns a nice large flat screen and so she wants one too. They currently already own three pre-existing CRT televisions sets. Neither of them have a history of watching much television to begin with and they don't even have cable television service because they don't use it. Her sudden impulse to want to own a large expensive flat screen television set was motivated by her discussions with other couples in their relatively affluent neighborhood. If she was a frequent television watcher I would understand and appreciate her desire for a brand spanking new set, but my friend has yet to even hear her express an interest in watching TV.
It would be like my old fashioned mom demanding a Nintendo Wii because all of the other households in the neighborhood own one. She and I both know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she has no interest in video games, instead finding them to be a waste of time, and not having much practical use for it.
Don't Waste Your Money On Unnecessary Things, But Rather Invest It
Buying expensive or even inexpensive items because you want the status-attribution associated with them is just plain silly and a waste of financial resources. You are better off saving and investing the money wisely to grow it for your future needs.
Only a few months ago I was lustily eying one of the new fancy Verizon Wireless Blackberry phones that had just been released. The price tag was an astounding $400 without a binding cell phone contract. I wanted one badly because of the prestige factor - to be able to childishly show it off in public for the professional aura it conveyed. Six months later I am glad I did not commit to the purchase. I still have my old phone and it continues to serve me loyally. New phone models have come and gone since then and the phone I originally wanted has already been replaced by a new upgraded model.
Prestige is overrated and only temporary. Be comfortable with who you are and keep your eye on the prize - true financial security and fiscal responsibility for your future.