How I Realized Celebrity Lifestyle Envy Is Like A House Of Cards
Trying to emulate a celebrity lifestyle got this woman into serious debt. Read about how she came to terms with her Hollywood money lust.
When I was younger, my mom and I lived in one of the nicest communities in Colorado. We were surrounded by generational wealth.
There were people taking vacations to Europe regularly, and people who I subconsciously wished that I could be.
We were living in this town as a result of my mom attending the college that was the anchor business and institution that connected almost everyone to the place we were living.
I wanted new clothes instead of used ones. Similarly, I wanted high-end shoes instead of shoes from Payless, and trips abroad.
I WENT INTO DEBT AS AN ADULT AS A RESULT OF MY WANTING WHAT I SAW OTHER PEOPLE HAVING.
As I swiped my credit card for beautiful new clothes, a trip abroad, and manicures, I would feel so rich in the moment…until I didn’t.
When the credit card hangover hit me it was fast and furious.
Those bills were a painful reminder that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I get why people want to be like Kylie, Rob Gronkowski, and Will and Jada. Their lives look so beautiful and glittery from the outside. Who wouldn’t want to walk in their shoes…even for just a day?
There was a day in college when my friends and I decided to go to the mall and go shopping. We opened up store cards (I even remember the store) and then proceeded to shop like rock stars. Each of us spent around $1,000!
I didn’t realize that that trip would begin an adult life filled with a long list of money mistakes. It all stemmed from a wish to live someone else’s amazing life instead of mine working at retail shops, an olive oil store, and a Starbucks.
We are a pop culture driven society. In fact, many societal trends hinge on what pop culture celebrities like, love, and now show off on social media.
A recent Business Insider report noted that sales of gold Cartier bangles went up by a noticeable percentage after Kylie Jenner posted a picture on Instagram wearing at least 4 or 5 of them.
Everyone is affected to some degree with the images that we see of people that we would like to emulate.
On the surface, famous people have what we are all aspiring to: wealth, control, fame, and beauty.
Most people will not be buying $6000 bracelets for their teenage daughters. But the hype did encourage some parents to write that big check and drove some teenagers to throw a fit when refused the money.
I’ve experienced the impact of celebrity marketing on my life – it created a big crater in my credit score.
I enjoy social media as much as the next person but I’ve begun to notice that, sometimes, I make purchasing decisions that have been influenced by someone’s gorgeous Instagram feed, awesome Facebook posts, and beautifully pinned Pinterest boards.
It’s almost as if my life would be much more beautiful, organized, and stylish if I were just like…Kylie, Halle, or Tyra.
Making financial decisions based on lifestyle of such fantasy figures is a one-way street to financial ruin.
My problem wasn’t being jealous of just one celebrity. I always was jealous of the jet-setting lifestyle that I saw rich people led: JLo hanging out on yachts in Miami, Kim Kardashian shopping on Rodeo, and the Real Housewives of Atlanta roaming around on exotic islands.
I wanted to be like them. So, I traveled on money that I didn’t have, living a lifestyle that I hadn’t yet earned. Once I was even told by someone who was older than me “You young people retire first and work later.” I didn’t understand what he meant by that at that time. Now I do.
As I find myself paying off debt related to not only mismanagement of money but also fame envy, I wish I had followed some money smart celebrities such as Amy Schumer, Marshawn Lynch, and Jennifer Lawrence. But, I didn’t.
I no longer wish to live like Kylie or any of the other famous people that I’ve mentioned in this post. My goal is to live the best life that I can with the money that I actually have. That’s not sexy money, it’s boring money and that’s OK.