Personality Cafe banner

Are you embarrassed to have expensive things in public?

  • Yes

    Votes: 26 54.2%
  • No

    Votes: 11 22.9%
  • Other (please specify below)

    Votes: 11 22.9%
1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,408 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I do! I remember the fuss everyone made around me when I got my first ipod- I was 13, I paid $550 for it, and no one else had one or really knew what they were. Ever since then, I've felt shame whenever I'd spent more on something then everyone else, even if it means at the expense of going out or buying lots of clothes.

I don't mind having expense things at home, where no one really sees them, but if I use them out and about, I feel like I'm showing off or making people feel bad. I'm about to get a tablet, and even though I'm excited, I don't feel like I can tell any of my friends, because they'll start asking how much I paid for it, than act like I'm crazy.

Whats your perspective on this? My parents both came from bottom income families, and now we're ''upper middle class'' although still far from the top 1%. It doesn't mean theres lots of spare money or anything, just that I'm not used to having lots of expensive things, wear labelled clothes, go to a private school etc. Having expensive things feels unnatural.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
I'm sort of middle class I suppose, and I always have been, which is far from being rich, but I don't live in a particularly wealthy area, and most of my friends' families have a lot less money than mine does. To this day I feel humiliated every time a friend comes into my room, because they see the nice widescreen monitor I have hooked up to my own personal computer that lies on the other side of a room that has a TV hung on the wall and they must think I'm the most stuck up, spoilt little ass they'll ever meet.

Every time, I feel the need to immediately tell them "MY PARENTS DIDN'T BUY ME THE TV, IT WAS AN OLD ONE THAT THEY JUST DECIDED TO GIVE ME" to make myself look less of a brat, but I know no ammount of saying that to them will make myself feel better about it. I feel guilty partially because it makes me look bad, partially because I hate the thought of friends coming into my house and feeling depressed because of how much money my family has in comparison to theirs, and partially because despite all the expensive things I own, I've never been a very happy person.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chickydoda

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,408 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Some of my friends probably spent $1500 on clothes a year, while I would rather get techy stuff, which tends to draw more attention and makes it seem like I have money, when its just spent in different ways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,085 Posts
I'm not sure about embarrassed, because I really don't have anything that's too over-the-top simply because I can't afford such items. I'm on government assistance because of health issues and you certainly don't get a whole lot of extra money that way; usually my bank account is down to about $10 or less by the time I reach the end of each month. Because of that, I sometimes feel a little weird about owning an iPhone and a fairly expensive Nikon SLR camera, but other than that... well, I really just don't have a lot of expensive items. I do feel very uneasy spending large-ish amounts of money at once, though. Anything over about $60-$70 in one place, at one time, seems like a really big deal.

Material wealth doesn't mean a whole lot to me, luckily. I've long maintained that if I won the lottery, I'd first pay off any money that I owe (which at any given time isn't very much, like under $100), then I'd spend a bit of it wisely on things that I either needed or deemed to be meaningful purchases, possibly give a bit to anyone close to me who was struggling financially (I currently can't think of anyone...), and then give the rest to causes that are really important to me. I'd make absolutely certain that the money was being spent wisely by whatever charities or organisations I chose, as well.

But yeah, I have no desire whatsoever to own anything too outrageous or to amass more money than I need to get by without struggling. Despite being someone definitely considered to be living well below the poverty line, I really don't feel it. There are plenty of others out there who'd need my hypothetical lottery winnings more than I would.

Edit: Yeah, I know this wasn't a thread about winning the lottery or anything, but... well, I'm a rambler. :p One subject leads to a dozen other related ones. Haha.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
144 Posts
There was one time when my grandmother took me shopping. (That's how frugal I am when it comes to clothes. Someone has to force me to spend on them. Haha.) She's very brand-conscious. Sometimes, I really can't stand her. She'd rather lose money and look rich, than have a lot money and look poor. Her line of reasoning just drives me crazy.

Anyway, she bought clothes for me from several expensive clothing brands. When I got home, I laid the new clothes on my bed and took a shower. When I got back, the clothes were hanging neatly in my closet and the price tags were gone. I figured that the maid tidied up my bed and removed the tags. (Having domestic help here in my country isn't expensive that even the lower middle class can afford having drivers, cooks, etc.)

I got so embarrassed and conscience-stricken because I knew that the cost of one shirt was equivalent to her month's salary.

I can't stand buying expensive things. Books are the only ones that I'm willing to spend on on an average basis. I also buy one big thing every year, stuff that are usually connected to my interests.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
This all depends where I am.

Let me tell you a secret: I actually have flaws. How stupendously jaw dropping right? What I mean is how I feel about my expensive items depends on where I am. For example, if I'm hanging out with a load of rich kids (the more bitchy kids at my high school) then I'm glad to have my mac, my branded clothes, my extravagant habits with money (ick I need to stop spending it) etc, since it helps me feel comfortable and fit in with people.
But, I said my feelings depend, so, if I'm surrounded by people I know aren't as well off as I am, I get really really embarrassed to be seen with expensive things. Heres why, brought to you as a running commentary in my head:
Don't some people deserve to have what I have? Is it fair that I have what I have just because I was born lucky, and others don't have what I have because they weren't given equal opportunities? I think it's questions like this that prompt privileged people to help others around them and give back to the world, so I'm glad you brought this topic up, @chickydoda .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
Nope. I don't share my finances with anyone but my husband, bank, and tax assessor. I have many nice things but I also shop around and get great deals when I can.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chickydoda

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,408 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I feel the same way. I feel guilty because I wish everyone could be equal and have the same access to things. I don't like the divisions in class at all.
Same! I wish people could have the things they want without it hurting others, or their being some cost involved- that being said, its good for people to have goals and to work towards things, rather than just being lazy or greedy. If we all had the things we wanted/needed, there would be no more stealing, people would be able to express themselves better and pursue expensive hobbies, have their dream houses etc. That would be cool. Then again, I'm not sure if its healthy to have too many things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,262 Posts
No. I don't.

I don't really make it a point to flaunt my expensive things. I grew up in what Brits would call a "middle class" family. I was privately educated, and whilst we're not extravagantly rich, I know full well the definition of our family would be "well off." It helps that I secured an English scholarship at my school, and was thus exempt from school fees, so my parents only paid for my sister's schooling. Going to a private school, having 'expensive' things was kind of the norm (clothes and gadgetry), and it wasn't until I got to university that it stopped being the norm. I saved up for most of my training and schooling, so I graduated pretty much debt-free (which again, makes me lucky).

When I do buy expensive stuff to wear etc, you'd have to undress me to see the label inside most of the time. I hate those brands which pretty much sell clothing to deck you out like a walking talking billboard. Plus, I was raised to believe that class is in your bearings, not your bank account :).

I've never been one of those people who makes money/richness/poorness an issue. Though, at my school, I knew plenty of people who did. If I want to do something with a friend, and they can't afford it, lord knows I'm paying; because I want to do something and I'd rather do it with people I like. I also believe that giving back to your community is no bad thing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chickydoda

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,408 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I don't really make it a point to flaunt my expensive things. I grew up in what Brits would call a "middle class" family.

When I do buy expensive stuff to wear etc, you'd have to undress me to see the label inside most of the time. I hate those brands which pretty much sell clothing to deck you out like a walking talking billboard. Plus, I was raised to believe that class is in your bearings, not your bank account :).
The class system in England infuriated me when I lived there! Living in Newcastle upon Tyne was ok (most people were pretty friendly!) but when I went to London a few times, there were usually people that would look down their noses at me- without knowing jack about me. I've been on a Missions trip to Vanuatu with pretty poor people and I've been smiled at by Tom Cruise. Theres been times when my parents could barely afford groceries, and times when we drove around in a really nice car that my dad had because of his business. I don't like people looking down at me based on how I'm dressed one day, or how I hold myself. Snobs are horrible. I wish people would stop judging others on what they have, and more on the content of their character, their personality, their kindness, how they treat others etc. I don't think anyone is any better or any worse than me based on how much they earn, or what family they were born into. Unfortunately, not everyone sees things this way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,262 Posts
The class system in England infuriated me when I lived there! Living in Newcastle upon Tyne was ok (most people were pretty friendly!) but when I went to London a few times, there were usually people that would look down their noses at me- without knowing jack about me. I've been on a Missions trip to Vanuatu with pretty poor people and I've been smiled at by Tom Cruise. Theres been times when my parents could barely afford groceries, and times when we drove around in a really nice car that my dad had because of his business. I don't like people looking down at me based on how I'm dressed one day, or how I hold myself. Snobs are horrible. I wish people would stop judging others on what they have, and more on the content of their character, their personality, their kindness, how they treat others etc. I don't think anyone is any better or any worse than me based on how much they earn, or what family they were born into. Unfortunately, not everyone sees things this way.
Hahahaha @chickydoda.

It's true, Northerners are friendlier than us Londoners. I'll admit it ;). It depends where you go in London too. Don't get me wrong, I love my area of London, I did after all grow up here. But, yes, it's snobby. I know people I went to school with who have openly said: "I wouldn't associate with some of the people you do" to me. However, I couldn't care less. I find it quite funny, my favourite thing to do is dress in my beat up old trainers, the jeans I lived in as an undergrad, and my old live-in hoodie (which has definitely seen better days) and go shopping on the weekend. The looks you can get on my high street are priceless, the ones of horror followed by shock and jaw drops as I bump in to neighbours or old family friends on the streets :laughing:. Anyone who judges on material possessions is a grade A fool IMO, and I've never been one to shy away from showing fools how foolish they are :wink:.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chickydoda

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,243 Posts
I generally don't like expensive or "nice" things. To me they just seem so impractical and inefficient: for example, paying 50% more for something that's only 10% better. I wouldn't feel embarrassed for having something that others couldn't afford, but I would feel like an idiot for wasting my money (and more importantly my time, if you consider the time spent working to get that money).

An exception to this is when that little difference makes a big impact. For example, I spent a lot of money on my bed. To me it's worth it because I have trouble sleeping and with this bed I sleep a lot better than I did with my old one. On the other hand, I eat store brand cereal. Why pay a lot more for name brand Cheerios if I like the generic ones just as much? I guess what I'm saying is that it seems dumb to splurge needlessly. Before you opt for the top-of-the-line purchase, think about whether or not it makes a difference, how much of a difference, and if it's really worth it to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,800 Posts
Hum, no i can't say i do. If i have nice things its because i work hard for my money , this entitles me to spend it how i choose. Now if i wasn't working and mooching off other people, then flaunting around expensive things, it wouldn't give me such a good feeling. I don't think people should feel bad about rewarding themselves for a great job done, or feel bad about buying things they want. Everyone i would think likes to have nice things, not everyone wants to work for them. We all have our preferences about what we like also. I love art and paintings, i wouldn't put a price tag on what i would spend either. I don't like everything new either, i love shopping at thrift stores and getting great deals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,136 Posts
I'm not embarrassed but I just don't see the need to buy anything super expensive and if I do then I would like to be somewhat modest about revealing it. Don't get me wrong, we do have some really nice things.

My ex husband is very flashy. He's the type that will depend his last dime on something like a Rolex watch yet the kids need new shoes or we were driving around in a BMW but I hadn't had a hair cut in four years and had a strict budget for groceries. Now THAT is embarrassing. It screams "I'm insecure to the point I neglect the fact that my own kids need shoes". I had a really hard time accepting his extravagant taste on a middle class income.

I get great pleasure out telling people I bought my purse at the thrift shop for $1.50 after they have said "I love your purse". I'm not always thrifty, though. I like expensive vodka (when I did drink) and expensive laundry detergent. Haha!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,136 Posts
Oh and I just remembered something that happened. My husband bought me an iMac for my birthday. I was at school (college) and our school has a lot of new Macs. My classmate and I were walking to the computers and she said "why are you using that one", referring to the mac, and I said "because this is what I use at home" and her response was "ohhh, thats right, because your husband has that good job and he knows how to treat you right". Which I kind of felt embarrassed about. Yet I have my thrift shop purse with me.
 

·
MOTM June 2012
Joined
·
9,333 Posts
I don't feel bad about it at all. I work hard for my money, and I deserve to have nice things. I allways get compliments if I have a nice shirt on or a nice watch on anyways, and who dosen't like hearing compliments? I dress to impress anyways. If I'm at a nice resturant I'll order a nice meal or a top shelf drink because I deserve it. Same thing with drinking expensive liqours or smoking expensive cigars. I don't do it all the time, but I like having nice things every once and a while and I don't feel bad or embarrased about having them.
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top