Living in a world where nothing is enough for one person and money fuels the fire of power and greed, I have thought a lot about debt and the unattainable goal of status in the world. When we see gorgeous cars, Prada bags, Gucci shoes, or a Hublot watch, we melt at the thought about owning that item and the status it will bring us. I began to wonder; Why is status ultimately linked to money?
The pressures of status in society starts at such a young age. I remember going to middle school and being hounded for not wearing make up, or having highlights, or wearing all Express clothes and rocking Adidas sneaks. The pressure mounted when I got to high school where only the kick ass cars got noticed and the others, like my 1992 Ford Taurus, complete with punk rocking bumper stickers, would get paint balled and keyed (Yes…true story.) The money status train keeps on rolling the older you get and there seems to be no letting up. This is where things start to get sticky. Your parents decide your bank roll as a child and can moderate your allowance, if you even get an allowance. When you reach 18, if you don’t watch out, things can take a turn for the worse in your financial life.
My first credit card was the worst type of credit card you can have; A Retail Credit Card. I only had a $600 credit limit but at that age, I thought I was rich. Credit cards are like tattoos. Once you get one, it’s hard not to get addicted. I ended up with 3 more retail credit cards and all of them were maxed out. My wardrobe was fabulous, but my wallet..not so much. I paid the minimum payment per month, and then turned right around and bought something right after I paid it off. Eventually, I was $20,000 in debt at the age of 21. Knowing I was digging a deeper grave for my finances, I cut up my credit cards and paid them off one by one, promising myself I would never treat my wallet like that again. Pipe dreams.
It happened again, but not because of the itch of retail therapy, but the crashing of the economy and the layoffs in the job market. I then again used my credit cards to cover my rent, car payments, gas, electric and so on. I worked any job I could get, and nothing seemed to keep me afloat. Credit cards will only help you for so long. Once all the credit cards were maxed out, I had to move back home and start all over again on the debt front. I just paid off all of that debt.
The perpetual drive to reach the top of the status totem pole is futile if money is not on your side. It took me a long time to realize that money, status and materialism is pointless in a world where being at the top doesn’t make you happy, but a target for those trying to push you off of the top. Instead of trying to beat the status money monster, strive to be the top in your field or the best version of yourself.
“It has beeen said that the love of money is the root of all evil. The want of money is so quite as truly.” — Samuel Butler
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