The Real Reason Everyone has More Money than You

I’m writing this from a slightly different tone to my usual money ramblings. I hope that you can find something constructive from this post to help you on your money journey. 

Why Everyone has More Money than You

Your friends are uploading weekly beach pictures, your coworker always has the latest gadgets, and your best friend just moved in with her bae and has bought a new house! How are they able to spend that kind of money when you can barely afford next months rent?

Maybe they’ve come into a lump sum of money, maybe they’re ignoring their crippling debt, maybe their parents are financing their lifestyle. Or maybe they’ve figured out the secret to money….

The secret? You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything! The regular beach holidays, the house and the fancy gadgets are the instagramable and boast-worthy results of a series of decisions hidden behind closed doors. What we don’t see on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook are the compromises.

The Highlight Reel

You see what your friends/coworkers want you to see. You are seeing the good days, the treats, the once-a-years. You’re seeing the highlight reel. But we care so deeply about our status, especially relative to our peers. We lose self-esteem when we believe that we are below the average of our group. We gain self-esteem from the opportunities we have to show that we are above the average. 

“Conspicuous consumption” was originally used to describe how newly wealthy people would buy luxury goods to display their superior economic and social status. However, the conspicuous consumption phenomenon isn’t limited to the wealthy. Take a look at your Instagram or Facebook feed and you’ll see display after display of financial pride.

For some, the existence of constant social gratification can increase their motivation for economic success. That competitive impulse can drive them to work harder, invest more and persevere through difficulties. For the majority, the FOMO (fear of missing out) phenomenon can lead us to waste money on the things that aren’t important and miss out on the things that are.

Everyone has more money than me

Behind the Scenes

Do you need that snazzy gym membership? When was the last time you wore that expensive watch? How much happiness will that designer bag really bring to your life? Are you going there, doing this, buying that just for a picture opportunity? 

Many of us today have little idea of where our money is going and a nagging anxiety that we should be getting more and spending less. The first behind the scenes work that you need to put in is to start tracking your spending. There are a variety of budgeting tools that will allow you to see the necessities and the non-essentials that you could consider compromising. 

It’s then important to consider what’s important to you and set goals based on your values. Defining your financial goals will help you to change your behaviour. Not everyone’s values and goals will be the same. It could be that you believe that a yearly family holiday is important to you, or that you want to buy your own home soon, or that you will pay off your overdraft this year. Maybe you’re looking to apply for a promotion at work? If you want your goal badly enough, you will cut spending on the stuff that you care less about.

Being mindful about your spending will return your focus to where it should be: your own decisions and your own life, rather than others. If the envy bug bites again, remember that the lavish lifestyles you see on your news feed are just the highlight reel and may not be all they seem.

This is your journey. You are worthy. Things will get easier. Keep going.

9 thoughts on “The Real Reason Everyone has More Money than You”

  • May I just say what a relief to find an individual who actually
    knows what they’re talking about online. You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people really need to read and understand this.

  • Hey Bee Money Savvy, It’s such a great post reminding that in today’s time, opinion is made just on seeing “highlights”. We make perceptions based on such highlights. Even we don’t know what’s the reality but start comparing & feeling inferior just looking at few pics & social media status updates. Certainly, people can increase their income & control wasting of money but the most important point you raised here is the things that are making you feel below average in terms of wealth due to comparison & “highlight reel”. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful post. :)

  • I used to think that everyone had more money than me until I came to realise that I wasted my money. I realised I can also afford the gym membership if I cut down on unnecessary spending such as buying clothes I don’t need. Such a great post. I used to get so caught up on social media but what one must realise is that “all that glitters is not gold”. Some of these people living flashy lifestyles are actually not rich, they just appear to be rich.

  • Such a great reminder. I get so caught up in social media and what I see on there that it makes me feel like I’m working too hard for so little. It’s so easy to forget that other people are working just as hard and that I could make the time to do the same.

  • Such a great post, I love that this post and your posts overall essentially acts as a financiasl education tool for people. Your tips are brill 🙂

  • This is such a good post omg. It’s so true about people only showing the highlights of their lives on social media! Really makes you think x

  • I really like that term “the highlight reel”. It’s so accurate. And how many times have we gone to see a movie based on the highlights and it turned out to be a loser??? It may also help to ask what need we’re trying to fulfill before we spend money. There’s no material possession or experience that will make us happy if we haven’t figured out how to be that way in the first place. It’s much harder than going shopping but the most important work we can do – to figure out how to be happy with ourselves, in the moment, with what we have.
    Joan Senio

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