When I bought my new car, a friend asked me to load a picture onto Face book so she could see it. I was hesitant to do so. At first, I wasn’t sure what was stopping me. I am trying to live my life more intentionally, so I reflected on my feelings for a bit, and came to the conclusion that I was hesitant to upload pictures to Facebook because I didn’t want anybody to know that I have a new car. I didn’t want certain people to think that I have extra money kicking around.
Those certain people include a friend who has previously taken advantage of me, who happens to be on Facebook.
I’ve always felt that if I share too much information with a few of my friends, I will be leaving myself open to be taken advantage of. They will think that since I have a new car, I must have money to spare, and therefore money to spend on them. I probably sound like a paranoid schizophrenic right now, but my concerns are legitimate. I’ve been burned before; my behavior is learned.
For instance, when I told a family member that I had a credit card, he took advantage of me by charging his bills to it and not paying me back. I was stupid to give him my card number, but it was naivety. When I told another family member that I was saving for an emergency fund, he stopped paying me for gas when using my car.
The thing is, while it might sound nit-picky and maybe a bit selfish that I don’t want to help my friends and family by paying for their gas and bills, I think I should have a choice in the matter. My friends and family members shouldn’t htink: “well, you have more money than me, so I’m going to take advantage of that”.
Another reason I didn’t want to upload photos of my new car to Facebook is because I didn’t want friends to assume that I have money because I have a new car, and automatically assume that means I can go out on shopping trips with them, or that I can go for dinner three times a week with them, or go to Vegas with them and drop a ton of money on useless things. In reality, I still have the same amount of money as I did before. I am still a student struggling to pay the bills and tuition. I just needed a method of transportation.
I’m not saying that I can’t go out for dinner or go on shopping trips. I’m sure I could do all of those things, if I wanted to forgo my contributions to my RRSP, or take out a loan for my tuition. I can certainly afford, and budget for, coffees, dinners, and movies with friends and family.
Even before I bought a new car I found that if I were in a financially stable spot, I would still act like I wasn’t, to get out of spending money on useless things. Some people act like they are rich when they’re really broke, yet I act like I’m broke when I’m, well, not that broke. It’s turned into a tactic to protect myself from my irresponsible father, crazy family members, and spendthrift friends.
Have you ever pretended you are broke? If yes, why?