“When trying to stunt hurts your bank account.”
All my life growing up, I used to hear how everyone was popping tags. Now that I am an adult, it’s popping tags and popping bottles. Totally fine when you Sean P Diddy Combs or Jay Z. But when you’re the average Joe, you can’t afford to live this way. Especially considering the average American makes less than $50,000 in a year. Meanwhile, living the popping tags and bottles lifestyle requires you to have at least ten times the $50,000 salary. And when I say ten times, I mean ten times after taxes. Hell, even the people making that amount of money tend to go bankrupt. Well, why are we killing ourselves to fit into our social circles.
One reason has to do with how we see ourselves. Kanye West stated in his lyrics from his song It All Falls Down. “I got a problem with spending before I get it.” “We all self-conscious, I’m just the first to admit it.” The self-esteem of people who seek validation from others. We buy things to hide the internal. As well as the external, so we go broke if we have to, to fit into circles. Another reason we live above our means is finding a potential mate.
Yes, it sounds crazy to spend money with the hopes of landing a date. But in a world where outer appearance is so judged, we don’t want to give people any reason to reject us. We take Instagram photos with hashtags that dont remotely represent the lifestyles we really have. All to gain the attention of the one we like. Yet when we get that person it becomes more work to satisfy them further. So, you go even further into debt to keep up something you couldn’t afford in the beginning.
But, there is another reason we fake popping tags and bottles. Sometimes you fake it until you make it. In today’s society, the idea of you having money is just as big, if not bigger than having money. Perceptions shape so much of who we are, that we would rather gain likes or follows via social media, than cultivating an audience for financial gain. For example, some young girl always posting photos of herself on some beautiful tropical island with the hashtag #livingthelife, #vacay, #funinthesun. People will follow off the idea that she actually is living a life that doesn’t really exist. Now, there is another side to this madness.
You have people with the money, who make more money off of showing off their lifestyle. For example, professional athlete Floyd Mayweather Jr. boasts his lifestyle on a daily. Even going as far as calling his promotional company, The Money Team. So, seeing the lifestyle and the company name, it allows people the opportunity to see that in order to do business with Floyd, you better come up with some big money. Because we’re used to throwing it away. It’s unconventional, but believe it or not, it actually works with some people.
In the end, people will always live a life higher than what they can afford. Trying to keep up and validating ourselves with tangibles is what we do. As long as we have a culture of spending via our music, film, television, and social media, we’ll always be in a race that will lead to a negative financial impact on our lives.