Wanting To Appear Rich Is The Problem

Yesterday I read an article in the New York Times that is part of a series about Trump’s finances, based on 20 years of tax returns. The title was, TRUMP ENGINEERED A SUDDEN WINDFALL IN 2016 AS CAMPAIGN FUNDS DWINDLED. I am not interested in rehashing 45’s taxes, but this story highlighted how he was not always as rich as he wanted to portray himself and how he used dubious means to get cash for his campaign.

The picture of 45 is one I have seen over and over again of people who want to appear richer than they are. You probably have some of these people in your neighborhood. They build a house they can’t afford and then when it needs work it sits unfinished or broken because they lived beyond their means. I’m not talking about people who get into financial trouble, just people who like to puff themselves out.

Like 45, those people are not usually generous. When I go looking for donors for a good cause I rarely have any luck with the people who built the gaudiest houses. Even if they want a seat at the table of power they never seem to step up when it comes to helping financially. They have run out of cash trying to appear rich, or richer.

Often times the most generous people are the people who have less to begin with — Those who appear unassuming, but then give outrageously as a percentage of what they have. So many times I have seen this at the food bank. A letter will come in with a check. The note says something like, “You helped me when I needed it, I wish I could give more today,” with a check for $20. If you are someone who needed food from a Food Bank $20 is a huge gift.

I feel like the days of trying to be the showiest are past. If Covid has taught us anything it is that we need to value the simple things. No one is coming to your over leveredged house, or at least they shouldn’t be.

If your goal is to make everyone think you are rich you have the wrong goal. Being rich is great, but worrying about being thought of as rich is toxic. Chasing that image eventually gets you into trouble.

One Comment on “Wanting To Appear Rich Is The Problem”

  1. ellenpunderwood says:

    Well said. I see so many people driving in cars that I know they cannot afford. So much of their money is going to a car payment, instead of other more important things. It’s best to live below your means, instead of above it. God bless those who donate generously, and often with little or no recognition.

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