Friday, June 16, 2006

Letting it all hang out

I've always been kind of a TMI-spewing person. (Too Much Information, if you haven't spent any time around 13-year-olds lately.) Especially about my finances, I don't feel ashamed of having what I have - or according to my NetWorthIQ graph, what I don't have. So it's very interesting to see the flurry that this post over at It's Just Money has generated.

Also at Everybody Loves Your Money, he mentions taking down his personal financial information because some friends IRL (In Real Life) found his blog.

I guess my take on whether we should all be so loose-lipped is that I don't mind doing it around people I consider honorable and good. But this kind of disclosure invites scoundrels, really... people who see what you have and want it, or people who have more than you do and want you to be envious as they flaunt it. The consumption system we have now, where you display what wealth you have, or seem to have, by buying expensive things might not be necessary if everybody had a net worth ticker on their lapel. There's just so many things bought to display wealth that go beyond the simple enjoyment of luxury. Can somebody with an Escalade really like driving it that much, compared to a smaller car which also has leather seats, 6 speakers, etc etc? And some designers do make beautiful clothes, but how many people actually thought Burberry plaid was pretty before it was popular?


LAMoneyGuy said...

Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Is there a bell I can ring somewhere? It's all about the negative side that the taboo of talking about money has led to. We want people to think we are doing well, but can't show them our income tax return, so we buy expensive crap.

It's not to control anyone, or take away choice, it's simply to remove the incentive to buy expensive crap, because you already know that you're not fooling anybody.

Kira said...

Is it sad that I get really excited when there is somebody (like my aunt the financial planner) who can actually appreciate the worth of just having your moolah in a retirement account, and not criticize me for not owning a car??

Part of the whole "Millionaire Next Door" thing is not giving a crap about what other people think. Because then we don't have to buy things to influence their impressions of us. And really, most of the people who look well off aren't, and a lot of the people who are well off look comparatively poor.