Money, Material Things and Status

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Wed, Aug 19 - 5:25 pm EDT | 5 years ago by
Comments: 12
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A couple of months ago, I won a pair of Oliver Peoples sunglasses. (I am a fan of Burn Notice, but I didn’t realize, until I started looking up these sunglasses online to see how much I could sell them for, that these are the shades similar to what Fiona wears.) SO, here I am researching these sunglasses. And I find that they retail for around $314, and that you can pick them up on eBay for about $250. I tried to sell them for $200, but it didn’t work out. So I started wearing them.

Oliver Peoples SunglassesNow, I’m pretty sure I look fairly silly wearing this particular accessory. But that doesn’t change the fact I feel strangely awesome in them. I’ve never had anything trendy before, and — as my sister-in-law pointed out — I kinda like it. I would never spend that much for sunglasses, but that doesn’t mean that when I get a free pair I’m not enjoying the feeling of wearing $300 shades. Which has me thinking again about material things and status.

Buying things and how we feel about ourselves

Often we spend money on things for status reasons. We want to keep up with the neighbors, or we want to show off for other purposes. Or we think we deserve something. The idea of deserving things is part of the reason we’re a nation that is in such severe debt. Materialism and consumerism tend to result in buying things we don’t need and maybe can’t really afford. (If you have to buy it with debt, you can’t afford it.)

I like to think that I’m not a materialistic person. I don’t particularly care if I have a TV that’s as big as the one down the street, and it doesn’t bother me to drive around town in a 7-year-old Saturn wagon. But sometimes I’m still tempted to define myself in some small way by my possessions. My husband says I have a whole new attitude when I put on the Oliver Peoples shades. So, I guess just knowing that I’ve got something expensive and trendy does have an effect. Hopefully, I won’t let that influence me to spend crazy amounts of money on things I don’t need.

Do you have a possession that defines you in some way?

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  • http://www.treesfullofmoney.com Trees Full of Money

    You look Fawbulous darling, simply fawbulous!! Nice score!

  • Pingback: Money, Material Things and Status : Yielding Wealth - Personal … | Money Blog : 10 Dollars : Money Articles.

  • http://www.obliviousinvestor.com Mike Piper

    Well, they are pretty cool…

    I can relate to what you’re saying here. I used to be a total fashion junkie in college. Spent waaay too much money on clothes. (I was lucky that I had a sales job that paid well, so I didn’t end up going into debt, but I still spent entirely too much.)

    It really does give you a bit of a boost. There’s a reason people get spending addictions.

  • http://www.biblemoneymatters.com Bible Money Matters

    I know what you mean when you say you feel different when you have something new or expensive. I’ve never had a pair of $300 sunglasses (which look great on you by the way), but I have bought a new suit that cost several hundred dollars years ago, and I can remember how wearing that new expensive suit made me feel a bit different. More important, more powerful, more worthwhile. Problem is it’s a fleeting feeling that you have to buy other new things to continue or replace. Obviously not where you want to be looking for a long term sense of self worth or happiness. :)

  • http://www.greenandchic.com/blog Carla

    When I buy items: clothes, cars, etc, I buy them for myself. If I spend $20 or five to ten times that amount on a pair of sunglasses or shoes, I dont feel differently in the eyes of other people. For me, its the quality and aesthetics not the label or “status” that counts.

    Its a little annoying when someone looks at our car another item I have and assume its a status symbol. I guess that’s probably how they feel about it.

    You look GREAT in those glasses!

  • http://www.thebizoflife.blogspot.com/ The Biz of Life

    Seeking happiness in things is always fleeting and short-lived, and just leads to the next urge to splurge. Knowledge, security, contentment and giving to others are more noble pursuits.

  • Pingback: Wealth: It’s All Relative : Yielding Wealth - Personal Finance Tips – Money Management Advice

  • Miranda Marquit

    Thanks! :)

  • Miranda Marquit

    I’ve never been much of a fashion junkie…but after wearing these sunglasses around, I can see why some people like it…

  • Miranda Marquit

    You’re right! It is far better to develop a sense of worth based on something other than money and material things. I like to think that I have, for the most part, but every now and again you find something that you feel inordinately proud of…

  • Miranda Marquit

    Thanks for sharing, Carla! I guess it’s all about your reasons for buying something. Some people buy things for the status, and others buy things because they want to. Hopefully, most people buy things because they want to, and not for someone else!

  • Miranda Marquit

    I agree. It’s all about finding contentment within yourself, and not from external things.