It’s said that of all the sins, pride is at the forefront. Hubris, vanity, and the obsession with oneself can actually lead to the other six sins in the Deadly Sin lineup. But how can pride keep you poor? What is its impact on your financial well-being, and you future? These seven examples are a warning to us all.
1. It Makes You Spend More on Brand Names
There are brand names, and there are generics. Brand names cost more because you’re paying for the marketing and advertising behind it, as well as the privilege of actually buying something with that label stuck to it. However, in most cases, brand names are almost identical to their generic counterparts. The only noticeable difference is the price tag. But some people are too proud to ever opt for the generic version.
The shame of having someone come over for dinner, only to see a loaf of generic bread, or a bottle of generic hot sauce can be enough to get people to spend money they don’t have just for the brand name. To some, it’s another way of saying, “I’m too poor to afford the brand name stuff.” Well, who says you are? Wanting to spend money frugally is not the same as having no money to spend. It’s just that you care what you spend your money on, and want as much bang for your buck as possible. Some millionaires and even billionaires will still insist on buying generics simply because of the principal that they don’t want to spend one cent more than they have to. And that, after all, is how they became rich in the first place.
2. It Gets You Into Considerable Debt
There are some people who are known as “car poor.” They drive around in huge, expensive cars that have the latest gadgets, spinning rims, and neon undercarriage lighting. But when they get home, it’s to a house with very little furniture and no food in the fridge. They’re car poor because they spend way too much of their budget on a vehicle, and all because they want to be proud of their ride. They wouldn’t dream of cutting that payment in half by driving a used car with no modern conveniences.
Other people suffer the same problems with fashion, or technology. They may be house poor, choosing to live in a place with a crippling mortgage payment, because they simply cannot swallow their pride and lower their standard of living. Pride, in cases like this, can lead to bankruptcy. Isn’t it better to sort the problem out before it gets to that point? Surely, if pride is an issue, filing for bankruptcy is a bigger hit to your ego than anything else.
Read More: 4 Ways Your Brain Tricks You Into Spending
3. It Stops You Getting Bargains From Thrift Stores
“I would never get my clothes and kitchen items from a thrift store. I am way above that.” I actually heard someone say that when I told them about a killer jacket I got from The Salvation Army. And it’s a rotten attitude to have. Thrift stores are not just for people who are really down on their luck. Everyone can, and should, shop at stores selling used goods. The simple reason is that they’re way cheaper, and most of the time last as long as a brand new item anyway.
You can buy brand name items for a fraction of the price, and pick up electronics and appliances for pennies on the dollar. What’s more, no one ever has to know where you bought the items from, unless you decide to tell them. So if pride is the only thing stopping you from opening the door to a thrift store, it’s time to swallow it.
4. It Prevents You Receiving Financial Help
Some people are so proud, they will never accept a handout. Whether from friends, family, or the government, they would rather struggle than admit that they need charity. That is just not a good way to look at life. Government programs exist to help people in their time of need, and these safety nets can be an essential way for some people to get back on their feet. From unemployment benefits, to food stamps, and grants — the money is there for you.
Admittedly, some people (very few people) abuse the system. For them, it may be greed and sloth combined that is their downfall. But for everyone else, and especially those too proud to admit that they need help, remember why that help is there. Our society is one that is set-up to make sure people don’t fall through the cracks and become another terrible statistic. It doesn’t always work, but when financial help is offered, pride should not be a reason to turn it down. You can work hard to pay that back at a later date, and maybe then you’ll be in a position to help someone else who desperately needs it.
5. It Enables You to Keep Making the Same Financial Mistakes
There’s an expression most of us know all too well, “they’re just throwing good money after bad.” This is a prime example of pride affecting the way someone handles his or her finances. For example, when it comes to investing money, that person may have lost a fortune over the years on a business that keeps on tanking. And yet, despite the best advice, they continue to pour money down a bottomless hole. They’re just too proud to admit that they made a mistake, and have a very bad investment.
Doing something over and over again at considerable cost, because you’re too proud to admit any kind of poor judgment, is pride messing with your head. Whether you’re throwing money at the same problem, the same way, or refusing to admit the problems with your budgeting, you’re only hurting yourself. It’s also a problem some gamblers have, covering losses with more money, and making bigger bets that lead to ruin. It’s okay to step back, reevaluate and say, “No, this isn’t working, it’s time to pull the plug.” Sadly, it’s a lesson some people only learn when they’re broke.
6. It Keeps You From Learning How to Manage Your Money
Pride can be a real barrier to knowledge. After all, who would want to admit that they don’t know about the ins and outs of a 401K, IRA, or balancing a budget at the age of 40? Better to just keep guessing, making mistakes, and losing money than admit you need help, right? Well, of course not. Whatever age you are, be it 16 or 66, it’s never too late to learn about handling your money. There are courses, online seminars, books, financial advisers, and a whole host of other options available.
There is no shame in admitting you need help with managing your money. In fact, it’s something you should embrace, and quickly. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to financial matters, and the more you know, the greater your success with money will be. So what if you feel a bit silly asking seemingly obvious questions. You are probably making way more of it than the person you’re asking, and they will always be happy to help. Learn about investing. Learn about stocks and bonds. Learn about interest rates and tax plans. It’s all leading to a better financial future. (See also: 5 Debt Management Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask)
Read More: 6 Ways Envy Is Keeping You Poor
7. It Makes You Pay for Things You Don’t Need
A friend of mine was having some issues with his car, and so he took it into a local garage to have the problem checked out. The mechanic came back with a whole host of problems, and a list of work and parts that were needed. The bill came to over $2,000. When I asked him why he didn’t ask for a second opinion, he said he didn’t want to look foolish asking for his car back. He also didn’t want the mechanic to think he couldn’t afford it.
My response to both issues was… who cares? It’s a mechanic, his or her opinion of you is not your concern. But what you spend your money on, and potentially overpaying for, that’s a big concern. As it turns out, after reviewing the invoice, some of the work performed was definitely unnecessary and overpriced (it’s good to have a mechanic in the family to ask about such things). If my friend had simply driven away and asked someone else, he would have saved over $800. But pride got in the way.
Whether it’s work that needs done on a car, your home, an appliance, or anything else, never ever be afraid to walk away. That also applies to buying something new as well. Don’t let pride force you into paying for something you really don’t want. Saving face can actually cost you an awful lot of money. Remember, when in doubt, walk out.