We're all victims in the race to gain more status. Society pressures us to have a bigger house, a nicer car and more toys. If your rush to gain status starts with buying stuff, however, you might want to rethink your strategy.
Photo by part 3.
As personal finance site Done by Forty explains, buying status symbols is rarely correlated with an actual increase in status. You can look like you're better off, but in reality you're making your financial situation worse without improving your life much. Especially if those purchases put you in debt.
With purchases made possible by debt, many of us are engaging in a sort of deception. When we spend more than we make, and go into debt in the process, we give the impression that we have more disposable income than we do. As a country, we're buying more than we can afford in order to, ironically, convince each other that we can easily afford all this stuff.
Of course, you can spend your money on whatever makes you happy. However, if it's status you're after, you'll get better returns by learning a new skill, improving your career, or investing in your family. The kind of status you can buy is fleeting, but the kind that comes from hard work and investing time in those around you is a lot harder to come by.