Is it just me, or do you also feel like other people have better lives than yours?
Based on their updates on social media, it seems like everyone is sporting new outfits, getting new blings, updating home decor, buying new toys, traveling to new places, enjoying nice food at fancy restaurants…
And your sad self wonders, why am I not doing as well as they are? What else do I need to do to bust my ass in order to afford those nice things in my life?
This article is all about guessing how and where other people get the money to afford their amazing-looking lifestyles. I’ve racked my brains thinking of all the possible ways. Here they are:
#1 – From the obvious sources of funds
- They earn a good income from their day jobs (whether salaried or self-employed)
- They earn side income(s) from second and third jobs
- They earn passive incomes through property rentals, websites, etc
- Received a big bonus from work
- From profits they made from various investments
No surprises here. Many of us work and invest our money. When I see someone living an amazing lifestyle, I immediately assume they get good incomes.
But not always. I have to remind myself that the money could come from other channels. For example, perhaps the only reason they could afford their lifestyles is because they have..
#2 – Their parents/family, who is supporting them financially
- They still get pocket money and allowances
- They live at home so they don’t have to pay rent or mortgage
- Maybe they get subsidies in the form of food/groceries, internet, petrol/transportation, childcare services, etc
Not shaming anyone, btw. Getting financial support – directly or indirectly – is common in our Asian society. Everything’s cool if everyone’s happy with the arrangement.
Sometimes I do wonder if I should move back home. If I do, I’ll save a lot of money – rent, utilities, groceries, internet – I can certainly use that money to travel more or buy more stuff. But it’ll cost me my freedom la.
Alright, moving on to other sources of funds..
#3 – From others (aka the money ain’t theirs)
- They stole the money (bad, obv)
- Received bribe money
- It’s from PTPTN
- Could be scholarship money
- They took a personal loan
- They’re made use of their credit card‘s credit limit
- It’s their partner’s/spouse’s money
- They have rich AND generous relatives
- They have rich AND generous friends
- They have a sugar mommy /daddy
- Festival money and/or treats – Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Christmas, etc
- Other people celebrating their life event – birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, pregnancy, etc
In this category are the people or organisations who may be funding some of these amazing-looking lifestyles. Except for festivals and life event celebrations, you never know if they actually fund their lifestyles through loose ethics, bad decisions or from their relationships with others.
Next possible source of funds is..
#6 – From a lucky financial windfall
- There’s a chance they won the lottery
- Or someone in their family passed away and they inherited some money
- Or they’re trust fund babies
- Won a contest
- Got lucky from trading (for people who do it on the side. For people doing it as main income, this falls under day job)
Except for winning a contest, I wouldn’t tell many people about luck-based financial windfalls – it would attract the wrong kind of attention, especially if it’s a big amount!
And last but not least, they could also get the funds..
#7 – From specific situations
- They are bloggers/Instagrammers who promote certain brands (whether paid or unpaid)
- They get the perks from work (especially all the traveling they get to do as part of their job!)
- Their startup got funded
- Just sold off an expensive personal belonging
- A friend/relative/acquaintance paid back borrowed money
- Refund money (from tax? From returned products/services?)
- They got those products/services at severely discounted prices
All of them are possibilities, no? You just never know!
#8 – They faked their amazing lifestyles
That huge stack of money? That flashy car? Those jewelry? All free, courtesy of Google Images.
I think I covered all, if not most of the sources of funds a person could possibly have. It came up to 32! When I started this list, I didn’t realise there would be this many possible sources!
(And I’m sure I missed out some possible sources, too. Comment if you know any more!)
Where do we go from here? A few thoughts..
Don’t be too quick to assume
I realised that I hated seeing all this humble-bragging, ‘look how well I’m doing financially’ posts because I assume their lives are better than mine.
Maybe yes. Maybe no.
I’m allowing social media to get to me
These negative feelings that I have – jealousy, envy of other people’s better-looking life – they’re all side effects from using social media, isn’t it?
I know even the most polished Instagram feeds are run by people who must have their bad days, too. I know everything’s curated. I know everyone shows only the best version of themselves online. Heck, I do this too.
Resisting ‘wants’ takes mental effort
Novelty is the spice of life, or so the saying goes. It’s human nature to never be content with what you have. You’ll always want to seek out new, exciting things.
I have to understand that it’s OK to want things I don’t need, on one condition – make these indulgences few and far between. I think this is the perfect middle ground between ‘treat yo self’ and ‘adulting’.
On one hand, what good is money if it can’t make me happy? On the other hand, I need to not give in to every single temptation that comes my way, for the sake of future me.
I have so many things I’m not happy with in my financial life, you have no idea. But here’s the thing – you don’t know this, only I do, because I hide it from everyone. I don’t want anyone to think I’m a loser.
Maybe its the same with everyone else. We all want to look good to others. We want other people to think we’re successful. That’s why we post only the nice parts of our lives, and rarely the bad, embarrassing parts.
How do we go about this? Two ways I can think of: (1) start posting more ‘real’, not-necessarily-nice stuff that happens to me. You know, the struggles. Or simply (2) Use less social media.
Sorry if this post seems kind of rambly. I tried hard to make sense of how I’m feeling, without resorting to shaming others over their spending pattern. But at the same time, I realise that what I feel is totally common, and it’s up to me to rise above the negativity.
Idk, does this post even makes sense to you? How does YOUR social media feed make you feel? Let me know in the comments section.