Got Status? Or The Ridiculous Idea Of It

I work in a very affluent area. Everyone who is anyone drives a REALLY nice car. You can find your Range Rovers, Panamera, BMW 5/7 series or Mercedes on any given corner.  Heck, I use to be part of the group too – I had a G35.  But ever since we started downgrading and getting right with our money I’ve kind of felt out of place.

Last week while on the way to pick up one of my charges from school, I happened to pass one of these really nice cars. It actually happened to be a Mercedes E 350. Yes, I’m a girl that knows her cars. It was really pretty, white, definitely something I would drive myself.

As I drove past, I began to wonder –  “what’s the point in having a car like that?” Is it a status symbol? Is it just to prove to people that you have money? What is the purpose of having a Mercedes E350 or any luxury car for that matter?

So I began to look back at myself when I had my Infiniti G35.  One of the main reasons I got it was for the speed. I LOVE fast cars. But I also think subconsciously it represented some form of status symbol – that I had made it in some way.  Granted, I did not have the money that some of these people have around here, but I felt like within my peer group that I was doing pretty well.

I was having a conversation with my older charge just the other day about this very topic.  She said that she didn’t like my Civic – and that she missed my old car (the Camry). When I asked her why – she said, “It’s not as nice as your other cars.”  I said, “Well, really what is a car for? Does it get us to where we need to go?” And she said, “Yes.” I said, “Do you think it’s serving its purpose?” And she kind of laughed and she said, “Yeah.”

I’m questioning why we feel as adults we have to have certain things, (ie. an expensive car or an expensive house in the hills, or whatever you hold to mean status.) And am wondering what your thoughts are about all of this.

I think back to a meeting I attended a few months ago where the speaker asked us something very similar to my question. His question was this – “would a Honda civic not do the same as BMW?” At the time, I could not see what he was really trying to get us to understand. But now, his point rings very clear in my mind. Why pay double or even triple for something that you can get for much less and will last you just as long if not longer?

Anyway, I just wonder why status is much more important to us than reasonable sense. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how important status is to you? And if it isn’t, why isn’t it?

Help me out here people, what is status really all about… I am eagerly awaiting your thoughts.

About Natalie

I'm a newly married, 30 something year old nanny who is looking to make her big break in this world. I started my entrepreneurial journey almost 10 years ago when I graduated university because I believed that there HAD to be something better than working for others. My first business was newborn care services which I still run today. Connect with me onTwitter andFacebook

Comments

  1. Now you knew I was going to have to comment on this one didn’t you? To me status is nothing more than trying to show off to impress other people. Now do I think anything is wrong with buying top of the line stuff if you can afford it? No not all. I personally think it’s crazy to go broke trying to impress other people. For all you know the people you are trying to impress may be just as broke as you are. *steps off of soapbox*

    • Preach it. DeAnna! It just makes no sense to try to impress others if it going to put you in the poor house. That’s just insane

  2. Jessica says:

    A friend and I had this very conversation today as we passed a Ferrari dealership. I have found that people who just HAVE to have the best car or biggest house nearly kill themselves (or their family relationships) working, working, and working to pay for it all. I just don’t see how it’s worth it.

    • It really isn’t! Working in its own right is just crazy but to work to keep up with the Jones is even more insane.

  3. “People spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”
    -Will Rogers

    That should sum it up ;-)

  4. Great post. I was raised in a similar world where what you drive affects your status.. However that perspective changed for me after listening to “The Millionaire Next Door” where statistically they found that many millionaires actually drive used (and never buy new) cars. Now, whenever I see an older car in front of a house or out of place in a neighborhood, I always say “for all we know, they’re the true millionaires.” Makes me feel much better about my 2004 SUV with 185,000 miles on it!! :) I

    • What I would give to be finished with car payment, Taryn! I’d say your pretty darn lucky to have a vehicle that you like AND is paid for. I’m glad you mentioned “The Millionaire Next Door”. I have wanted to read that book for a long while now. I guess I should grab myself a “used” copy ..huh?

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