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Rapper Nicki Minaj — worth an estimated $100 million — says rich people typically do NOT do this. Pros say if you stop doing it too, you could be a lot richer yourself.

Nicki Minaj’s advice on saving money

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Rapper and singer-songwriter Nicki Minaj — worth an estimated $100 million, according to — admits she wasn’t always so careful with her spending. ​​“My first year, before I even put out my first album, I bought my girlfriends a Benz, a BMW, and two Range Rovers,” she told Jada Pinkett-Smith in Interview Magazine’s Fall 2022 issue. “Thank god I did keep getting money, because I was spending kinda crazy at that time.” 

She has since learned to save: “I wish people understood, save your money,” she says — which is smart advice, especially now when many savings accounts are paying more than they have in a decade (see the best savings account rates you may get now here).

But she says one hiccup people face in saving is keeping up with the Joneses: “Every time people come to my house, they think they’re going to see 20 cars in the driveway, living la vida loca. No, no, no. I don’t have nobody to prove anything to,” she told the publication. “So that’s what I want our Black young people to know. Stop trying to impress people on Instagram because the people that really got it don’t do that.”

Why do we try to keep up with the Joneses?

But for too many of us, it’s easy to covet what we see on social media, so we asked pros, how do we stop spending dough we don’t have to keep up with the Joneses? At a very high level, “it often takes some courageous inner work to escape,” says financial therapist Richard Kahler, who notes that people who have money scripts that emphasize status may be compensating for a deep vulnerability that they may need to get to the bottom of. 

“There’s usually an underlying need that people are trying to meet and the way to break the cycle is to identify the need they’re trying to meet and then finding ways to authentically meet that need in a financially healthy fashion,” says certified financial planner Natasha Knox of people who feel the need to keep up and impress others. 

See the best savings account rates you may get now here.

How do we stop feeling the need to keep up?

To begin the process of sussing out why you may feel the need to keep up with the Joneses, financial therapist Mariah Hudler says it’s a good idea to challenge the “shoulds” that play over and over in your head. “Some common ‘shoulds’ are, ‘I work really hard so I should be able to spend my money’ or ‘I’m a rich celebrity so I should spend up’. That leads to ‘I make all this money and I don’t have anything to show for it’,” says Hudler. 

Keep this in mind too: Living within your means is also about protection. “You’re protecting yourself, your family and your friends against the disappointment and distress that comes with constantly living paycheck to paycheck. Living within means is actually about valuing your own needs and state of being,” says financial therapist Nathan Astle.

To be fair, this is not going to be an easy thing to overcome.  Not only can a phony lifestyle be exhausting, but social media is designed as a never ending stream of content, often with people who are constantly striving for the next best thing or shiny new object, notes certified financial planner and certified financial therapist Curtis Pope. “You’ll always feel like you’re on a hamster wheel of consumption and studies are showing that Covid has already increased anxiety and depression … and when we’re constantly seeking and showcasing an extravagant lifestyle, it becomes very difficult to find contentment in the ordinary,” says Pope. 

See the best savings account rates you may get now here.

Pope says within our lifetime, there was a time when we had no idea what kind of car a certain celebrity was driving or the type of handbags or watches famous people were wearing. “The proliferation of social media over the past decade has made us all acutely aware of what everyone else is driving, wearing or doing on vacation,” says Pope. With a constant view into the lifestyles and consumption habits of the so-called rich and famous, taking a break from social media might be just the antidote to feeling the constant need to keep up. 

Experts also say it’s important to remember that nothing is forever and with that mindset you’re more likely to try to live a more authentic lifestyle. “2022 has been the perfect example of why it’s so important to live within your means,” says Pope. 

It may be too that you need to hire a pro to help you. “Invest in financial professionals like therapists, coaches, behaviorists and fee-only planners. When you’re anchored and grounded, you’re in control and then anxiety is in control, you’re more likely to be reactive, impulsive and filled with discontent,” says Hudler.

Bottom line: Try to live wealthy, not rich, says Hudler. “There’s rich and there’s wealthy. Wealth takes time to build, it’s focused, reflective of our values and intentional. Being rich is the money that you make at any particular moment, it’s your thoughts, feelings and actions that you apply to your riches that determine whether you will be wealthy,” says Hudler.

The advice, recommendations or rankings expressed in this article are those of MarketWatch Picks, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by our commercial partners.


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