The hashtag #financetips or #financialtips is rarely helpful if you are seeking real life financial advice. More often than not, these hashtags lead you down a rabbit hole of shame and degradation. They are entirely ableist and rooted in social norms that are by no means universal.
The asks are quite simple. Beyond the simple shaming of poor people, these financial tips are all to often asking you to ignore your needs, the needs of your family and friends, and to engage in actions that leave you vulnerable and prone to anxiety, depression, and suicide. Yikes! Danger ahead.
If you want real financial advice, it might be best not to look at these toxic representations of tips and advice on how to accumulate wealth. The people sharing these types of advice are not wealthy and if they are they were born with wealth.
Wealth in today’s society tends to be intergenerational. Look at Taylor Swift. She is not a self-made woman. Look at the Kardashian/Jenner women. They have literally never done anything that resembles actual work. They do things, they remain rich, but what they are doing is not work. You can not compete with that. Period.
Does this mean you cannot attain some semblance of wealth? Of course not! You can accumulate wealth but it is going to take time. Lots and lots of time. And a good job, as though those are easy to come by in today’s economy. Hint: They are not. Again, that intergenerational wealth comes in to play.
We are living in the 2020s now and side hustles are the main hustle for a lot of people. How are you going to get rich if your side hustle is your main hustle and your main hustle is… oh I don’t know, lets say something that carries prestige: being a professor.
“Side-hustle” professoring is called adjuncting or being an adjunct professor. A single class is paid as though it is 20 hours of your time each week. Often, it is far more than that per class. Adjunct professors make anywhere from $930 to $7500 (this is the median range).
A university will always have an excuse not to pay you your value. For example if you are a lawyer, you don’t need the money from teaching; you’re doing it as a service to the legal community! The same could be said for cops working in criminology programs.
This leads us to lesson number one in financial advice: It is not about the money. Never let the money drive the decision. Ok, let it a little bit. The point is do not let the money be the focus. Another example, when asking for a raise you want to justify your importance to the organization but never actually talk about money.
These are the tricks of the wealthy. Evasive language, outright lying to get what you want. They are likely to say “It is not lying” and then go on to argue their words are chosen wisely, they are being polite or respectful.
This takes us back to the start of this article, when I talked about how many people offer financial tips but really those tips are just impressing shame on poor people.
Shall we look into some examples?
This nonsense here. If you are working the job pictured in this image (workers in tiny cubicles, presumably call center work), you are not building an empire with that second job. You are still working for survival with it.
What I am saying here is that financial tips are often affluent people telling other affluent people how they feel about poor people. They judge the poor for watching TV, preparing a home cooked meal, buying fast food, going to the movies, visiting a casino, getting a massage. Trust me: life is a lot easier when you have a maid to clean, a chef to prepare your food, and a driver to take you places.
This image reads: “Rent is an asset. Rent is not liability. Rent can actually be an asset, because you have no risk, you can walk out next month, you can leave anytime and you have total freedom and freedom is an asset. That’s what wealthy people get, they understand that.”
What the fuck kind of “rent” is this referring to? Clearly, this person has never rented an apartment. Landlords frequently steal most if not all of your deposit. You are required to give them 2 months rent, a security deposit, and maybe even pet rent/deposit, pay a cleaning fee, etc. Then you move in and have to clean whatever nasty the previous tenant left and your landlord didn’t clean up.
Maybe it is referring to Marx’s notion of rent? Where those that do the work (e.g. farming) are required to pay the owner of the means to do the work (e.g. land and tools) in the form of rent. In this case, sure I can pack up and go but then again, I’m not the one collecting the rent if I am the worker. If I am the owner, well yeah! That kind of makes sense!
It seems we have a circular line of argumentation from the #financetips crowd. They do not seem to know what they are talking about when it comes to building wealth because they never built wealth, they were born with it!
In conclusion, beware of financial advice on the internet. Shaming people for their social class is a time honored favorite of the affluent. New England has a certain stigma for a reason. This is where the most affluent in the United States live because it was the first colonized and accumulated its wealth from none other than slavery! Maybe you were distracted by the popular stigma that paints the South as backward and racist. They do manipulate us. They manipulate what we think and how we feel about things. If you’d like to gain more awareness of this process, reach out and let me know.