Save. Spend. Splurge.

Stop pretending to be poor when you are not

I am not talking about people who literally do not have money, but I am observing this ridiculous charade playing out online of people who have money, pretending they do not, and acting as if they need to scrimp and save on groceries to clip coupons for $0.05 per box of pasta.

If you want to do it because you are just someone who enjoys couponing and getting a deal, that is a DIFFERENT story altogether from someone who is doing it as part of their influencer strategy or stance; essentially trying to pretend that they too, with their hundreds of thousands or couple million, are JUST LIKE YOU, struggling to make ends meet on a minimum wage of $30,000 a year.

They are offering you disingenuous advice, by telling you that you can absolutely save $10,000 on groceries a year, and take that money to invest it, then become a millionaire in 10+ years. I am fairly certain on an income of $30,000, you are not spending remotely close to $10,000 on groceries a year, to be able to simply “cut the fat” to the tune of $10,000 a year is ridiculous.

It just really irks me when people pretend to be poor just for the sake of their following so that they do not seem like they are out of touch.


If you are reaching a level where you are out of touch, there is not much you can do to hide that without seeming like you are participating in false poverty (there is a cruder name out there for it but I am saying false poverty instead). You are already out of touch, but you are not out of touch to people who are in the next bracket who may need your experiences on how you handle that.

You can instead, talk about how you do not need to worry about money because you have reached a certain threshold of security in your life, and talk about your actual, real journey to get there. Your experience, tips and tricks; instead of talking about ‘cutting the fat’. You can talk about how you use your money wisely even at higher levels.

In fact, a lot of the advice out there focuses around cutting on expenses when really, it should be focusing on how you can get a better job, upskill, go back and get another education, and change your finances like that. Instead, less people talk about upskilling and negotiating, than they do about cutting on groceries by buying day-old bread to save a few bucks.

A lot of these fake poverty influencers, also do not talk about their actual experiences, and hide or neglect to mention the fact that they received a hell of a lot of help from others. So they pretend to look and act poor when in fact, they are safe in the knowledge that they can ALWAYS call their parents for help, or that they are CHOOSING to buy day-old food or whatever it is, rather than being FORCED to out of necessity.


It is a fact of life, really.. that when you start to make more money, it is NATURAL to want to upgrade your life. It is NATURAL to want to relax your spending reins a little, and when people try to pretend like more money to make you comfortable and secure, does not change how they spend, it disgusts me. You would not spend the same way you did, earning $30,000 as you would if you earned $300,000. You may not talk about it but you certainly have changed. You would buy or rent in a better, safer neighbourhood. You would decide to not forego a meal just to save a few dollars or to stretch it by adding water or rice. You would be able to fly to help a relative, or go to a wedding because you have the funds to do so, rather than feel helpless and stuck in a city where you cannot afford to take time off your job, let alone pay for the ticket to get there.

It is one thing to tell yourself you are poor, so that you keep saving and investing as much as you can, but absolutely NO ONE wins prizes for being or acting like the poorest person (something I see often as a mindset in today’s financial bloggers), and you are ABSOLUTELY NOT a better person for spending the least amount of money possible. There is NO VIRTUE in being or acting as poor as you can when you have the means to not have to do so, or a safe, comfortable cushion to fall back on. That’s just rude.

It is in line with shaming people or making them self-flagellate for having a bit of fun or luxury in their lives when they are in debt or are low-income. Equally as disgusting.

Anyway, just a small rant. It irks me to get bland, generic, oatmeal advice like – save on XYZ – instead of focusing on what else you can do to push yourself forward, especially when it doesn’t even apply to the ones dispensing the advice.


  • LAL

    Can you showcare my in laws who would cry poverty? But are far from it?

  • Jen

    THANK YOU! This behavior is widespread in the “personal finance” sphere and I hate it. It’s gross taking advantage of people who could use real advice and help.

    I started out years ago as a coupon/deal blogger and joined a local blogging group. There was one who was starting to become famous. What she told her readers and what she bragged about to fellow bloggers were two very different things. Publicly she would say she paid for her kids’ private school by saving money couponing. Privately she bragged about the affiliate link $$$ that more than covered tuition. Her husband at the time had an excellent six figures job and his family ran the private school, which probably helped. 🙃 She went on to sell classes, books, and became a TV “expert.” Just one example.

    When people are lied to and can’t live up to what others claim is easy, it keeps them in a doom loop. I couldn’t compete with the frauds, nor did I want to do that to people in need, nor am I particularly exciting, so I moved on from blogging.

    I respect the transparency and honesty you maintain here.

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