+
upworthy
Pop Culture

Woman flawlessly breaks down how luxury bags—and other designer brands—keep people 'poor'

"They're targeting the people who want to look rich—middle and lower class folks who don't have a lot of money or savings. That is the bread and butter of designer brands."

fast fashion, hermes, gucci, birkin bag
Cara Nicole/Youtube

Not worth it.

It feels safe to say that we are all hoping to be more mindful about how we spend our money these days, whether it’s to be kinder to the environment, align better with our values, improve our finances or simply exercise free will against the siren call of consumerism.

That’s why this video essay created by Cara Nicole (who gives all kinds of financials and sustainability education on her Youtube channel) feels so timely.

In just under twenty minutes, Nicole astutely breaks down how luxury brands like Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Rolex create the fake illusion of wealth through “manufactured exclusivity” and getting free marketing from celebrities and influencers—who often don’t even pay for the products themselves. Meanwhile, most real rich people wouldn’t be caught dead in the flashy brands, and in reality consider them "overrated." But still, the illusion persists. Because advertising.


And thus, people are trapped in a cycle of buying “cheat codes” in hopes of improving their status. This not only creates a culture of wastefulness—which does our already taxed planet no favors—it also causes folks to lose out on the opportunity to create actual wealth for themselves.

In other words, designer brands will keep you poor.

Nicole did acknowledge that for some, having luxury items brings joy, which holds its own intrinsic value. However, she noted that what is spent on a luxury item could just as easily go into an investment fund, which would pay back more over time, and as a result, allow someone to spend less time working.

Considering the recent uptick of interest in work/life balance, it feels safe to assume that many folks would choose quality time over something material, considering one of these things is virtually a non-renewable resource.

Really, it all comes down to awareness. As Nicole concluded in her video, “Money is time…I think it’s always a good idea to reflect on how we are spending both of them.”

Watch below—every minute is filled with gems. You can follow along on even more finance videos on Nicole's Youtube channel here

Democracy

This Map Reveals The True Value Of $100 In Each State

Your purchasing power can swing by 30% from state to state.

Image by Tax Foundation.

Map represents the value of 100 dollars.

As the cost of living in large cities continues to rise, more and more people are realizing that the value of a dollar in the United States is a very relative concept. For decades, cost of living indices have sought to address and benchmark the inconsistencies in what money will buy, but they are often so specific as to prevent a holistic picture or the ability to "browse" the data based on geographic location.

The Tax Foundation addressed many of these shortcomings using the most recent (2015) Bureau of Economic Analysis data to provide a familiar map of the United States overlaid with the relative value of what $100 is "worth" in each state. Granted, going state-by-state still introduces a fair amount of "smoothing" into the process — $100 will go farther in Los Angeles than in Fresno, for instance — but it does provide insight into where the value lies.

Keep ReadingShow less

Two women enjoy a tasty early dinner.

Eating an early dinner has always been a stereotype associated with older, retired people who don't have to worry about work schedules and traffic. Plus, older people tend to have an early-to-bed, early-to-rise schedule and are more concerned about thoroughly digesting their meals before hitting the hay.

But an unexpected change in the great American culture means that older people and Gen Zers are more likely to fight each other for a 5 p.m. reservation at their local diner. A recent story in The Wall Street Journal shows that an increasing number of Americans are going out to dinner earlier.

Keep ReadingShow less

When people move in and refuse to move out, what do you do?

Squatters' rights laws are some of the most bizarrely misused legal realities we have, and something no one seems to have a good answer for. Most of us have heard stories of someone moving into a vacant home and just living there, without anyone's permission and without paying rent, and somehow this is a legal question mark until the courts sort it out.

According to The National Desk, squatters' rights are a carryover from British property law and were created to ensure that abandoned property could be used and to protect occupants from being kicked out without proper notice. It should go without saying that squatter law isn't meant to allow someone to just take over someone else's property, but sometimes that's exactly what happens.

It's what happend to Flash Shelton's mother when she put her house up for rent after her husband passed away. A woman contacted her with interest in the property, only she wanted to do repairs and look after the home instead of paying rent. Before anyone knew it, she had furniture delivered (which she later said was accidental) and set up camp, despite Shelton's mom not agreeing to the arrangement.

Keep ReadingShow less
Sunflower Farm Creamery/Youtube

This is almost too cute for words.

Look, you’re busy. You’ve got stuff that needs to be done today. Do you really have time to watch tiny baby goats jump in slow motion? Will that really add anything of value to your life?

Actually, the answer is yes. Because watching tiny baby goats jump in slow motion is not only exceedingly entertaining, it’s actually a simple life lesson in disguise.

These little guys hail from Sunflower Farm Creamery in Maine, where 60 (yes, 60) goats are born each year. Sunflower Farm promises that even if you didn’t love goats before, you will after watching videos from its Youtube channel showing the wee babes run, play, hop and snuggle. I mean, there’s another video showing the goats in pajamas…what’s not to love?
Keep ReadingShow less

Miss Smith has some thoughts about water bottles in school.

Americans' attitudes about water have changed over the past 30 years. In the past, a common phrase on the athletic field was, “Don’t drink too much water, you’ll get a cramp,” and the only people with water bottles were hippies.

Now, people everywhere walk around with large water bottles, sometimes up to 64oz, attached to themselves like purses. It’s like people leave the house with the sincere belief that they will not be able to find potable water for the next 3 weeks.

The hydration craze has also meant that water bottles have become trendy status symbols and markers of personal identity. Are you more of a Yeti person or a Stanley?

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

People admit the one thing that Boomers really got right and some folks are uncomfortable

"You have to force yourself to do things that are difficult and uncomfortable."

A Baby Boomer has some thoughts on emotional resilience.

An overarching Baby Boomer stereotype is that they have a problem with the younger generations, especially Millennials because they were coddled growing up and lack the determination to do hard things.

Many believe that when helicopter parents shelter kids from discomfort, they never develop the emotional resilience that it takes to succeed on their own.

Some may even attribute this to the increase in mental illness.

Keep ReadingShow less