Afraid to look poor ?

Wanting to appear rich and being afraid to look poor may sound like the same thing, but they're not. One is racing to keep ahead of the Joneses, the other desperately trying to keep up. One is rooted in pride, the other in fear. And though neither behavior is particularly smart, the fear of seeming broke is its own special torment, fraught with shame, anxiety and intricate acts of financial self-deception.

Think that's not you? See if any of these ring a bell:

Does wearing cheap clothes make you queasy?
You don't mind getting a steal on designer duds but you shun secondhand stores, consignment shops and anything with the words "Old" or "Navy" in it. You would swear that everyone can smell it when you spend $9.99 on a shirt.

Are you embarrassed to use coupons?
You love the concept of saving money, and those two-for-ones are a little tempting, but you'd rather die than stand at the register while people watch (impatiently) as you hand over little pieces of clipped paper. It screams cheapskate.

Do you feel judged by your décor?
You may not have a dime in savings, but there's a good reason for that: Your living room looks like a Crate & Barrel ad. Credit card bills be damned, that "Monaco" living room makes you feel secure.

Did you buy your house, car, stereo or personal digital assistant to impress friends or family?
If the phrase "Wait till Bill/Sarah/Aunt Tildy sees this" crossed your mind, even for a hot second, you know the answer.

source: MP Dunleavey
msn money.

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