There’s no shame in being poor. Or at least, there shouldn’t be.

It is, after all, the state that the majority of humans live their lives in, usually through no fault of their own.

And yet we do so closely associate being financially poor with being a failure as a person. Which is probably why so many poor folks just decide to pretend they got money.

What screams "I’m poor but pretend I’m rich"? from AskReddit

Reddit’s got some examples of this strange phenomenon.

1. Just showing it

It’s generally good advice if you have a lot of money to keep your wealth secret or at least ambiguous else people try to take advantage of you.

Most wealthy people follow that rule, or they learn it pretty quickly.

So anyone trying to show wealth is either new to it or showing more than they have.

– Nirosat

2. The tracksuit don

I have a relatively poor friend who doesn’t have a tv or anything, but they go around in a several hundred pound tracksuit and wear fake diamond rings they bought on wish, which he tells people are real

– IrishPotato28

3. The $10 Cadillac

Use to work at a 7/11.

Once a month for a week this guy would come in with a rented green Cadillac and a very obvious prostitute on his arm.

Would flash a wad of money while in the store and make it VERY specific that he wants $10 on “THAT GREEN CADILLAC RIGHT THERE!” Co-worker told me he does it with his SSI check.

– ScreamingBaboon

4. The MLM babe

Women who post a bit too often about how great it is to be your own boss and be living a plush life and here are pictures of me by a pool wearing a sparkly swimsuit and you too can be rich, set your own hours, travel, and get to lounge by pools if only you sign up with this definitely-not-a-pyramid-scheme company.

Bonus points for having a glass of wine in the shot and forgetting to move the box it came in out of the shot, thus ruining the illusion that it was expensive wine.

– Eliott_of_Elsinore

5. The sad reality

As much as some of these examples are based on s**tty choices, there’s also the fact that the poorer people get, the less stake they have in any kind of future or long term thinking.

That’s not a critique of their intellect, it’s just their reality that they’re never going to be able to travel, own a home, any of the basic aspirations that used to be drilled into people as options if they worked hard.

So where I might see a big TV as something that’d be nice, but I don’t need one right now, they see that as being as good as life gets, watching bulls**t in increasingly higher definition, because poverty doesn’t have room for long term gratification.

– EndlesslyRotatingNed

6. The 80’s vibes

When my sister and I were little we would unplug the receiver of the phone, take it outside, and pretend to talk on it.

The hope was that someone would see us and think we had one of those new-fangled cordless phones and be jealous.

– rleash

7. Dubai, Felicia

For British people – holidays to Dubai.

Often the same price as going to Spain but somehow seen as ‘flashy’ and aspirational despite being a miserable hole built on slavery


8. The shilling

Shilling online coaching on how to get rich. Usually business/trading/crypto stuff if you’re a man and MLM/manifestation stuff if you’re a woman.

Not that there aren’t people who get rich, through selling courses, not through the methods they’re teaching, but the market is oversaturated.

– Nemesinthe

9. Way out of whack priorities

Too many times I clean up after evictions and there is empty bottles of grey goose, Hennessy

Expensive clothes, shoes.

Many things that if they just bought cheaper stuff or nothing at all they would have been able to pay the rent.

– TJTurner912

10. Getting way too excited about having stuff

Posting literally everything you buy on your Instagram story.

No one really cares about how many gym pants, make up or other packages you bought.

It just always gave me the vibe of you’re not used to getting nice things so whenever you do, you post it everywhere.

Kinda has the opposite of the intended effect

– ocs_123

11. The bigger, the badder

Any clothing with big brand name lettering all over it.

The more expensive the brand and the bigger the lettering the more it shouts “I’m actually poor”.


– Kopites_Roar

12. The YOU show

People who post every single thing they do in their social media, like pretending they’re some kind of super famous models and everyone needs to be aware of what they do.

I don’t think it means “I’m poor” in an economic way but rather “I’m poor in my life and I need strangers to be interested in what I do in order to fill the emptiness in me”

– Mingura666

13. Can you tell?

Honestly it’s hard to tell sometimes. A lot of people here probably think that “real” rich people live in a modest house with a base Corolla/Camry with the beige interior, super cheap budget and live like they have no money… And to me I don’t want to be that guy but I feel like some people who vehemently say/comment this feels like just a confirmation bias to take up the moral high ground on other people who spend their money in more obvious ways.

I worked with CEO’s of airline companies, hedge fund managers, CEO’s of law firms and I can without a doubt I’d can tell you MANY rich people don’t live like broke college students and “modesty” is relative.

For me the pretending to be rich folks are people who window shop with no real intention of buying items at luxury stores to basically take pictures of themselves with luxury items/goods. People don’t like this but when you go to fancy stores like Louis Vuitton, a Mercedes dealership or Burberry the staff are VERY judgmental and I can tell you it’s not really about what you’re wearing that tips them off.

– deathaddict

14. The mismatch

Putting 5$ gas in your fancy a** car, I have seen a bunch of people drive cars they can’t afford while working at a gas station.

– Lachigan

15. Grills?

I had a guy with a grill in his mouth try to intimidate $20 out of me on the street the other day, so I’d say grills.

– backreddit

Sometimes *I* pretend to be rich by making two raman packets at once. Don’t hate, jealousy is a disease.

But what do you think about all this?

Give us your opinions in the comments.