We know about body dysmorphia prevalent in the gay community. We probably have a higher rate of steroid use than the Russian athletics team. However, are we also fooling ourselves with financial dysmorphia? Thinking that we are rich and successful even though we are often on the verge of financial ruin. Abusing credit cards to live beyond our means? Go beyond expectations to keep up with the Gay Joneses? Does anything here sound familiar?
I remember going on a first date with a guy who literally said, “I’m successful – I have a rental Jeep Grand Cherokee.” To be fair, it was a long time ago, and the Jeep had lost some of its luxury luster, and there were probably 22 or 23 of us. Let’s just say we didn’t have a second date; our feelings about material things did not match. I wish him the best; I think he’s become one of the best submarine weavers in the county. The thing is, I don’t think renting a nice car is the pinnacle of the GAY American Dream. We are so much more fabulous than that.
Many members of the LGBT community seem to have disposable income trickling from their ears. We spend like cash, and our Instagram feeds are filled with photos taken with our glamorous friends, in exotic locations or maybe just a beautiful beach in Miami, showcasing perfectly tanned and worked bodies. This ease of money and this positive reinforcement to worship the material possessions that we accumulate can lead many homosexuals to have a little dysmorphism when it comes to the health (or more correctly the beauty) of our finances. Of course, in this case, we consider our finances to be in much better shape than they actually are.
Many Gay Men Are Fiscally Fabulous
To be fair, many members of the gay community are fiscally fabulous. Capitalize on the financial benefit that comes from being a dual income, no kids. In reality, gay married couples make more money than straight married couples, on average. You can travel the world, dress well, eat healthy food, and save for gay financial freedom. Smart financial moves can mean more money for the things that matter most to you.
Many Gay Men Are Fiscally Fabulous
As I write this, I imagine an Abercrombie model looking like jumping on the beach oblivious to the world. Spending freely, racking up credit card bills that can haunt them for years. The same dysmorphia often affects homosexuals at any age, the goals simply change. For some, it may be where they sit in the theater, or the wine they drink, the labels they wear, or the country club they belong to. I will fully manage to like a good photo with a celebrity.
Do Americans get better with money?
According to the survey of Wealth management, 76% of respondents give themselves “high” ratings for their financial knowledge. Many members of the gay community are well educated, and I think with that in mind, many would probably have checked the option that was better than “high” and smart with money. A large majority of us think we are better than average with money. Just my two cents.
Related: 6 smart money moves for LGBT+ couples
I am a financial planner for a living (full time) and still need to work with specialists when specific issues arise. There’s just too much to know to be up to date on everything out there. It is not possible for one person to handle all areas of personal finance, from investments to taxes, legal matters and even real estate decisions. I work with my clients, CPAs and estate planning attorneys to ensure they stay on track to achieve their various financial goals.
There’s a reason doctors specialize in certain areas of medicine, do you really want the same person who treats your annual cold to perform your open-heart surgery? I hope not. Doctors have specialties, so they may be the best in a few specific areas of medicine. Could a brain surgeon treat your nose nail? I’m sure they could, but they won’t, they do brain surgery. You probably have what you do best, and for the most part, whether you’re gay or straight, that isn’t about making the best financial choices over time.
As we celebrate Pride Month, take some time out and show your gay financial plan some love. Wherever you are today, there is still room for improvement. Then you can get back to enjoying life and making smart money moves along the way. If you need a little more accountability to achieve queer financial freedom faster and easier, consider working with a gay financial planner to guide you.
Make 2019 the year you take Pride in your gay financial well-being.