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Old 08-31-2007, 08:22 AM
Location: Atlanta, GA
48 posts, read 168,557 times
Reputation: 36


I don't know if this is the right forum for something like this but here goes........I have been living in Atlanta for 4 years now. So far I really like the weather, the people, the culture, etc, basically I all around like the area. One thing I have noticed though is that there are so many people here that are lets say, house poor, car poor, or clothes poor. I call them fake millionaires. For instance, I'm middle class & make a pretty decent living, but I don't drive a Jaguar or Mercedes & don't live in a $200k+ house, I KNOW I can't afford it!! I have a 3 yr old economical car & live in a 2 bedroom apt & I dress nice, but most of my clothes I buy at discount retailers or outlet stores..& they are usually name brand items. I realize one day I will own a home, so I'm in the process of saving for that.

Anyway heres the deal. There are people that I work with & have met here, who are single like myself, make basically the same salary, who drive luxury cars, shop at Phipps Plaza every weekend, & eat at restaurants priced like Ruths Chris or Oceanaire or higher at least twice a month. When they go out partying they only go VIP. Their WHOLE paycheck goes on this stuff + their mortgage, & then they overdraft between paychecks. Then start complaining, "I can't wait until my paycheck comes so I can get my lights turned back on." I kind of get looked at weird when I say I make a budget every month & stick to it. I also kind of get looked down on by some women because I'm not trying to go out and buy the latest coach or prada bag or whatever. Same for guys too with other stuff.

I am not frugal or cheap by any means. I just live within my budget, pay my bills on time, & when I really want something I save up for it then I buy it. Why is Atlanta like this? I mean, I have never seen so many people that are fake millionaires & one paycheck out of homelessness in my life! Why do people want to live like that? Thats just one bad observation I have of the people here in Atlanta, I still like living here, but I'm just intrigued by all the "fake millionaires" here. LOL!!!
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:37 AM
Location: 42°22'55.2"N 71°24'46.8"W
4,845 posts, read 10,933,829 times
Reputation: 2933
I was talking to my roomate about this one time in college (who was Black). He says it's because Atlanta has a large African American population and they tend to be flashy. Simple enough answer, but I'm sure the answer is more deep-rooted than that.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:39 AM
Location: ga
985 posts, read 5,525,464 times
Reputation: 492
It is not Atlanta unique issue. I used to live in Dallas and it is same thing or worse over there (People I hang out with all have BMW or some expensive European cars and I only have a Honda). Same thing can be said in LA, Boston, DC and other big cities. I think that if you live in any big city, you got young people who want to feel like successful.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:49 AM
Location: New Orleans, LA
595 posts, read 2,243,708 times
Reputation: 193
Another reason Atlanta turned me off over time.

It's all about showing the bling and rubbing everyone's noses in it.

And there is a reason consumer spending (and debt) is a timebomb in this nation.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:57 AM
387 posts, read 1,515,850 times
Reputation: 113
Read any of my posts and you'll see it's not just you who feels this way. The minute I moved here from Florida I saw this, especially with the young people, but also with people older than myself. I think it's completely ridiculous and petty. Never in my life have I met so many people who feel entitled to material things. I've never been to Dallas, but I get the feeling it's similar there.

For whatever reason, it's REALLY bad in Atlanta. Growing up in Florida and going to college there, I did meet people who actually came from money, and they STILL weren't like the people I meet here. It's one of the reasons I kept that stupid Buckhead Betty thread alive. It's people like that who only make a combined 150k a year and expect to live in an 800k house in town... and expect their parents to finance it.

It's definitely not just an African American thing.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:03 AM
96 posts, read 386,521 times
Reputation: 53

Agreed whole hearteldy, I am in the same boat. I don't know how they do it. My only guess is that they probably have several visa cards, mastercards and discover cards. And lot's of debt.

See the thread regarding Atlanta's forclosure rate. They can only get so far.

But for girls under 30...if you are in a bind, selling your eggs is pretty easy. I was stunned to find out that a friend of mine has done it THREE times.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:06 AM
Location: FL to GA back to FL
894 posts, read 4,177,882 times
Reputation: 441
Kuddos to Miss_Christmas for your dedication to sticking to your budget and actually working towards your goal. If more people were like you, perhaps the economy would be in better shape.

Moving from Fl to GA, we could have afforded a $400+ house and decided we did not want to go that route. I wanna have the extra money to dine, to decorate, to put away more for retirement. I don't understand how people have these beautiful big homes, but at the end of day, come home to an empty big home because they have no money to decorate.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:26 AM
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,123 posts, read 6,232,198 times
Reputation: 562
I will definitely agree this is bad in ATL, but not near as bad as LA or Chicago (the latter, for some reason, I have found to be really bad with regard to showing off what a high roller you are).

My wife and I are both professionals making almost identical salaries near (not quite) 3 figures each and live very modestly as well. We bought a crappy fixer upper in a nice area, I drive a 2000 Integra and she has a 2001 4-Runner and that's as extended as I want to be! Thank God too, as we have had to pay double mortgages for 4 months now as we try to unload our old house. The problem with these fake millionaires is that if ANYTHING random pops up in their lives, they are totally screwed (unless they have parents to bail them out). It's quite sad - the expensive car thing is something I have never understood - cars are the worst investments in the world. Right across the street from our humble fixer upper (which cost near $400k as it was!) is a development full of $800k+ homes and every one has a Merc or Beemer (or two) sitting in their 3 car garages and these people are at most 5 years older than us! I'm blown away. Expect a lot of these people to totally lose thier shirts in the next year or two as this horrible housing market reduces their paper profits to nothing, as all that equity they've been borrowing against disappears.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:44 AM
Location: New Orleans, LA
595 posts, read 2,243,708 times
Reputation: 193
I currently live in New Orleans. When I worked in Atlanta I noticed 95% of all cars were Lexus, Acura, BMW or Benz. And I know most people do not make enough money to purchase the amount of $45k+ cars I saw.
Many people who lease cars they otherwise could not afford to buy, get into interest only loans on large houses (built like crap).

It makes me fear if there was a larger economic downtown, Atlanta would be the biggest urban sprawl of blight ever seen in modern America.

Plus it's all very every person for themselves. No sense of community, no one wants transit because they fear bad people coming into their neighborhoods. I found Atlanta a very negative place to be because everything is all very stacked on huge debt and everyone trying to outdo each other.

Makes me sad too because Atlanta is my birthplace.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:48 AM
387 posts, read 1,515,850 times
Reputation: 113
Let me rephrase. Perhaps for the blacks in Atlanta it's one thing... for a lot of the whites, it's like they're trying to live in the Old South where people DID have lots of money. It's laughable. Both whites and blacks are still living way beyond their means, trying to outdo/keep-up with one another... being materialistic.
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