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Ask Dave

Avoiding Peer Pressure

Keri says her husband's friend is having a bachelor party, and it's going to cost $500 per person. Her husband doesn't want to tell his friends the truth about why he can't go. How should he handle it?

QUESTION: Keri in New Jersey from My Total Money Makeover says her husband’s friend is having a bachelor party, and it’s going to cost $500 per person. Her husband doesn’t want to tell his friends the truth about why he can’t go. How should he handle it?

ANSWER: The first thing I would do is just say, “Guys, I’m not able to come.” If they want to give him a hard time about it, then I’m going to tell them to quit being little boys—that I have to be a man. A man takes care of his family first and plays with the boys second. You don’t have the money to do it right now.

What this all comes down to is this, though. This is what you’ve got to remember. Here’s one big key to becoming wealthy in America today. You ready? You have to stop worrying about what other people think. As long as you’re concerned about what other people think, you’re going to be broke your whole freaking life because you’re going to buy cars to impress people you only meet at a stoplight. You’re going to buy clothing that is ridiculous all because you want somebody to know you’ve got that clothing. You’re going to move into a neighborhood—a house—you’re going to put your kids in schools, you’re going to do stuff based on what other people think. One consistent value I find among millionaires and multimillionaires is they’re not arrogant about it, they’re not mean or prideful about it or anything like that. They are just not motivated by your opinion. People who want everybody to listen to their opinion are all torqued out about that. You can get torqued out if you want because they’re just not motivated.

You probably know the story of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. I actually have the die-cast model that was given to the regional managers at Walmart of the car that he drove before he passed away—a old, beat-up pickup with a hound dog in the back. Sometimes it was in the back. Sometimes it was in the front seat with him. And he was legendary. So why did this multibillionaire not drive a Lamborghini? There’s nothing wrong with having a Lamborghini, but why did he not? He just didn’t care what you think, and he obviously wasn’t somebody who cared much about cars. He could drive anything he wanted to drive times a million. He just didn’t care what you think.

When you reach the point that you don’t care what people think, then it changes what you wear. It changes a lot of stuff about your life. You just do what you want to do, and what you’ll find is that most joy comes from serving others.

The problem here is that your husband’s feeling what we tell teenagers to avoid, and that’s peer pressure. He’s just got to reach the point—for you to be able to win—that he doesn’t care what his buddies think.