Fronting: We Need to Stop Living the ‘Fabulous and Broke’ Lifestyle

She Matters: It’s time to put the “fake it till you make it” philosophy out to pasture.

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Or maybe the people he was trying to be were fronting, too. I’ll never know. But to my friend, “looking the part” meant designer T-shirts at $150 a pop, custom kicks and five-day weekends at every major music festival around the country. As he flew off to four-star hotels in Miami, Vegas and Atlanta, I toiled at an entry-level job, wanting—envying, really—his life. Much like Sanchez, I was wondering, “Where are my hotel suites? My fancy shoes? Hell, my vacation time?!”

My wake-up call came 18 months later when my friend called me in a panic, not knowing what to do next. He was around $30,000 in credit card debt and had student loans. That friend ended up moving back in with his parents for a year-plus so he could save money to pay off his credit cards. (More than 10 years later, he’s still paying off student loans.)

“That’s the reality of living the FAB life at any age,” said the veteran agent, imparting wisdom I didn't know I needed. “People with real money can pull it off, but they don’t have to. Most ball, then fall.”

Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life and the upcoming Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. Follow her on Twitter.