Nothing is wrong with having an iPhone if after you bought it, it was a very small fraction of your savings that was taken or two, you are willing to spend on extra expensive maintenance and you still have tons of cash left right? The sad reality is in the Philippines, it is really a culture of overspending. I would even dare say that there is a connection between overspending and the epal attitude. You want to look cool, you want people to say you are rich so in turn, you borrow lots of money from other people to maintain such a high class lifestyle.
So I started to think about the stupidity of having one's lifestyle as an indicator of one's wealth. I remembered how people called me rich whenever I rode an expensive car and called me poor because I didn't have the latest video game console. Apparently for them, being wealthy is determined by the nice things you own, not by the amount of money you have in the bank. If you think about it, some people may be driving an expensive BMW but he actually loaned money from someone to buy the car because he was BWM or broke without money. He may have had bought a super expensive ticket to a super expensive concert but he recklessly spent a whole month's savings probably ignoring stuff like groceries, electricity or tuition fee. Wow, applaud the idiocy!
Having a thick wallet does not make you rich, it's having a fat bank account makes you rich. Now one can impress anyone with a thick wallet full of PHP 1,000.00 peso bills or worth PHP 100,000 (or higher) worth of cash but the money in his or her bank account is hardly there. Sure my eyes can open super wide or my jaws can drop from seeing a person with lots of money in his or her wallet, then impress everyone with buying stuff left and right... but let's face it the money is not infinite. Sometimes, a richer person may show with with a very thin wallet but have billions in the bank.
Just because a certain Filipino works abroad, it doesn't mean that the family is rich. Wow, that's really stupid when you think of the grim reality that most OFW families remain poor. Just think what if that OFW was working in countries worse than the Philippines like Bangladesh? True that the domestic helper fee is much higher in Singapore but spend it all, you're poor! Sad to say but OFW families tend to focus on balikbayan boxes, nice stuff, etc. rather than learning to save the money to get out of poverty.
Instead, why not try to learn to save for a rainy day and plan for the future right? For instance, focus on your needs first before your wants. While not everyone can be rich, but certainly anybody can get out of poverty if they manage their finances well. ;)