If you could have a talk with your younger self, would you tell that person to stop keeping up with the Joneses already?
Many years ago, social status seemed to be the n°1 value many families lived by.
Since not everyone was born wealthy, keeping up with the Joneses seemed to be very popular way for others to feel superior.
It’s unpleasant to hear it, but it’s the harsh truth!
Keeping up with others is, aside from an unoriginal bad idea, a make-believe way to feel more important, financially speaking.
Problem is, in reality you’ll only end up in trouble. Financially speaking!
While it may seem the grass is always greener on the other side, the truth is the Joneses (or whatever their name is) are probably in serious debt!
How else could they afford to live in luxury and insist on bragging about it?
Rich people usually know how to stay that way.
Those who need to make a big deal out of their lavish vacations or latest SUV they bought are probably overcompensating for something.
Like the lack of truly being financially independent.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”aq19Z” via=”yes” ]Stop a second and think: is your #happiness really defined by someone else’s #financial status? [/ctt]
Stop keeping up with the Joneses
The problem with keeping up with the Joneses is mostly psychological
We live in a world where consumerism is promoted to the highest levels.
Everywhere you look, it seems that if you don’t buy, buy, buy, you’re going to end up sad and empty inside.
The problem is, the more you buy, the emptier you feel.
Just like your wallet!
Keeping up with others on a financial level isn’t smart at all.
Take a step back and think about why you feel you need to keep up appearances at such a fast pace.
A difficult childhood is often a reason to overcompensate as an adult.
Problems at your job could also cause a need to have what ‘those happy Joneses‘ have.
There are countless reasons as to why someone needs to spend unnecessary money just to look successful to others.
And getting approved for a loan so fast nowadays makes it even easier to overspend!
Who cares if your neighbors just bought a luxurious second car?
When we both had jobs we needed to drive to, we compromised and managed to stay away from buying a second vehicle.
We didn’t really need it.
Living in a small apartment seems like a compromise as well, when compared to others who live in a spacious environment.
However, it’s unbelievable how much you can spend on heat and electricity just for the sake of having a big home.
We spend about 3 times less during winter (true fact!)
What else are you wasting money on just to show others you have money too?
Getting into debt to keep up appearances is bad financial money management
The need to keep up with others could lead to some serious financial trouble.
Turning an unhealthy obsession into years of debt will definitely not make you happy.
It’s definitely bad financial money management!
We don’t really need 2 cars, but maybe you do.
Don’t go buying the most expensive one you find though, stick to your budget and avoid debt problems!
We downsized a few years ago, but others need a bigger living space.
However, paying extra just to show off with your new apartment – not cool!
Just mind your own business and stick to what you can afford.
Overspending might make you happy for a little while, but in the long run it’s really not worth it.
Become the Joneses
Darwin says we come from monkeys, but stop trying to imitate others!
Focus on your own financially independence.
Instead of trying to keep up with others, why not set financial goals for yourself?
Save for retirement, invest your money, adopt a minimalist lifestyle and be thankful for living a debt free life!
The Joneses paid for their happiness with cash and probably don’t own much of the stuff they flaunt.
Show them how great it is to be debt free and make them want to imitate you.
By becoming a positive example to others, you not only avoid years of painful debt, but you also pay it forward, so to speak.
Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Become the person others will want to follow by example!
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8 thoughts on “Stop keeping up with the Joneses. Become them!”
Great thoughts Adriana. Recently, I’ve been a huge advocate of trying to incorporate the concept of “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” into my life. If you want to be a Jones, then you will end up like them (house rich, cash poor, debt, lots of possessions, etc)
I want to be successful with my finances and knowledgeable about many topics. That’s why I’m reading 75 books in 2017 🙂
75? Wow, that’s ambitious! Good luck and hope you get there! We’re in mid-March, how’s the reading going up until now?
I also agree that you’ll eventually follow the same patterns as the people you associate with.
I do have friends with very different concepts when it comes to handling money, but we respect each-other’s boundaries. It’s the perfect combination of different people who simply mind their own business when it comes to finances 🙂
I grew up in a family where my parents didn’t take on debt to pay for things outside of our home. It was a foreign concept to have a car loan. When I first got out of school I couldn’t understand how all my friends could afford new cars and I was driving a used car. I thought they were all rich and I was really poor. It wasn’t until later that I realized that I was really the rich one and they were poor 🙂
Same here 🙂
Granted, my parents did inherit their first car, but for the ones they bought later on they saved money years in advance. They’ve also passed on this ‘lesson’ to me.
We saved for a good couple of years to buy the car we own now, even though applying for a loan would have been so easy and so much faster. Thank goodness we don’t care about keeping up with others 😀 heheh
Thanks so much for stopping by!
You know what’s interesting, keeping up with the jones or comparing oneself to others can take many forms. At a high level you want to not compare yourself to others and be the leader as you said, but psychologically that’s tough to do. The thing is there are two techniques around this. The first is compare yourself to the average person rather then an individual. In my experience the average bar is low enough that it’s pretty easy to clear when it comes to savings rates and net worth.
Which leads me to item two, pick and choose what you compare on. Don’t compare on what you have, compare on your savings rate and what you have paid off. People are generally awestruck at someone who has paid off their mortgage or has a positive net worth. So comparing it to the average after you’ve been at it for a few years should make you feel good.
That’s also true, comparing yourself with the average person can definitely help seeing things in a different (and a more positive) perspective!
However, when comparing yourself to a low average, you might forget to be more ambitious and aim higher, financially speaking.
It can definitely help keeping you out of unnecessary money troubles, but it can also set the bar too low for your future financial goals.